Dutch Sport Tech Fund is investing an undisclosed amount in Dutch company Scala Sports. The expansion from Amsterdam offers an app through which tennis and padel players can make appointments online. The application also supports competitions. The investment will be used to professionalize the organization and expand its reach in the United States.
Scala Sports recently signed a deal with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which saw the company gain an edge over US competitors. The Dutch sports technology fund had been following Scala for about two years and saw this deal – the starting signal for globalization – as the right moment to intervene.
America is the first overseas country that Scala Sports focuses on. Clubs are less important there and matches are often played at city level. Scala Sports is active in about ten cities. We hope to be able to serve three hundred American cities in the coming years. This means we need to expand and professionalize our team, from IT to service staff. This is also what we will use the growth funds for. “Not only do we want to expand the platform internationally, we also want to add more sports,” says co-founder Leon Haverkamp. According to him, besides tennis and padel, we should consider other racket sports such as pickleball (a combination of badminton, table tennis and tennis) and badminton, but also golf.
The company also wants to add more functionality to the platform, such as other forms of competition in addition to pool or ladder play and training.
Haverkamp and fellow founder Bart van Moensjo came up with the idea for Scala Sports when they were working abroad and discovered how difficult it was to play tennis spontaneously with others. Haverkamp: “In other countries, you are expected to become a member of a club or competition. We quickly came up with the idea of creating a digital platform that offered more freedom and ease of use. This is how Scala Sports was born, over six years ago.
The company offers a flexible competition platform for tennis and padel. “You play when you want, just as you book yoga classes or gym classes online if you want to,” Haverkamp says. Scala Sports is used by the US and Dutch tennis federations, which use a white-label version of the app. About seventy thousand players use the Scala Sports platform.
The Dutch Sport Tech Fund was founded in 2021 and is raising capital from (tech) investors and former athletes. The first investment was in International Sports Group (ISG), the intellectual property owner of Dotcomsport and SportAnalogyTV, both cloud-based software products for sports performance, particularly in football. The fund is also involved in Zest.Golf (a golf business booking platform), football platform 433, and Ludimos, an app to help cricketers train smarter.
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