THE team behind an award winning Scottish start-up has lofty plans to increase sports participation across the globe – and a new six-figure investment could help them do just that. Their app is called ‘Find a Player’ and helps keen sportspeople find games, and games find keen sportspeople, through the tap of a button. It has just received a cash-injection from Manchester-based property and technology investor Michael Sacks, and their founder says they are keen to break into rugby soon.
This deal comes just months after the Scottish tech company beat a number of global brands including Arsenal, the New York Marathon and the German FA to win the prestigious ‘Best App’ gong at the Sport Technology Awards.
The business was born out of the struggle of founder Jim Law to find a reliable five-a-side football game. Now, just two years later, he believes Find a Player can become Tinder for the sports world.
“Our app solves a huge problem – there are still far too many barriers which stop people from organising or getting involved in sport. Find a Player makes it easier than ever before to find the sports and games that are right for you at the touch of a button. Ultimately, this investment will help us boost the number of users and games on the platform,” explained Law, who was previously a junior Scottish badminton champion.
“With Michael we not only secure crucial funding, but more importantly, a new member of the team who can help take our company to the next level.”
“The focus of the app so far has been on helping organise what you might call casual or social sports matches. We have looked at getting more involved with rugby but the challenge is matching players by position and ability because it is not quite as easy to just turning up and playing, so that’s something we will be adding to the app shortly,” he continued.
“I was at Murrayfield a month or so back to take part in the launch of Scottish Rugby’s Tartan Touch initiative and had a great time. It seems like a really good way for somebody like myself, who has not played the game much before, to get a taste for it – so I’m definitely keen to get touch rugby going on the app.”
Sacks, who is a former Manchester United youth team prospect, is the ideal fit for Find a Player. After embarking on a career in property, he founded Sequre Property Investment, which employed more than 120 people across six offices before Michael stepped down from his position as director to focus on his current and future investments.
“My first reaction when I heard about Find a Player was surprise. When you think about it, it’s such an obvious idea, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t already been done – I wish I’d thought of it! I quickly got over that and started to explore how I could get involved,” said Sacks.
“There’s a huge opportunity here, not only to grow my portfolio with a promising company, but also to help change the sporting landscape. It’s all too easy for people to stop taking part in sport. This allows people to find an activity, and a level, that’s right for them. “
Michael joins an impressive team which also includes Owen O’Donnell, former chairman of Scottish ‘unicorn’ FanDuel, and Steve Oliver, founder of MusicMagpie, which has revenues of more than £100m.
Last year, Find a Player raised £150,000 through a crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, hitting their £110,000 target in just two days.
Now, the company which has facilitated more than 75,000 games across more than 140 different sports, is working closely with sports governing bodies and universities to expand its burgeoning user base.
To learn more about Find a Player, visit www.findaplayer.com.