Managing a sports team is not an easy task! There is a lot that goes into being a coach/team manager. Besides picking a player for the team, the coach/team manager has numerous other responsibilities, including organising fixtures, training and mainly communicating with the team.
Handling communication across text messages, Whatsapp, and Telegram just adds to the confusion. And that’s where Swedish startup Heja comes into play. Heja is a social platform that enables sports teams to communicate between coaches, managers, parents, and players.
Recently, the company has secured $4.2M (approx €3.4M) funding in its Seed round led by Amsterdam-based Peak Capital.
Other investors including, Luminar Ventures, Bonnier Ventures, Inbox Capital, and Max Ventures, as well as various high profile angels, namely Ted Nelson (ex-Truecaller CCO) and former NHL player Mattias Weinhandl, also participated.
About Peak Capital
Peak Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund that offers smart venture capital to European fast-growing early-stage Marketplace, Platform, and SaaS companies. The Dutch VC has active investments in the Benelux, DACH, and Nordic regions.
The funds will be used to grow the team, drive product development, as well as further market expansion. The company launched a Pro version of the app last year, offering a range of new features, including desktop access, payment tracking, attendance statistics, and document sharing.
Communication made easy
Founded by Mikael Blix and Johan Berglund in 2017, Heja’s social platform allows coaches, parents, and players to easily organise and communicate in one place.
Through Heja, the coach/team manager can schedule a season, know players’ availability, send messages, manage multiple teams, share videos and images.
The social platform was established with a goal to connect a global audience of 1.5 billion people in youth sports by focusing on the team instead of the club.
At present, over 140,000 teams use Heja to keep track of upcoming practices, schedule games, and share images and videos within the team, claims the Stockholm-based company.
Last year, the company saw downloads grow by 50 per cent. To date, the app has 1.1M users.
In Europe, Heja competes against the likes of Spond (Norway), and Sportlyzer (Estonia), which are sports management platforms designed to simplify communication and coordination between sports members.
Operates in 50 countries
Currently, Heja is being used in over 50 countries, with most of the users coming from the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. In the United States alone, the market capitalisation for youth sports is estimated to be $30B (approx €24.6M).
Heja says its platform has led to an additional 4.1M hours of youth sports participation and brought parents closer with their child’s sports team.
Mikael Blix, co-founder and CEO of Heja comments on the company’s mission to promote team sports among children: “Youth sports have a tremendous impact on society, leading to better results in school, helping children make lifelong friends and building foundations for healthy lifestyles. Today, youth sports involve 1.5 billion people across the globe. Heja’s mission is to give them the place to meet, grow and develop together as players, parents, and coaches. The pandemic made our mission clearer than ever, as kids continue to need the physical and social stimulation that comes with playing a team sport.”