Playwaze Ltd, a SaaS business providing a digital platform for managing and participating in sport and physical activity, has successfully completed a £400,000 funding round with a £200,000 investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund, managed by The FSE Group.
Physical activity, leisure, and sport commands a significant market, with over 1 billion participants globally, and the Sport Tech sector is rapidly gathering momentum. Rupert Jenner, the founder of Playwaze, 6 years ago had a vision of how a digital platform could dramatically increase operational efficiencies around the delivery of sport and physical activity, while creating a more seamless connection between people that organise and people that play.
Having spent 20 years working as a freelance software engineer, Rupert turned his focus to creating Playwaze. The Playwaze platform now supports over 100 different sports and activity types delivering value to their 230K current active users. Playwaze is designed to provide value at all levels of delivery and the company already boasts an impressively diverse client portfolio including National Governing Bodies, leading universities, Active Partnerships, fitness instructors, regional associations, clubs, and social activity groups.
Playwaze provides an extensive online toolkit of easy-to-use features for the operational and engagement needs of sports organisers and activity providers. The platform’s functional feature set is extensive, including a full suite of competition formats with the addition of Competitions Plus for running regulated competition networks at scale. Activity management provides for all sorts of sessions, courses, and volunteering opportunities. Payments, memberships, and reporting are fully integrated into the platform giving organisers greater control and insight on activity. Participants benefit from quick and easy access to all their activities through the mobile app – a single place where they can manage all their bookings, entries, results, memberships, payments, and communications.
With the current climate still having an impact on in-person sport and activity, Playwaze has leveraged its modular technology to deliver a full suite of virtual activity opportunities, including live streaming and on demand video sessions. They will also be releasing an innovative solution for Virtual Competitions in September, allowing providers to continue delivering contactless competitions and activity schedules.
Rupert Jenner CEO of Playwaze, commented, “I’m immensely proud of what the Playwaze team has achieved to date. We’re committed to delivering innovative technology that turns inactivity into activity and believe that, with our help, the sports and activity sector will continue to see significant growth over the forthcoming years. It’s great to now have the backing of Paul and the FSE Group which will help us expand our team and strengthen operational infrastructure. We’re excited about the future and continuing to leverage our technology - getting more people active globally while delivering highly scalable returns to our investors.”
Paul Lyristis, Senior Fund Manager, at The FSE Group, which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund on behalf of the LEP adds: “Rupert and his team at Playwaze are proving that technology can deliver real value to the sports sector. I was particularly impressed with the reach and diversity of their SaaS solution with the business being able to demonstrate traction across such a broad spectrum of clients and users. The business clearly has significant opportunity to expand its reach further across the sector and become a truly global technology leader.”
Kathy Slack OBE, Enterprise M3 LEP CEO said: “I’m delighted the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund has been able to provide funding for Playwaze, particularly in this time of economic uncertainty. The team at Playwaze have developed a fantastic piece of software to help keep us all fit by making sport easier to organise and have shown a capacity for rapid innovation through the Covid-19 pandemic by ‘going virtual’. Innovation is the cornerstone to recovery and success in our region and I am really pleased to see another local business continuing to grow and thrive.”