Emerging Tech, Data & Media , Startups & VCs

Report: Barcelona seek €100m for startup investment fund

La Liga champions look to provide testbed for new technologies.

by Sam Carp

Report: Barcelona seek €100m for startup investment fund

Spanish soccer giants Barcelona are looking to raise €100 million (US$112 million) to launch their own investment fund, according to Palco23.

The Spanish business outlet says that the La Liga champions have been exploring the project for two years with the aim of creating a testbed for new technologies.

Barcelona are apparently not willing to contribute capital to the initiative, and would instead provide the knowledge and expertise of their staff to assess which startups have the potential to succeed in the market by testing them at the highest level.

Among the things yet to be decided regarding the new entity are where it will be located and who will be charged with leading the investment vehicle. Palco23 says that Barcelona want it to operate as an independent subsidiary.

The club already have experience trialling new technologies through their Barça Innovation Hub, which was established in 2017 to help incubate innovations that will shape soccer from both a sporting and commercial perspective in the future.

Barcelona have been upping their commitment to technology in preparation for their €600 million Espai Barca project, which will lead to a transformation of their iconic Nou Camp home. It was also revealed at the end of February that the venue will become the first European soccer stadium to be equipped with a dedicated 5G network.

Should Barcelona successfully launch their own startup fund, they would be the latest sports organisation to set up an entity focused on investing in new technologies.

Earlier this year, Manchester City owner City Football Group (CFG) was named as the anchor investor in Sapphire Sport, a new US$115 million sport venture capital fund launched by Sapphire Ventures, while last year the National Basketball Association (NBA) partnered with Intel Capital to identify technologies from companies that have the potential to impact the future of sports and entertainment.