Emerging Tech, Data & Media , Startups & VCs

DFL invests in upcoming AI-IoT platform

Movez latest to receive funding from ‘DFL for Equity’ programme.

by Tom Bassam

DFL invests in upcoming AI-IoT platform

The German Football League (DFL), which oversees the country’s top-two soccer tiers, is furthering its investment strategy by acquiring shares in Israel-based startup Movez.

The company is majority-owned by AGT International, specialists in artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of things (IoT). In 2020 Movez will be unveiling a new mobile-based platform, aimed at children and teenagers, drawing on those technologies to evaluate soccer skills.

The investment, which is the latest to be made by the league’s ‘DFL for Equity’ business arm, also sees the DFL include exclusive marketing and content assets in the deal. Players from the Bundesliga will produce drills for the platform and the DFL will leverage its digital channels for promotion. The DFL is also providing data and media access to Movez for analysis by the startup’s self-learning algorithms.

DFL chief executive, Christian Seifert, said: “Movez is a very exciting addition to our ‘DFL for Equity’ strategy and at the same time the first investment whose utility is aimed directly at Bundesliga fans around the globe.

“Especially for the young football fans of Generation Z, its approach playfully combines the digital world and real physical activity. We see a great deal of potential for this investment.”

Yuval Benyamini, Movez chief executive, added: “DFL is one of football’s greatest foundations and we are proud to have them on board. This partnership will allow us to enrich our user experience and empower millions of youngsters to compete and enjoy ball games in a new way and measure up with their professional idols.”

The Movez investment is the third from the DFL for Equity programme, which launched in October 2018. The first partnership, agreed in October 2018, was with Israeli start-up Track160, which is developing a system based on AI and deep learning to capture player and ball motions in 3D.

In August 2019, Ryghts, a joint venture between the DFL and Athletia, was launched to monitor all Bundesliga broadcasts for piracy issues.