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Sports Unicorns

9 Sports Startups that are now Unicorn Companies

Here’s a full list of unicorn companies in the sports industry that have made it to the US$1B valuation.

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How do unicorn startups emerge?

How are they formed?

What does it take to become one of the Unicorn startups?

These are all questions many entrepreneurs ask themselves when building their companies.

Here are 9 Sports startups – Strava and Sportradar included – which have become unicorns.

9 Sports Startups that are now Unicorns

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Alisports

Alisports

Alisports is building a global platform for community sports, where clubs, leagues, federations, and sponsors connect with their communities in new ways.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.27

    B (

    April 2018

    )

  • Country:

    China

  • City:

    Shanghai

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Founders:

    Dazhong Zhang

  • Industries:

    Marketing, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    CN¥1,200,000,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    1

  • Number of investors:

    2

here

Dream11

Dream11

Dream 11 is India’s leading fantasy sports platform. Play Dream 11 for free & win exciting cash prizes every week.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $5.00

    B (

    April 2019

    )

  • Country:

    India

  • City:

    Mumbai

  • Started in:

    2008

  • Founders:

    Bhavit Sheth, Harsh Jain

  • Industries:

    Fantasy Sports, Information Technology, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $785,000,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    7

  • Number of investors:

    11

here

Fanatics

Fanatics

Fanatics is a worldwide leader in licensed sports merchandise and fan gear, including jerseys, t-shirts, hats, and much more.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $12.80

    B (

    June 2012

    )

  • Country:

    United States

  • City:

    Jacksonville

  • Started in:

    1995

  • Founders:

    Alan Trager, Michael Rubin, Mitch Trager

  • Industries:

    Manufacturing, Retail, Sporting Goods, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    1,000-5,000

  • Funding Amount:

    $2,365,000,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    7

  • Number of investors:

    15

here

Hupu

Hupu

Hupu provides news and commentary for sports fans. It is the premier destination where sports fanatics can congregate, discuss their favorite teams, and follow their favorite players.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.10

    B (

    June 2019

    )

  • Country:

    China

  • City:

    Shanghai

  • Started in:

    2004

  • Founders:

    Shawn Cheng

  • Industries:

    Media and Entertainment, News, Social Media, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    500-1,000

  • Funding Amount:

    $337,927,040

  • Number of funding rounds:

    5

  • Number of investors:

    5

here

ONE Championship

ONE Championship

ONE Championship is Asia’s largest global sports media property with a unique vision for the martial arts industry.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1

    B (

    October 2018

    )

  • Country:

    Singapore

  • City:

    Singapore

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Founders:

    Chatri Sityodtong

  • Industries:

    Broadcasting, Media and Entertainment, News, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $336,000,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    3

  • Number of investors:

    6

here

Sportradar

Sportradar

Sportradar is a sports solutions business that provides live data, sports alerts, real-time odds and analytics to some of the world’s leading sportsbooks.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $2.40

    B (

    July 2018

    )

  • Country:

    Switzerland

  • City:

    Saint Gallen

  • Started in:

    2000

  • Founders:

    Carsten Koerl

  • Industries:

    Digital Media, Information Services, Information Technology, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    1,000-5,000

  • Funding Amount:

    €84,000,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    4

  • Number of investors:

    7

here

Strava

Strava

Strava allows runners and cyclists to share their fitness progress with an online community.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.50

    B (

    November 2020

    )

  • Country:

    United States

  • City:

    San Francisco

  • Started in:

    2009

  • Founders:

    Mark Gainey, Mark Shaw, Michael Horvath

  • Industries:

    Fitness, Internet, Mobile, Social Network, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $151,850,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    7

  • Number of investors:

    7

here

Vox Media

Vox Media

Vox Media is a digital media operator and content provider that provides smart, savvy, and engaging content with expert editorial insight.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.00

    B (

    August 2015

    )

  • Country:

    United States

  • City:

    Washington

  • Started in:

    2003

  • Founders:

    Jerome Armstrong, Markos Moulitsas, Tyler Bleszinski

  • Industries:

    Advertising Platforms, Digital Media, Internet, Journalism, Lifestyle, Sports

  • Number of employees:

    500-1,000

  • Funding Amount:

    $307,632,220

  • Number of funding rounds:

    9

  • Number of investors:

    11

here

WHOOP

WHOOP

WHOOP is a personalized, data-driven performance management system designed for athletes.

Details of the startup:

  • Valuation:

    $1.20

    B (

    October 2020

    )

  • Country:

    United States

  • City:

    Boston

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Founders:

    Aurelian Nicolae, John Capodilupo, Will Ahmed

  • Industries:

    Fitness, Sports, Wearables, Wellness

  • Number of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $204,751,000

  • Number of funding rounds:

    8

  • Number of investors:

    33

here
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