Tennis courts

AI-powered tennis courts: Wingfield raises €4 million to convert tennis courts into smart playgrounds

Hannover, Germany-based Wingfield, a sports tech start-up that has developed technology to convert tennis courts into smart playgrounds, announced that it has raised 4 million euros as part of a a Series A funding round. The company aims to further develop its business in Europe and expand into the US market.

The round was led by new investors bmp Ventures, along with IBG-Fonds and Adesso Ventures. Existing investors, the AD Sports & Health Tech Partners and Hannover Beteiligungsfonds, which committed earlier in 2021, also participated in the round.

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Ywes Israel, Investment Manager of bmp Ventures, said: “Revolutionizing tennis with artificial intelligence is very ambitious; with Wingfield, the sports technology sector already has an important and internationally active player who will now trigger the next stage of development from Magdeburg (a city in Germany).

Anne Joachim, CFO of AD Sports Tech & Health Partners, adds: “Wingfield’s journey has just begun and we are excited to work side by side, taking full advantage of our ecosystem in Europe and the US and partners such as the USTA, to support them. in their growth plans.

Fund for expansion in Europe and the United States

Proceeds from this round will primarily be used to grow Wingfield’s business in Europe, expand into the US market, and improve the overall product experience for tennis players and facilities.

Wingfield Founder and CEO Maik Burlage said, “We have used the past two years to further improve our products and initiate important partnerships, such as with the German Tennis Federation. However, we are only at the beginning of our journey. Despite the impact of COVID-19 on our industry, the past two years have shown that there is huge demand for our products.

“We notice that tennis clubs are increasingly under pressure not only to digitize their administration, but also to rethink their offerings in line with changing customer demands. Club boards are getting younger and more tech-savvy and now see the need to respond to these changes. The new capital positions us to meet this demand and continue to grow in our core markets and the United States,” added Burlage.

“AI Powered Tennis Courts”

Founded in 2017 by Henri Kuper, Jaan Brunken, Julius Burlage and Maik Burlage, Wingfield aims to be the premier digital competition and coaching platform for racquet sports.

The company’s AI-driven smart net post, “the Wingfield Box”, transforms any tennis court into a smart, connected court to provide amateur athletes with the same data tracking and user experiences in line that were previously only available to professional athletes.

The Windfield Box tracks all on-field activity using real-time performance data and allows players and coaches to measure personal improvement. Interactive game formats with direct feedback from the Wingfield Box after a practice session bridge the gap between analog and digital experiences on the pitch.

Currently the company is operational in 16 countries and its technology is used by over 250 installations on over 300 courts reaching over 20,000 players across Europe. These include common tennis clubs, performance academies, recreational sports centers, hoteliers, country clubs, and colleges, among others.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

The German Tennis Federation (DTB) and Wingfield have partnered to launch a new amateur competition format, which allows players to play official matches on any court equipped with a Wingfield Box. Serving as an AI referee, the Wingfield Box detects whether matches were played under existing rules and automatically transmits the final result to the federation so that participants can earn official ranking points.

Raik Packeiser, DTB Vice President for Legal and Marketing, says: “We want to promote digitalization in tennis and at DTB. The potential is great. The integration of the Wingfield system into competitive sport is an important step.

From June 15, players will be able to use the Wingfield smart tennis courts to play official matches outside team matches or official Leistungsklasse tournaments, which will be taken into account for the evaluation of their Generali performance class. personal.

Some of Wingfield’s well-known and famous clients include Rafa Nadal Academy and Queens Club in London among others. In 2019, Wingfield was used on the grass courts of the prestigious All England Club at Wimbledon, during their Road to Wimbledon junior tennis tournament. Discover all Wingfield clubs here.

Investors

The AD Sports Tech & Health Partners works with promising sports and health tech startups around the world, with the goal of driving their growth through smart investments, best-in-class network access and expert mentorship. The company, based in Lake Nona (USA) and Berlin (Germany), supports its portfolio companies in multiple areas, including strategy, trading and fundraising.

Hannover Beteiligungsfonds, a fund managed by EnjoyVenture, is a regional venture capital fund that focuses on early-stage high-tech companies. With over 20 years of experience building technology companies and a diverse portfolio of over 40 startups and exits, EnjoyVentures currently manages four venture capital funds in Germany.

The IBG funds are the venture capital funds of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt, a Land of Germany. The funds provide capital to innovative companies with sustainable growth potential as well as an office/operating facility in Saxony-Anhalt. IBG has launched the new venture capital fund RKF III with a volume of €84m. The fund is financed by the state and the EU and supports startups from Saxony-Anhalt in the seed and growth phases. IBG funds are managed by bmp Ventures AG.

Adesso Ventures is the incubator of the Adesso group. It invests in early-stage tech startups with venture capital and Tech4Equity. The company provides access to computing resources and customer access in markets such as banking, insurance, healthcare, public, sports, automotive and utilities.

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