FC Barcelona’s Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) Invests In CeleBreak Amateur Football App

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta (L) with CeleBreak Founder and CEO Daniel Foth. Credit: FC Barcelona/BIHUB

FC Barcelona’s BIHUB becomes a shareholder of CeleBreak, an innovative app for finding friendly football games and where to play them

Sports tech startup companies have fast become an investment favorite of FC Barcelona’s Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB), this time by investing in CeleBreak, an amateur football (soccer) app enabling users to discover games and locations to play in them. The Catalan company has developed an app with a friendly tagline of – Play whenever and wherever you want. The active user base across Spain and Germany finds like-minded players and available venues for football matches in various cities. The Sports Techie community blog anticipates growth by CeleBreak, with the official backing of Barca’s BIHUB, to expand beyond Europe and may eventually make their way to here in North America. More than 30,000 downloads happened last year alone, added to the 35,000 games on 50 different fields, the Spanish startup has organized since 2020. CeleBreak and BIHUB have joined forces to develop innovative experiences through technology that build football communities around the world, emphasizing the women’s game and the power of sport to foster social contact and healthy lifestyles.

Joan Laporta, President of FC Barcelona, said, “FC Barcelona is proud to support startups in the world of sport through the shareholder program that we are running through BIHUB. The expansion of this initiative is a club strategy that is helping us create new ways to interact with fans and participate in the digital transformation of sport from a prime position. By becoming a shareholder in CeleBreak, BIHUB is connecting us with the amateur and collaborative side of the football world, which helps cover the needs that any amateur players might experience.”

Promoting Local Sport

The initial business premise was to offer a digital means to connect communities while enabling the fostering of new friendships through the world’s most popular sport. The app offers amateur football matches for men, women and coed searches, while also organizing amateur leagues and tournaments, or training session participation. The app features four modes: women’s, men’s and mixed football, as well as futsal.

The system is already up and running in the Spanish cities of Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and Valencia, as well as Frankfurt and Munich in Germany.

Business Expansion

Daniel Foth, Founder and CEO of CeleBreak, said, “Since I was a child, football has been the most effective method in my life to meet other people. When you’re a kid it’s easy: you go outside with a ball, meet other kids, make friends and start playing. As an adult, it’s a bit harder, but football’s power to bring people together is still unrivalled around the world. That’s how CeleBreak came about, from the simple desire to make new friends and play my favorite sport when I arrived in Barcelona from Germany. The fact that one of my favorite clubs now supports this crazy idea of an app that my brother and I had… I could say it’s a dream come true, but that would be a huge understatement. The whole team is beyond excited about this opportunity and we’re looking forward to working even harder to take CeleBreak and the power of football to connect people to an even wider audience, now with the incredible support of everyone at FC Barcelona and the Barça Innovation Hub”.

CeleBreak functions as a meeting point for amateur football; a global community where everyone can find their place, with all the elements required to be able to enjoy an innovative football experience that solves such common issues as not having a team to play with, not having anyone to go in goal or not having a pitch.

To maximize the professional football club’s endorsement, CeleBreak aims to further emphasize the promotion of women’s football while making amateur sports more accessible and inclusive than ever.

An added benefit of partnering with FC Barcelona is the additional support through the Barca Academy coaches of its highly respected youth academy to the teams formed in the app’s ecosystem. FC Barcelona members and fans will be incentivized to use the app to arrange their own games.

The two organizations will also be working together to evaluate new business models that can elevate the company’s growth, while at the same time making the logistics of amateur sport much simpler and more inspiring for its participants.

The CeleBreak community also offers the opportunity to be part of the project itself by investing in the company through Crowdcube. This not only drives the shared mission of transforming amateur football, but also means that anyone can become part of the growth and success of this innovative platform.

Barça’s Right At The Forefront Of Innovation

For a few months now, the Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) has been successfully exploring a new strategic line to support entrepreneurial talent in the sports sector, which has materialized by becoming a shareholder of several startups that offer bold products and value services.

The main objective of these investments is to extend the club’s drive to innovate in an environment where emerging companies can adapt high-potential technologies and solutions much faster than large companies can. 

The club, in exchange, offers its main brand assets, its know-how and access to its athletes and facilities, thus forging new synergies with its stakeholders.

The new portfolio of startups that BIHUB is creating has positioned the club at the very forefront of the transformation of sport and has helped put the Barça name at the service of the diversification of the Catalan economic fabric. On a nationwide level, it is allowing Barcelona and Catalonia to develop an added-value economy that promotes local talent, while also attracts global ones.

CeleBreak, Fourth Start-up After Visualfy, OLIVER And Onalabs

CeleBreak is the fourth startup that BIHUB has invested in, following on from the announcement, in recent months, of its interests in Visualfy, OLIVER and Onalabs. The former is a company that works to promote accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing. OLIVER is a solution that makes data management accessible to grassroots sports clubs seeking to boost athletic performance. Lastly, Onalabs is developing a device for measuring biometric parameters through sweat.

Visualfy has already applied its technology to the OAB offices at Spotify Camp Nou. OLIVER has taken its first steps in the blaugrana universe by applying its solution to some of the club’s youth teams, while Onalabs has started testing its device at the club.

Sports Techie Image Via 2015 – Our next future milestone is to grow to 100,000 global followers and readers with a diverse, demographic mix made up of senior citizens, adults, and youth aged Generation X, Millennials, and my son’s, GenZ.

Sports Techie, in 2019, I blogged about the FC Barcelona, BIHUB and Allianz partnership to promote a Hexoskin sleep study.

Back in 2012, I was honored to be an official blogger at the Global Sports Forum Barcelona.

My favorite football club is of course, Barca, as it is for millions of fans worldwide.

The fact the club is investing in sports technology startups through BIHUB makes business and financial sense since the industry is extremely fast-growing.

The goal by Barca is to assist CeleBreak expand with the support of BIHUB, the organizations internal assets, and complimentary sports tech startup investments.

This football startup, already present in Spain and Germany, has revolutionized amateur sport with more than 30,000 users in the last year.

Sounds like a real growth winner.

See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!

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