London 22nd July 2016: Sport Heroes (formerly Running Heroes) the fast-growing French tech start-up founded in May 2014 by sports enthusiasts Boris Pourreau and Jean-Charles Touzalin, has raised two million euros in second round funding with the VC fund A Plus Finance, French Public Investment Bank (BPI France) and business angels.
Sport Heroes uses apps and on-line technology to build sports communities and encourage mass and bespoke participation in sport by making it more fun, interactive, social and incentivised. Since launch, the company’s sports communities have reached over 300,000 sports people whilst the company itself has managed 24 sports experiences in 62 countries and raised more than 300,000 euros for charity.
The funds raised from the latest funding round will help the company expand its product portfolio and build its international footprint.
The Sport Heroes business model consists of three major strands:
• Online Sports Communities: Running Heroes (www.runningheroes.com) , Cycling Heroes (www.cyclingheroes.com) and Skiing Heroes (www.skiingheroes.com). These animate sports communities committed to running, cycling and skiing and the Sport Heroes works with over 350 brand partners to provide rewards and discounts to members of these communities. Partners include Nike, adidas, Under Armour and Holiday Inn.
• We Are Heroes: A new digital consultancy dedicated to helping brands create tailor-made sports activations to engage their fans. The agency has already worked with companies and charities, such as UNICEF, Lufthansa, AFM Téléthon, Volvic, Amaury Sport Organisation (Paris Marathon), Ferrero (Kinder) and Doctors of the World. With UNICEF, We Are Heroes created the first connected worldwide race in April 2015, which allowed more than 5,500 runners from all over the world to participate via a GPS application or watch. Participants (via a registration fee) raised a total of £100,000 for UNICEF’s vaccination programme.
• United Heroes: A corporate solution dedicated to the creation of connected sport experiences for businesses and their employees. United Heroes brings the concept of a Connected Race to the corporate world and provides a platform that strengthens internal communication by sharing common values and messages, highlights CSR programs, consolidates teams and promotes employees wellness. United Heroes is already working with international firms like Accenture, SCIEX (USA), SunCorp (Australia), Naturex and L’Occitane.
Sport Heroes has an innovative position in the sports industry. Its activities are based on technology that aggregates the data generated from a number of GPS applications, and watch and wristband partners including: Strava, Nike+, RunKeeper, Garmin, Endomondo, MapMyRun, Runtastic, Polar, Suunto, Fitbit, Withings, Jawbone and Jiwok. Sport Heroes intelligently and creatively uses this data to build innovative digital experiences.
International expansion is an important priority for Sport Heroes, having now opened offices in Sydney and London. The London office is appropriately based in the ‘Silicon Roundabout’ area around Old Street and the London staff team is headed by UK Country Director, Quentin Auberger.
According to Boris Pourreau, CEO and co-founder of Sport Heroes, "This successful second round of fundraising proves that we have been making the right decisions for the past two years. We are on track to meet our sales target for this year of €3M and fulfil our ambition of making Sport Heroes the world leader in digital and connected sport. The data that we have access to, via our partnerships, allows us to create and manage enhanced sports experiences for sports consumers as well as brands and companies.”
ABOUT SPORT HEROES
Sport Heroes is a French start-up founded in 2014 by Boris Pourreau and Jean-Charles Touzalin, under the name Running Heroes, aimed at digitally enriching sport by creating, in parallel to sport practice, digital experiences that are fun, inspiring and social. With a community of close to 300,000 members, and 350 partners, Sport Heroes has three activities: the animation of communities on its websites runningheroes.com, cyclingheroes.com and skiingheroes.com; a digital agency, We Are Heroes, that helps brands engage their communities of fans; and a corporate solution, United Heroes, designed for companies and their employees. Sport Heroes currently employs 40 people and in 2015, was awarded the “Cool Vendor 2015 in France” label by Gartner.
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