Sports tech firm nets six-figure boost

From left: Shea O'Hagan, Chris McCann and Fearghal Campbell. Picture: contributed.
From left: Shea O'Hagan, Chris McCann and Fearghal Campbell. Picture: contributed.
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A sports tech firm based in Edinburgh and Belfast has received a six-figure cash injection that it believes will help it become the market-leader in sports facility management.

Pitchbooking, which is based in CodeBase in Scotland and the Ormeau Baths in Northern Ireland, has developed a platform that provides greater access to sports facilities for the public while streamlining the facility owner’s internal processes.

It has secured £250,000 via a funding round led by Belfast-based investment firm Aurient and backed by Techstart Ventures and Co-Fund NI, managed by Clarendon Fund Managers. The round was completed by private investors across the UK and New York.

The new capital raised will be used to support the growth ambitions in the UK and the rest of the world of Pitchbooking, which was founded by lifelong friends Fearghal Campbell, Chris McCann and Shea O’Hagan.

Having launched last year, it has already facilitated more than 15,000 sport sessions for members of the public.

Chief executive O’Hagan, who lives in Edinburgh, commented: “Before Pitchbooking, finding a place to play meant the time and frustration of hopeful phone calls, booking slips and outdated payment methods.

“Facility managers, on the other hand, are too often caught in a painful administrative tangle of enquiries, invoices, double-bookings and other such headaches. Many also don’t have the time or resources to promote their facilities to the wider public.

“With Pitchbooking, players can search thousands of facilities at the click of a button and complete their booking in less than a minute. Facility managers gain instant exposure to a wide sporting public and the ease of our simple, fully automated booking platform. We’ve seen that this encourages use of the facility, drives revenue to the facility owner, and ultimately, encourages more people to get active.”

Aurient partners Anthony Kieran and Cecil Hetherington will be joining the board of Pitchbooking. Hetherington, who becomes chairman, said: “Pitchbooking offers an elegant web-based solution to two common problems – fragmented information in terms of being able to see what facilities are available in your local area, and friction in the process of booking and payment leading to a market that functions very inefficiently.

“The Pitchbooking management team are 100 per cent focused and dedicated to creating a better experience for both users and providers of sports facilities, and they are dynamic and innovative in their approach. This is exactly the sort of company that we like to support.”

A recent partnership with Goals has resulted in Pitchbooking offering services in more than 50 locations across the UK, while Oxford City Council was the sports tech firm’s first major customer.

Kathy Wren, business support officer at Oxford City Council, said Pitchbooking has made its previously “long-winded” booking process much more efficient.

CodeBase, whose core sites also include Stirling and Aberdeen, and is in 22 cities altogether, currently supports more than 400 companies. It says its tenants have raised $582 million (£449m).