The Hanover-based sports tech company Wingfield, which incorporates hardware & software to convert tennis courts into smart playing fields just recently announced raising €4M in its Series A funding round. This raise seems inevitable, on account of tennis gathering increased popularity in recent times. Additionally, with famous names such as the Rafa Nadal Academy and the Queen’s Club in London featuring among Wingfield’s customers, the startup is gaining recognition necessitating funding to facilitate growth.
This round was led by the new investors bmp Ventures alongside the IBG-Fonds and Adesso Ventures. Its existing investors leAD Sports & Health Tech Partners and Hannover Beteiligungsfonds oversaw this transaction as well, signifying their strong belief in the rising tech startup.
Enhancing the playing experience on and off-field
The sports scene has in recent years been heavily influenced by tech trends, from wearables to tracking apps, in a growing list of tech integrations. The result has been the generation of a lot of data from training and competitions which could be used for personal self-optimisation as well as sharing on social platforms. Athletes, coaches, fans and even amateur individual trainers today increasingly need the insights offered by the millions of distinct data points gathered by software as they not only offer insights into sports but also further entertain audiences post-match.
Wingfield is using smart data and digital analytics to track a player’s on-court performance in an effort to measure, improve and develop personal performance levels. Its AI-based connected court technology provides match and playing stats, analytics, video highlights, interactive heat maps as well as stroke speed data consequently empowering players and coaches of all standards to be beneficiaries of the real-time performance data, extending tennis into the virtual world.
The Wingfield Court is an affordable tracking solution for all clubs serving leisure courts all the way to competitive tennis courts. The compact system is designed to fit seamlessly onto any tennis court in the world both indoors and outdoors, consisting only of the Wingfield Box and an added IP camera. The Wingfield Box, which tracks all court activities on the court acts as a ‘smart net post’, replacing the old ones on the court.
Players and coaches can then access match data and video via the free Winfield app, all available in real-time, providing even amateurs with data previously only accessible to professionals. Coaches can now better identify players’ strengths & weaknesses, setting individual goals and tracking them interactively. Both training and match statistics have made progress more measurable, enabling players to develop, learn and improve their game assisted by their own personal performance data collected on-court.
bmp Ventures Investment Manager Ywes Israel noting this innovation, highlighted, “Revolutionising tennis with artificial intelligence is very ambitious; with Wingfield, the Sportstech sector already has an important, internationally active player that will now ignite the next stage of development from Magdeburg.”
What’s next for Wingfield?
Since its founding in late 2017 by Henri Kuper, Jaan Brunken, Julius Burlage & Maik Burlage and following its go-to-market back in early 2019, Wingfield has developed to become the European market leader in tennis tracking technology. The startup operates in 16 countries, with its tech in use by over 250 facilities on more than 300 courts serving over 20,000 players across Europe. Furthermore, leading global racket and apparel brands are using Wingfield’s data to test and demo their new product lines. Wingfield was notably used on the grass courts of the eminent All England Club at Wimbledon during their Road to Wimbledon junior tennis tournament.
The funding will primarily be used to further grow Wingfield’s business in Europe, expanding its reach to the US market in an effort to improve the overall product experience for tennis players and facilities. Wingfield also launched a new amateur competition format in partnership with the German Tennis Federation (DTB) which allows players to play official matches flexibly on any court equipped with a Wingfield Box. Acting as an AI referee, the Wingfield Box will detect whether matches have been played according to existing rules and will automatically forward the end result to the federation so that its participants can get official rating points.