Bild launches sports tech start-up incubator

German media company Bild, which publishes the popular Sport Bild newspaper and digital news platform, has launched an investment programme for sports technology and data start-ups.

B4Sports will invest up to €250,000 ($280,000) in early-stage ventures, according to its new website.

The business incubator will have a special focus on companies that “want to expand their business in Germany”, according to a statement. Areas of interest for B4Sports include technology, esports, data, video and audio content, betting, advertising, publishing and user engagement tools.

B4Sports has already completed its first investment by acquiring a minority stake in Israel-based Tokabot, a fan engagement and monetisation platform for the sports and entertainment industry.

Bild, which is owned by media giant Axel Springer, said that its parent company’s reach and the experts lined up to support B4Sports – many of whom work at Sport Bild – will provide significant benefits to growing companies in the sector.

Nikolaus Glasmacher, general manager of Bild Sports and new platforms, said: “Exciting business ideas with great potential are currently emerging in the playing field of sports, data and technology, also for our brands.

“With our experience, our network and the unique reach of our sports titles, we can give start-ups a major boost in their development. With Tokabot, we have invested in a first promising company that fits perfectly into our profile.”

Axel Springer investment manager Max Konrad and sports business development manager Christoph Stamm will be among the decision-makers at B4Sports.