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The Business Magazine July 2024
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Bristol's FanHub raises $3m to build ‘Strava for sports fans’

The Business Magazine article image for: Bristol's FanHub raises $3m to build ‘Strava for sports fans’
11 January 2024

Bristol-based sport tech startup FanHub, has raised $3 million of investment to build a 'Strava for sports fans'.

The company was founded by two football fans frustrated by what they felt was an open goal being missed by clubs to recognise fans loyalty and capture that value.

FanHub has pioneered the concept of “loyalty as an asset".

Fans follow their favourite teams via the FanHub app, creating a record of matches they’ve attended, statistics of those games and miles travelled. That data is converted into actionable insights for brands and teams, as well as economic value for fans. Since FanHub’s launch in 2021, UK sports fans have received more than 50,000 pints of beer, 3,500 tickets and nearly 2,500 items of FanHub merchandise.

Co-founder Gareth Lippiatt, said: “Our unfair advantage over far better resourced competitors is that myself and Harley would be FanHub target users ourselves – so we just built the app that we wanted. Fans love statistics but all other apps seem to focus on the performance of clubs and players so we thought…what about an app that collates the data of the fans themselves?”

Launched in February 2021, FanHub has achieved remarkable growth, seeing more than 100,000 downloads, and a 41.4 per cent 90-day retention rate. That progress attracted the investment from Blockchange Ventures, the American fund that has already invested in more than 70 of the world’s premier blockchain projects such as NEAR, Solana, Flow and Polkadot.

“Combining the passion of fandom with the power of digital marketing feels so obvious once you see it,” said Ken Seiff, Managing Partner of Blockchange Ventures. “Before FanHub, sports marketing was stuck in a pre-digital era with almost no targeting, no direct engagement, and no real data. We love how FanHub moves the ball forward into the modern era of marketing and provides real value to fans.”

Historically, loyalty schemes have focused on transactions – consumers are rewarded for their own spending. FanHub’s thesis is different – FanHub collects user behaviour data and believes tokenizing it with blockchain technology creates a liquid and tradable asset. The benefit to fans is the ability to monetise their own data. 

Harley Thorne, Co-Founder of FanHub, said “enabling fans to monetise their own data and behaviour is what drives the company. We believe fans should have the ability to control their own data and capture the economic benefits attached to that data.”

The company will use the funding to accelerate user growth in the UK and widen the app’s coverage to additional countries and sports.


Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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