Belfast sports-tech start-up Pitchbooking scores £550,000 funding

14 Jun 2022

From left: Pitchbooking founders Shea O’Hagan, Fearghal Campbell and Chris McCann. Image: Pitchbooking

Pitchbooking aims to become the ‘Airbnb of sports facility booking’ and will use the fresh funding to grow its team and develop its services.

Belfast start-up Pitchbooking has raised £550,000 in a new funding round to develop its facility and event booking software and expand the business.

The funding round was led by Dominic Hughes and Tom Page of Vertex Albion Capital. Other participants included Co-Fund NI, professional footballer Taylor Moore, Cecil Hetherington and Anthony Kieran of Aurient Investment, and Paul Demarco of Marco’s Leisure and World of Football.

A former Start-up of the Week, Pitchbooking has developed a platform that provides greater access to sports facilities to the public while streamlining the facility owner’s internal processes.

Located on Belfast’s Lisburn Road, the Pitchbooking team aims to become the “Airbnb of sports facility booking”.

The start-up launched in 2018 with Oxford City Council as its first major customer. The following year, it secured £250,000 in its first funding round.

Pitchbooking currently has 15 council customers and works with hundreds of independent venues. The company is partnered with more than 1,200 facilities across the UK and Ireland including councils, schools, amateur sports clubs and leisure centres.

It also runs programmes for the Irish Football Association through a partnership with the association and event sponsors.

Pitchbooking CEO and co-founder Shea O’Hagan said a surge in growth has recently kicked off for the company.

“In the last six months we’ve signed up more customers than in the previous three years,” O’Hagan said. “They’re starting to wake up to a modern approach to managing their facilities.”

O’Hagan added that the new funding will be used to grow the business to reach as many facilities and events as possible. The financing will help develop Pitchbooking’s facility and event booking software.

Pitchbooking also aims to hire more salespeople, developers and customer success staff.

“We’ve already got a lot of partners across the UK, but we want to grow the team to expand further,” O’Hagan said. “We hope to double the team size over the first year post-investment.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic