Crowdfunding platform Tifosy aims to create sports finance revolution
Tifosy, a sports crowdfunding platform co-founded by Gianluca Vialli, the Italian former international soccer player and manager, launched today with the aim of creating a “sports finance revolution” by enabling fans to invest in their clubs.
Tifosy said that it will give supporters the chance to buy shares in their favourite clubs or invest in club mini-bonds, providing them with cash interest or club credit.
Tifosy already works with over 15 clubs in England and Italy, running rewards-based campaigns to fund training ground and stadium improvements and similar projects. Its new venture aims to give fans greater involvement in their clubs and a return on their investment, while the clubs get access to untapped capital.
Tifosy pointed out that 30 of the world’s leading clubs, together, have more than 1 billion social followers, with some clubs able to count more than 1,000 times their stadium capacity in online supporter numbers.
Tifosy said that it is creating “a new asset class: investment in professional sports clubs for ordinary fans. Its platform is regulated through the Financial Conduct Authority, giving supporters a simple way to invest through a transparent, easy-to-use platform. For the first time, it is connecting two fast-growing industries, the $150bn global sports market and its 4bn fan base, with the $432bn global crowdfunding market.
“Last month, Tifosy completed English football’s first mini-bond, raising £600,000 [$789,000] in just six weeks for EFL League Two club Stevenage FC to build a new North Stand. Two hundred and forty fans invested between £500 and £25,000, choosing either 4 per cent cash interest or 8 per cent club credit interest per annum and receiving unique club-related privileges.”
This week Tifosy is launching its own £1-million equity raise, issuing 4,000 shares in the company, which has a pre-money valuation of £9.2 million. For a minimum £1,000, investors can buy into the company, which was co-founded by Vialli (pictured) and its chief executive Fausto Zanetton, a former investment banker who spent more than 15 years as a sports, media and technology specialist at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
Zanetton said: “Fans are the greatest asset of any club and our mission is to enable everyone to invest in the clubs they believe in, in a fair and transparent manner. Whilst there is an incredible passion and willingness to invest in sports, there is currently no way to do so for the average fan or investor.
“Fanfunding transforms the way fans can interact with their clubs. You no longer need to be a billionaire to invest in professional sports clubs. We are unleashing the passion of fans and these billions of global fans represent an enormous and untapped investor base.”