Pitchbooking: Belfast tech firm secures £500,000 funding for NI sports booking site

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A Belfast tech company has secured £500,000 in funding to boost its online sports booking service.

itchbooking, a 2018 start-up led by friends Shea O’Hagan, Fearghal Campbell and Chris McCann, is a platform that enables instant, online booking of sports facilities.

It allows users to book everything from football pitches to venues for over 25 different sports.

Mr O’Hagan said: “We already have many partners across the UK, but we want to grow the team to grow further.”

He said new jobs will be created in the company, doubling the team in the first year following the investment.

“We need to hire more vendors, additional developers, and expand our customer success team,” O’Hagan said.

The new funding will support this growth.

Mr Campbell said: “Our aim was to enable members of the public to search, book and pay for facilities – football, tennis, rugby, cricket – in less than 60 seconds.”

The company has 15 municipal customers and works with hundreds of independent locations.

The company also runs programs for the Irish Football Association through a partnership with the IFA and its event sponsors.

Although the public is the end user of Pitchbooking, its primary customers are sports facility managers who sign up on a subscription basis.

“Our customers range from very large facilities, over 400, to very small, unique community facilities that need a better way to manage their reservation processes.” said Mr. McCann.

“We now have two excellent products; facility and event booking software. The idea is to use this funding to accelerate the growth of these products and get them into the hands of more people.

In addition to online booking, users can also access an analytics dashboard that allows them to view booking data, cancel and refund customers, and set custom prices and availability.

The investment was made by Vertex Albion Capital, a Silicon Valley-based company backed by Aurient Investment Ltd, Co-Fund NI, Marco’s Leisure and World of Football and professional footballer Taylor Moore.

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