Rooter, a social gaming platform that connects sports fans, has been chosen as a finalist for the 2018 leAD Sports Accelerator programme, a Berlin-based sports entrepreneurship platform backed by the Adidas family, a company statement said.
Under the accelerator programme, leAD (Legacy of Adi Dassler) will provide sports startups—from the seed stage to fully-functioning profitable ventures—access to input sessions and opportunities for personal mentorship, strategic business networking, direct and follow-up investment, the statement added.
Rooter Sports Technologies Pvt. Ltd was founded in 2016 by sports enthusiasts Piyush Kumar (chief executive) and Soham Sinha (chief technology officer). However, Sinha left the firm April 2017 and is presently a product manager at jobs search firm Indeed in Tokyo, Japan, his LinkedIn profile shows. Presently, Akshat Goel, a former engineering lead at Get My Parking, is Rooter’s CTO.
Prior to setting up Rooter, Kumar led the marketing division for Swiss luxury watch company Rado in India, while Sinha held stints in the product division at blue collar jobs listing company Babajob.com and LetsIntern.com.
The mobile-based platform connects fans to one another during live sports matches and chat forums, pre-match quizzes, live match prediction games and post-match discussions. The startup offers these services for sports such as football, hockey, tennis, basketball, kabaddi, badminton and Formula 1.
Fans create their Rooter profile with teams/players they support and obtain a score based on their social media engagement.
In October 2016, Rooter received an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Indian film personality Boman Irani. Dhruv Chitgopekar, partner at Kwan Entertainment, and Prantik Dasgupta, a corporate professional and avid sports enthusiast, had also put in money in the round.
Mobile handset maker Intex Technologies had also invested in the New Delhi-based startup.
“Ever since we launched Rooter, we have been working towards one end-goal: to redefine the global sports fans engagement landscape through technology. To be recognised by an initiative as prestigious as the leAD Sports Accelerator programme provides a major shot in the arm to that vision and validates our business approach,” co-founder Kumar said.
Rooter was selected as a finalist from among 400 startups globally, including 59 from India. The startup will join other finalists of the programme in Berlin between September and December 2018.