Spanish soccer giants Barcelona are looking to raise €100 million (US$112 million) to launch their own investment fund, according to Spanish business outlet Palco23. According to the website, the La Liga champions have been exploring the project for two years with the aim of creating a new base for new technologies.
The report also states that Barcelona is apparently not willing to contribute capital to the initiative, and would instead provide the knowledge and expertise of their staff to assess which startups have the potential to succeed in the market by testing them at the highest level.
Among the things yet to be decided regarding the new entity are where it will be located and who will be charged with leading the investment vehicle. Palco23 says that Barcelona wants it to operate as an independent subsidiary. Should Barcelona successfully launch their own startup fund, they would be the latest sports organisation to set up an entity focused on investing in new technologies.
Premier League club Manchester City’s owner City Football Group (CFG) was named as the anchor investor in Sapphire Sport, a new US$115 million sports venture capital fund launched by Sapphire Ventures. Last year the National Basketball Association (NBA) partnered with Intel Capital to identify technologies from companies.
Recently Barcelona has revealed that the Nou Camp will become the first European soccer stadium to be equipped with a dedicated 5G network. The 5G Stadium-Immersive Reality project, which was revealed at the Mobile World Congress, is part of a collaboration between the top-flight club and Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica.
The Spanish side have also been upping their commitment to technology in preparation for their €600 million Espai Barca project, which will lead to a transformation of their iconic Nou Camp home.