Golden Gate Ventures | Venture Capital for Southeast Asia

RedMart alumni raise seed funding for their sports app

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Sometimes it can be tough to find people to play your favorite sports with. Perhaps you want to give yourself a fresh challenge by facing different opponents. Or you might be a complete beginner, and need buddies who are at the same skill level as you.

Singapore-based Rovo is trying to make the process simpler with its niche social network aimed at casual, amateur, and semi-competitive sports players. The startup recently raised US$473,000 in a seed round led by East Ventures, with Golden Gate Ventures also participating.

Rovo has also just acquired FootySG, an app that helps soccer players to locate and book football courts in Singapore and Malaysia.

Photo credit: Azlan DuPree

As a result of the acquisition, Rovo will integrate FootySG’s tech and client base. This means that users of its social network will soon be able to book playing venues through Rovo’s platform, while the startup itself will have the opportunity to work directly with those venues to help them increase traffic.

Ritesh Angural, Rovo’s co-founder and CEO, noted how “extremely impressed” he was with FootySG founder Mellavin Mar. Despite limited resources, said Angural, FootySG has “not only built great technology to enable sports venues but also partnered with some of the biggest venues in Singapore and Malaysia.”

Rovo was founded a year ago by former RedMart employees Angural, James Dam, Danny Limanseta, and Joshua Newman. The four colleagues hit upon the idea as a result of their own unsatisfactory experiences trying to set up tennis games through online forums and social media groups.

Rovo, which allows users to create a personal profile and discover fellow players and coaches in their vicinity, has since expanded beyond tennis. It now caters to enthusiasts of badminton, basketball, cricket, soccer, squash, table tennis, and volleyball. It’s free to download and is available throughout Southeast Asia as well as India.

At time of writing, Rovo was the eighth most-downloaded iOS app in the “Sports” category in the Philippines, according to Applyzer. It’s at 27th place in the Singapore charts, 109th in Malaysia, 116th in Indonesia, and 390th in India.