Arsenal sign Manchester & London start-ups to help improve fan experience

Part of the Arsenal Innovation Lab, the ten-week programme will see the North London football club work with, and mentor, six businesses in total

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Arsenal has made its first signings of the transfer window – in the form of three UK start-ups.

Part of the Arsenal Innovation Lab, the ten-week programme will see the North London football club work with, and mentor, businesses who will help identify “ground-breaking new fan experiences.”

Launched back in September 2017 with early-stage investor L Marks, the innovation lab received over 250 applications, with 22 of those businesses invited to pitch their ideas at a “Dragon’s Den” style event in November.

Six start-ups in total were then selected to move forward to the 10-week programme, of which three are UK-founded.

At the end of the programme, the club will assess whether to make further investment to finalise and progress the ideas.

The three UK start-ups that were selected were:

Peak: A data analytics company based in Manchester that will focus on helping Arsenal grow using data and artificial intelligence. Founded in 2014, it has grown rapidly and, in 2015, won Tech North’s Northern Stars competition as a ‘top tech startup in the UK’.

WoraPay: A mobile ordering and payment technology company. On the programme they will focus on helping Arsenal improve the matchday experience for supporters by allowing them to place orders, make payments and have their food and beverage delivered. Based in London, WoraPay’s tech is already being distributed to UK retailers by the Lloyds Banking Group and Mastercard.

I like that: A London-based start-up that offers a complete and on-demand retail experience where users can purchase directly from international media sites, including, without having to navigate to the club’s e-commerce store, It also provides a revenue stream for publisher websites.

Vinai Venkatesham, chief commercial officer at Arsenal, said:

“We are really looking forward to working with these six exciting startups over the next 10 weeks and hopefully beyond.

“Innovation has always been at the heart of the club since its formation in 1886.

“Our aim is to create better experiences for our supporters all around the world, from retail experiences to digital content.

“We are looking forward to taking this next step in the Arsenal Innovation Lab and developing these pioneering ideas to take the club forward.”

Stuart Marks, chairman of L Marks, said:

“We have selected six fantastic companies developing some truly innovative products, ranging from AI to smart payments and augmented reality.

“I’m very excited to see what each team will achieve working closely with Arsenal over the next ten weeks and what these developments will mean for the future of the sporting sector.”

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