Level Up ๐Ÿ€ Basketball

AI-Coach for Basketball: Powered by Community, Gamification and GPT

Last Funded November 2023

$55,590

raised from 19 investors

Highlights

1
Eugene (founder, CEO) is the 3rd time founder, ex-MAPS.ME: 150M users, ex-LITRES.com: $100M ARR.
2
Strong Team: 7 people with a passion for sports and apps are working hard to build the #1 app.
3
Solid Traction: 120k players, $40k ARR, 3k coaches, 1000+ paying customers, 30% MoM.
4
Huge Market: 2.2B basketball fans, 0.5B players, $30B market (TAM)

Featured Investor

Our Founder

Founders have been playing basketball since childhood. In 2019, they sought to create a global basketball community, but one did not exist despite basketball being the second most popular team sport in the world with 450 million players. Thus, they decided to use their experience to address this issue.

AI-Powered Community-driven App for Basketball Training and Playing ๐Ÿ€

Our Story โ›น๏ธ

In 1994, my best friend Anton and I embarked on a passionate journey of basketball - entirely self-taught through watching NBA games with no internet at our disposal. Michael Jordan became our idol and we played every day like there was no tomorrow. Basketball quickly grew to become one of the cornerstones in both of our lives!

In 2000 Eugene started as a web developer (PHP+MySQL), and Anton continued playing basketball in college and built his first website for the basketball community. Later, Anton founded the biggest amateur basketball league in the EU with over 44k players (2200 teams).

In 2019 Anton came to Eugene with an idea to create an app for basketball. Eugene was sure that someone had already created something like Strava for runners. But we couldnโ€™t find anything like that for basketball.

We were surprised as:

  • ๐Ÿƒ runners have the Strava app (73M installs, $152M raised)
  • ๐Ÿฅพ hikers have the AllTrails app (20M installs, $228M raised)
  • ๐ŸŽฃ even fishermen have the FishBrain app (12M installs, $59M raised)

Eugene said:

โ€œWell, it looks like Strava for basketball has not existed yet.โ€

And we decided to create it ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ€

The Vision for AI-coach future (AI + AR) ๐Ÿ”ฎ

Our product combines community, gamification, and technology. We are developing the smartest AI coach for basketball training by leveraging the latest technologies. This will enable everyone, everywhere, to access quality basketball training all year long, at the cost of a single personal session with a human coach.

How it works โš™๏ธ

We are developing an intelligent basketball coach powered by several technologies:

Computer Vision AI (launching):

  • Weโ€™re using biomechanics analysis from a smartphone camera to verify the training process accuracy

Data from wearable devices (launching in 2023):

  • This is an additional data layer, that will enrich our smart coach with more valuable data

AR Glasses Support (Nreal Air AR Glasses or similar, plan for 2024):

  • Video instruction will be just in front of the player, no need to go back to the phone to look at how to perform the drill.

OpenAI (GPT, integrated in February 2023):

  • LLM helps to deliver the personalized experience of communication with a virtual coach.

Text-2-Speech:

  • Virtual coach recommendations will be spoken aloud and displayed visually (for AR glasses) using a text-to-speech engine (and later with a text-to-video engine).

Team ๐ŸŒฑ

In 2004 Eugene started his career in international companies as CMO/CEO, building apps for millions of users worldwide. His most notable achievements are:

  • LITRES.com โ€“ the biggest e-books store in CIS: Eugene managed the growth from $300k ARR in 2011 to $15M ARR in 2015. Today it generates $100M ARR.
  • MAPS.ME - the world's biggest mobile map for travelers with over 150M users: Eugene managed the growth from 30M to 150M users and from $0 to $3M ARR.

Antonโ€™s basketball experience and Eugeneโ€™s global apps experience are the best combinations for a global basketball app.

Eugene has personal recommendations from the top managers of WeWork, Microsoft, and Booking.com.

Watch Eugene's interview with Booking.com: 

Market ๐ŸŒŽ

Basketball is one of the planet's top team sports; it boasts an extensive international network with 450 million players, 2.2 billion fans, and two million coaches! The training industry has also experienced significant growth - whether you opt for a group session or individual tuition, the average cost hovers around $20-$80 per hour respectively.

Why basketball is so popular?

Basketball has become extremely popular over the years due to its accessibility and simplicity. It is a relatively easy game to pick up, and there are numerous ways in which it can be played. Additionally, basketball requires minimal equipment, so it can be played virtually anywhere. As a result, it's easy for people to get involved with the sport at any level.

AI-coach is a $30B market, 500M players around the globe.

Basketball players are investing an average of $1400 annually to ensure their skills stay at top-notch levels, with about 30% having a regular coach for guidance. That amounts to over 135 million active athletes striving for excellence in the sport every year!

The global basketball training market is a booming sector, valued at over an impressive $200 billion. As the size of this industry continues to grow significantly each year, it's clear that worldwide interest in honing skills for one of Americaโ€™s most beloved sports isn't slowing down any time soon.

With traditional basketball training limited to local markets, online coaching offers a massive opportunity for coaches around the world. Through innovative tools and techniques, they can now provide professional instruction regardless of location or distance.

Problem ๐Ÿ˜ข

We faced many problems while talking to hundreds of players and coaches.

70% of US basketball fans can't afford $1,500/year for training ๐Ÿคท

We discovered that apps/websites focused on generating leads for coaches are not delivering enough leads for them. The reason is simple: there is nothing to do in the app for players, so they do not stick to the app and leave.

We deliver value for both players and coaches. Players can access a catalog of 400+ high-quality educational videos, a supportive community, and awesome train2earn gamification.

Coaches can use the platform to create a personalized schedule for players. They don't need to show the player how to perform the drill: we have all drills on board. So the coach can work with several players simultaneously, coaching them remotely while sitting at home or walking.

Solution ๐Ÿฅณ

We call it "Strava" for basketball. Powered by AI-coach based on GPT (OpenAI).

AI-powered ๐Ÿค– mobile App for Basketball Training for $59/year ๐Ÿคณ


Why Now? โฑ๏ธ

We started app development in July 2020, expecting that COVID times will pass away and we'll start to grow in recovering market. And we were right! Team sports are recovering fast (according to web stats on Similar Web for the most popular media website in the US for team sports). 

Basketball is Growing Globally - 6% CAGR and has Wide Media Coverage

Basketball has been on the rise in recent years, even through and beyond COVID-19. The sport has seen a surge of media interest over the past five years which is set to carry it into an exciting post-crisis recovery period for fans worldwide.

Here is a list of some popular movies and series about basketball released in the last 5 years:

Movies: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Bleed for This (2016), One Night in Miami (2020), Hustle (2020), Basketball or Nothing (2019), Uncle Drew (2018).

Series: The Court is Ours (2021), The Last Dance (2020) , College Hoops Confidential (2018-2019), Ballers (2015-2019), Swoosh! Inside the NBA on TNT (2016 - present).

Business Model ๐Ÿ’ฐ

We launched in November 2021, learned a lot, talked to over 700 coaches and players, and found the right way to build the product.

Freemium for players and coaches

How do we make money? ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Our core business model - is freemium. We have 2 types of subscriptions: 

  • โ›น๏ธ player subscription (b2c): $9.99/month or $59.9/year (unlocks full access to 300+ premium educational videos and other premium features)
  • ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿ’ผ coach subscription (b2b): $19.99/month or $119.9/year (unlocks full access to team & club management features and listing in a catalog of coaches)
  • ๐Ÿค small payment processing fee (for online coaching sessions with a coach)

The freemium model gives us flexibility and balance in terms of user base growth, retention, and monetization.

It means that ~90% of users can use the app for free, and 10% of the most active users will pay. The freemium model helps us to keep a balance between audience growth and monetization.

Traction โšก๏ธ

We have almost 120k app installs and over 3k coaches in the database. The user base grew up 10x times in 6 months. The number of premium subscriptions grew up 11x times.

Go-To-Market Strategy ๐Ÿ’จ

Our go-to-market strategy is simple: we're building a beautiful and engaging app that boosts our organic and viral growth.

Our app has seen remarkable success with organic installs (70% of all new installs are organic), thanks to the wonderful word-of-mouth our users generate - showing that a great product really is worth sharing.

Competition ๐Ÿคผโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Many single-purpose basketball-related apps failed due to COVID-19 and problems with user retention. It's hard to keep users engaged in the app with a single feature.

HomeCourt is a good app, but the founders made a decision to focus on the Chinese AR home entertainment market, which is definitely bigger than the basketball training market.

Coach Up also experiencing difficulties with user retention in the app. The reason is simple: there's nothing to do for them in the app, except looking for a coach. Single-purpose apps are all struggling for user retention.

Product Roadmap - 2023 ๐Ÿš€

Our long-term vision: Global Super App for Basketball with all-in-one features for basketball fans, players, and coaches.

Retention:

  • NBA news & stats: we're posting daily NBA stats in our news feed
  • Games betting: app users can bet on NBA games using Level Up coins

Social Features:

We have a data-driven cohort-based business model till 2027. Revenue assumptions don't include other revenue sources; we'll add them later. Right now, our projections include the following:

This slide contains forward projections that cannot be guaranteed.

Invest in a brighter future for basketball. Join us and become part of our incredible journey! Together, we will go far - let's come together to make this dream a reality! 

๐Ÿ† ๐Ÿ€ ๐Ÿ––


Overview