Creandum acquires a minority stake of Football Addicts, the Swedish self-funded startup behind Forza Football, says TechCrunch.

Football Addicts, the self-funded startup behind the football app with three million active users, announces that Creandum Ventures has acquired a minor stake of the company. The co-founder and CEO of Football Addicts, Patrik Arnesson, shares with TechCrunch that the company has so far avoided external investments and kept their goal clear while scanning through offers from VCs.

“When VCs tried to give us money we asked: ‘How would it help us democratize football and reach 200 million users?’

“We could probably get to around 20 million users by buying downloads. But getting to 200 million users — which is still only 1/5th of all football fans with smartphones — is not something you can simply buy your way into,” Arnesson explains to TechCrunch.

As being turned down, Creandum didn’t give up – and the Nordic VC joined in through a minor secondary investment opportunity.

Encouraging innovation

Forza Football has reached already over 7 million downloads – and the company says they have approximately 3 million active users per month which peaks during match day weekends to 1.3 million daily active users. Arnesson still explains to TechCrunch that the current application, which keeps football fans up-to-date with scores and football news across 420 leagues and tournaments globally, won’t be enough to get the company to where they want to be.

According to Arnesson only products can take Football Addicts where they aim, and the process requires creating an environment that encourages innovation within the company rather than millions of funding or hundreds of employees. To support creating new innovations, 40% of Football Addicts developers’ work time is allocated to new projects.

“We believe that we need to reinvent football to get there. Because of this all employees are spending every Thursday and Friday on devising new products. I can’t elaborate at this stage on what we are working on but, when launched, these innovations will prove something altogether different from what has gone before,” states Arnesson.