Fanatix Hits 500K Downloads, Launches Portuguese Version Of Its ‘Mobile-First’ Social Network For Sports Fans

In a quintessentially European move, fanatix, the iOS-based second screen app and wider ‘mobile-first’ social network for sports fans, has released a Portuguese-language version in partnership with Sportinveste Multimédia — a joint venture between Sportinveste and Portugal Telecom which owns the digital media rights to the Liga Portuguesa soccer league.

The deal also comes hot on the heels of the UK startup releasing some encouraging numbers: It’s hit the 500,000 download mark, up from 250,000 downloads as reported in late October last year.

A separate app from the main fanatix offering, the Portuguese language version carries Sportinveste Multimédia’s V-Sports branding (so, it’s essentially white labeled) and is designed primarily as a second screen experience for soccer fans whilst they watch live sports broadcasts on television. Built on the same platform as fanatix’s own branded app, features include a personalised stream of related content – news updates, Tweets, video clips, live scores and statistics — along with “huddles”, a form of group chat and content sharing dedicated to a specific sporting event, in this case a football match.

In addition to video highlights from Liga Portuguesa, the V-Sports app features clips from Brazil’s Brasileirão competition. Of note, the Portuguese and Brazilian soccer video highlights are being carried on the main fanatix English version app, too.

In a statement, Will Muirhead, fanatix Founder and Chief Executive, talks up the opportunity that the Portuguese-language market offers: “The market for Portuguese language mobile products is experiencing the fastest growth in its history and the opportunity to partner with Portugal’s leading digital sport player is the perfect way for fanatix to participate in that growth. Sportinveste Multimédia have been creating great digital sports products for many years and this partnership is a real vote of confidence in the fanatix platform.”

As for fanatix’s reported growth, it took 12 months since launch for the startup to reach 250,000 downloads, compared to 3 months to then double that figure. Some of that traction might be contributed to a slight change of focus. Originally pitched as a second screen experience-only, designed to become a habit during live sporting action, fanatix has repositioned somewhat to carry a lot more news content and evergreen features, making it an app that it hopes sports fans will want to check into daily. It seems to be working, too. Back in October the company told me that its average user is accessing the app an average of four times a day, so not just during live events.

In October, we reported that fanatix had raised a second round of funding: $1 million from an unnamed group of angel investors, bringing the total raised by the UK company to around $2 million, and coinciding with a launch in the U.S.

Meanwhile, fanatix’s competitors include both dedicated mobile social apps for sports fans, such as PlayUp, SportsYapper, SportStream, and more general second screen apps like Zeebox or GetGlue.