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2021 – A year of international action and growth

The last year was very busy and fast for MyGames.

After completing Tehnopol’s startup program and earning the legendary golden hockey stick, we continued our cooperation with Tehnopol from January this year by joining the growth program. We are very grateful for all the advice, contacts, events and comprehensive support, especially to our main mentors Ivar Siimar and Martin Goroško.

Tehnopol Startup Incubator

In the first half of the year we raised a six-digit amount from investors to develop the booking platform and increase the availability of the service, including for international markets. It was all under the coordination of lead investor Raigo Õunapuu. During the development and testing of the reservation system, we focused mainly on private and public courts, as well as smaller tennis centers and as a result of the investment, a sharing platform was completed, which allows renting a tennis court or any other racket court very quickly and easily.

At the beginning of 2021, due to the COVID-19 virus, all tennis centers in Estonia were closed again, which forced all tennis players to wait for the start of the outdoor season. At that time, in cooperation with the former Estonian best player and tennis coach Mait Künnap, we tried to give tips on home training opportunities and at the same time focused on product development.

Despite the closure of the tennis centers, we achieved decent growth numbers already at the beginning of the year, adding new centers and courts to the platform, which were awaiting opening in the spring. In March, the total volume of bookings registered on the platform reached 138,000 euros. The number of centers booked through MyGames increased by 25% in February and the number of courts as much as 138%. 

In April we opened the first automatic courts with the MyGames solution in 2021, and we were very pleased to acknowledge that our mission to make the lives of court owners and players really easy was confirmed. According to Egle Rumberg, the manager of the Uulu tennis court and the director of the local basic school, the use of the MyGames platform and automation exceeded all expectations. 

The MyGames team and network of closest partners grew to 20 people by mid-2021. 

At the beginning of the year, a co-operation project between MyGames and the students of the Estonian Academy of Arts majoring in industrial design was launched, which sought the best possible form and solution for the MyGames court automation device. As a result of the project supported by Enterprise Estonia, a sketch of the device was completed and we hope to reach series production soon.

MyGames court automation system

In the summer, as a pilot project, we opened the first fully solar-powered tennis court in Northern Europe, from which we can offer the experience and a similar solution to other owners today.

MyGames started testing the court sharing platform in the summer of 2020. During the almost one-year test period in the Estonian market, almost 10,000 reservations have been made to various courts through the MyGames platform, with a total value of almost 220,000 euros. However, our ambition has been global from the beginning, and in the fall of 2021 we began our first sales and marketing activities in international markets. 

In September we launched social media campaigns in the United States (Florida, Texas, California), Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg) and the United Kingdom (London). The aim was to test the reaction of different markets in a specific time frame and to make choices for 1-2 markets on which to focus.

By the end of the 8-week sales and campaign period, the first 15 courts in the United States had joined the platform, and 25 new court owner accounts had been created in other countries, with a total of more than 70 courts behind it.

As a result of the pilot project, we also signed a cooperation agreement with MiPaddle, a US startup, with which we focus on achieving growth in the US market. 

During the first full season, our automated demo court in Pärnu was also operating completely independently. A statistical summary at the end of the season shows that the solution of a self-service court creates real benefits for the owner, even if you, as the owner, do not make any effort to rent out the court. 

Mikk Irdoja and Mark Innes I MiPaddle

At the end of the year, MyGames was also awarded the title of “Startup of the Year” by the community of Pärnu’s co-operation center Forwardspace.

In 2022 we will continue to work for expansion in the US market and also concluding the first orders in Lithuania and the Czech Republic. In addition we are preparing for a new fundraiser in the spring of next year.