Football, Technology & Business

A HAVEN FOR A BANGLADESHI FOOTBALL LOVER

Rafiul Sabbir is a Bangladeshi-born computer engineer and an ardent football lover. Unlike most of his fellow citizens, he could mélange his professional aptitude along with his lifelong passion.

Sabbir, the 28-year-old Barcelona Football Club’s fan, received the Erasmus Mundas Scholarship and completed his studies in Europe. His expertise was clouding and data engineering. Currently, he is working as a data engineer in the growth team of Onefootball, a Berlin-based mobile football application.

Sabbir is not only the first Bangladeshi but also the first South Asian employee in the company. He is also the first data engineer of One football. Sabbir is currently working to develop a data warehouse for the company and provide data to different departments of the organization.

Back in April 2014, Onefootball moved from their office in Berlin Mitte to the Fabrik complex on Greifswalder Strasse in Prenzlauer Berg, which was also home to Swedish audio distribution platform Soundcloud until mid-2014.

The 4,000 sqm storied office is a football Island. It has an artificial turf, side-bench, and gallery-like sitting arrangements. The meeting rooms are named after famous stadiums like Wembley, Nou Camp, Olympic Stadium, Anfield, Santiago Bernabéu etc. In addition, the office kitchen, which is the most beautiful place in the bureau, is called La Bombonera, the moniker of Argentina’s Boca Juniors’ stadium. Currently, there are more than 150 employees in eight departments (news, scores, platform, growth, operation, sales, newsroom and marketing). There are also two offices in Brazil and Mexico, where 25 people are working.

Onefootball provides users with news, live scores, fixtures, results, tables, and stats for over 140 leagues and in 16 languages worldwide. Founder and CEO Lucas von Cranach started Onefootball as a text-based service in 2008, and shortly thereafter Onefootball became one of the first sports apps available on Apple’s App Store. As of February 2015, the app has amassed a total of over 20 million downloads worldwide and is available on iOS, Android, Windows and the web.

One football was founded as motion GmbH by Lucas von Cranach in March 2008 in Bochum, Germany. It moved to Berlin in 2010. The app originally started as a text-based service that pushed scores and results to a user’s mobile phones, but shortly thereafter became a purpose-built mobile application. Until April 2014, the app was known as iLiga within Germany and THE Football App to the rest of the world. According to interviews, the company renamed its app to Onefootball in order to have a globally comprehensible name and to better reflect the fact that most football fans have one favorite club team and one national team.

Onefootball has developed a number of partnerships over the past several years. In 2012, they created an app for the Euro 2012 app in cooperation with Carlsberg, which was referred to as “the most successful branded app ever.” For the 2014 World Cup, Onefootball collaborated with Volkswagen to create Onefootball Brasil.

Onefootball announced in March 2015 that they had developed a version of the app for Apple Watch. They were also featured in the Apple Spring Forward Event on March 9, 2015.

Later that same month, Onefootball released Tackl, an extension app on Facebook Messenger that allows users to combine football match events with photos and send them to friends via Messenger.

In April 2013, Onefootball received €10 million Series A funding from Earlybird. Six months later, in October 2013, they received a further €5 million from Union Square Ventures. Lakestar invested an undisclosed sum in the company in 2014.

Recently, Onefootball completed a deal with sports giant Adidas for an undisclosed sum. According to that deal, any football event of Adidas will be featured in One football.
The company has shown how the modern technology can be used to harness the passion for football. It is a fantastic example of entrepreneurship and futuristic vision that shows how football, business, and technology can be juxtaposed for a greater cause.

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Soniya Santa

Soniya Santa is a teacher by profession. She loves kids, poetry, and nature. Her passion is reading and she is a voracious reader of all sorts of literature. She envisages, one day there will be not a single child in hunger.