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Street FC makes joining a pickup soccer game as easy as booking a gym class

Aiming to become the world's biggest soccer club, Street FC facilitates pickup games for anyone who wants to join. All they need to do is book a spot like they would for a fitness class. No fixed teams, no fixed schedules. And no turf — operating in cities, Street FC is all about the hard surfaces. Spaces like parking lots, rooftops and basketball courts.

The concept uses a high-energy format that keeps games fast and fun. Participants play as many games as possible during a one-hour session, with a game ending either after four minutes or after one team scores three goals. Three teams play per session, each with four or five players depending on the court size. 

Street FC trains and employs game captains who host games, set up goals and bring balls and bibs. Schedules, bookings and waitlists are all managed through an app, which also creates a player card for every member. People either pay USD 10 a session as a guest or USD 35 per month for access to unlimited sessions. In New York, its most mature market, Street FC hosts around 20 games a week. It's also operational in Austin, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Minneapolis.

The NYC-based startup — whose cofounder Dennis Crowley also cofounded Foursquare and Dodgeball — is raising a USD 1.5 million seed round to grow the business and expand to new cities.

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Lots of people grow up playing organized sports, but once jobs and families are added to life's mix, showing up at a fixed time and place every week can become too much of a hassle. By using tech to remove all possible friction from organizing games, Street FC brings the convenience of a fitness class to soccer — the upsides of team sports without the downsides.

And it's not just about getting physical. Following the screen-dominated pandemic years, (most) people are eager to get out and meet others IRL. Playing pickup soccer without fixed teams is a low-stakes way to connect with a diverse range of people outside everyone's usual bubbles. One to expand to different sports and other spontaneously social activities?

Related: Using Reebok's AR tool, basketball courts can be mapped out anywhere

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Pablo Riquelme / Image by: Anna Curran