COVID-19: How 6 tech startups survived without the Future Fund

Soccer startup Flair revamped its entire business model to stay alive

Nii Cleland CEO of Flair Football

Nii Cleland, cofounder and CEO of Flair

Flair Football


Since launching in September 2018, “Flair Football”, as it was previously known, had attracted more than 25,000 young soccer players to its app, where they could create profiles, keep track of match outcomes, and swap skills. 

But when Prime Minister Boris Johnson instituted a nationwide lockdown in March, outdoor sport was brought to a standstill – and Flair with it. 

“The pandemic caught everyone off guard to some extent, but because our app relied on kids playing outdoor sport, we were hit particularly hard,” cofounder and CEO Nii Cleland told Business Insider. 

With user numbers tanking and no end in sight, Cleland and the rest of Flair’s top team opted for a radical change in direction: shutting down the app and transforming the company from a sports platform to social

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