Business Wire

Hiro Capital Doubles Down on Digital Sports With its Latest Investment in PlayerData - Builds on Games & DSports Portfolio Acceleration

Share

Hiro Capital – the London / Luxembourg VC fund investing across Games, Esports, Streaming and Digital Sports – has further strengthened its portfolio by leading a $2.3m investment in PlayerData.

Edinburgh, UK-based PlayerData’s mission is to transform the way grass-roots and professional sports teams train, using software, analytics, gamification and wearable technology.

  • In its first year live, PlayerData has already captured more than 10,000 team sessions and >50 million meters of athlete play in UK grass-roots Soccer and Rugby, and these KPIs are strongly accelerating.
  • The $2.3m raise will be used to supercharge PlayerData’s growth across multiple sports and to expand internationally.

PlayerData combines frictionless ease-of-use with sports-science Machine Learning.

  • PlayerData drives powerful team network effects, with each club using PlayerData bringing 5 more clubs onto the platform.
  • PlayerData’s AI algorithms predict player injuries before they happen and its tools allow coaches to replay key moments from the game, modelling different outcomes based on player positioning.

This announcement marks Hiro Capital’s 12th investment in 2020/21 and its 4th in Gamified Fitness and Sports tech. PlayerData joins fellow Digital Sports startups FitXR (London), Zwift (California/London) and NURVV (London) in the Hiro Capital portfolio, alongside eight Games studios and Games technology firms across the US, Europe and the UK.

The rise of Digital Sports and Connected Fitness

Digital Sports and Connected Fitness are star growth sectors of 2020/21. Global Connected Fitness revenues grew 30% in 2020 and Health and Fitness app downloads grew +47% YoY to c.700m, accelerated by a global focus on health and wellbeing during lockdowns.

Unicorn scale stars of the sector include Peloton, Tonal, Mirror and Hiro’s portfolio investment, Zwift, as well as major strategic Sports and Wellness segments within Apple (Watch 6 and Fitness+), Google (Fitbit), Nike (Nike App), and others. In Digital Sports, alongside Zwift, Hiro’s lead investments powered ahead:

FitXR: The leading VR Fitness App & Service

  • FitXR has made extraordinary progress since Hiro invested, with revenues up 10x over the last 2 quarters and now >$1m per month;
  • Described by Oculus VP Content Mike Verdu as having “incredible traction” and “one of the highest retention rates on the [Oculus VR] platform”*, and name-checked by Mark Zuckerberg** on his recent “The Information” podcast on VR/AR and the Metaverse.

*”From Bear to Bull: How Oculus Quest 2 is Changing the Game for VR”, Mike Verdu, VP Content, Oculus 2nd Feb 2020

**Mark Zuckerberg on Mind Reading, Apple, and the Race to Mainstream VR, March 8th 2021

NURVV: Patented Smart Running insole and Biomechanical Data Leader

  • Since launch in mid-2020, NURVV Run has generated data on >100 million foot-strikes from >125,000km run by athletes around the world, building what is already the world’s largest database of detailed running foot technique;
  • Olympic gold-medallist and world-record holder Dame Kelly Holmes has joined NURVV as global brand ambassador; USA Olympian Jared Ward, UK elite coach Harry Jameson, the Financial Times, WIRED, Runner’s World and CNET have all recommended NURVV;
  • With iOS, Android, Garmin ConnectIQ, Strava and Apple Watch integrations live, the company is leading running innovation with unique features such as Pace Coach, Footstrike Workout and Running Health score.
  • "Knowledge really is power and in this respect NURVV Run is a game changer" said Dame Kelly Holmes.

PlayerData: AI Driven Team Performance

Roy Hotrabhvanon, cofounder & CEO of PlayerData, is a former international archer who narrowly missed out on selection for the Rio Olympics in 2016 for the Thailand national team. Hayden Ball, cofounder and CTO is a CompSci expert in firmware and cloud infrastructure who designed, built, and launched a distributed SaaS solution for the Edinburgh Fringe.

On the Hiro investment, Roy said - “Our mission is to bring fine grained data and insight to clubs across team sports, helping them supercharge their game-making, improve player performance, and avoid injury. We leverage our platform and big data to generate biometric insights applicable at any level - from grassroots to the Premier League. Due to the team network effect, the PlayerData community is fast-growing across the U.K. and overseas. Our ultimate goal is to implement cutting-edge insights from pioneering wearables that are applicable to any team in any discipline at any level. Hiro Capital as an investment partner, shares this commitment to our mission. It’s great to have Cherry, Luke and Ian’s belief, counsel and expertise to help us further our vision.

Cherry Freeman, co-founding Partner at Hiro says: “PlayerData ticks all of our key boxes: a huge TAM with over 3m grass-roots clubs; a deep moat built on shared player data, machine learning and highly actionable predictive algorithms; compelling customer network effects; and a really impressive yet humble founding team. We are delighted to be leading this investment round in this exciting DSports innovator

Luke Alvarez, Managing Partner at Hiro says: “In a year when lockdown accelerated digital adoption and kept us all out of the gym, companies like Nurvv, FitXR, Zwift and Peloton helped people stay fit, healthy, and biomechanically self-aware. 2020 super-charged connected fitness and PlayerData is our latest exciting investment in this accelerating macro trend.”

Asset Folder Here

About Hiro Capital

Hiro Capital is a London / Luxembourg technology Venture Capital fund which invests in UK, US and European innovators in Games, Metaverse Technology, Esports and Digital Fitness. Hiro Capital generally invests at the post-seed Series A and B stages. We invest both in front-end Content creators in Games, Esports and Digital Sports and in deep tech Metaverse applications of Cloud, Mobile, Streaming, Big Data, AI, Wearables, AR and VR technologies.

We back experienced entrepreneurial teams, building innovative technologies and content with a strongly differentiated proposition and with the scaling opportunity to become very large.

We are Games, Esports and Sports investors who are also Games, Esports and Sports entrepreneurs. We are entrepreneurs who back entrepreneurs. Our core belief is that Games, Esports and Digital Sports will be a central pillar of Entertainment, Economic and Social Life in the mid 21st century. We invest in the innovators who are building that future.

The fund was founded by Luke Alvarez (Managing Partner) the former co-founding CEO & President of Nasdaq-listed, Inspired Entertainment; Ian Livingstone, OBE, CBE (Partner), the former chairman of Tomb Raider publisher Eidos plc, co-founder of Games Workshop and author of the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series; and Cherry Freeman (Partner), the co-founder of global community and e-commerce brand LoveCrafts. https://hiro.capital/

Contact information

Aimee Soulsby
aimee@burlington.cc
+447951080547

About Business Wire

Business Wire
Business Wire



Subscribe to releases from Business Wire

Subscribe to all the latest releases from Business Wire by registering your e-mail address below. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Latest releases from Business Wire

Former Flex Executive Paul Humphries Joins Westfall Technik’s Board of Directors19.4.2021 03:19:00 CEST | Press release

Westfall Technik Inc. has added industry veteran Paul Humphries to its board of directors. Humphries worked with Westfall CEO Brian Jones and COO Mark Gomulka while at NASDAQ-listed Flex Ltd. (formerly Flextronics), and he has three decades of experience leading outsourced manufacturing services businesses. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210418005057/en/ Paul Humphries, a former long-time, senior Flex executive, brings a wealth of experience to Westfall's board. He has spent years in the medical industry building global, high-reliability businesses. (Photo: Business Wire) Until his retirement in November 2020, Humphries spent two decades at Flex, the 160,000-employee, Singapore-based, multinational electronics contract manufacturer. In his most recent role at Flex, Humphries served as president for its High Reliability Solutions (HRS) unit, which generated $11 billion in annual revenue and served the medical,

NielsenIQ and J.D. Power Enter Strategic Alliance to Bring Unparalleled Automotive Research to Major Growth Markets19.4.2021 03:00:00 CEST | Press release

NielsenIQ, an industry leader in global measurement, and J.D. Power, a global leader in data analytics and consumer intelligence, today announced their intent to launch a multinational strategic alliance to bring benchmark automotive customer experience studies and deep auto industry data analysis to major growth markets such as India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210418005017/en/ Drawing on the strong market presence of NielsenIQ and the deep industry expertise of J.D. Power, the alliance will feature J.D. Power benchmark automotive studies, recognized as the gold standard in the automotive industry, complemented by NielsenIQ’s new digital and technology-based platforms and value-added services like social listening analysis. Combining NielsenIQ and J.D. Power capabilities will allow automotive sector clients to strategize for the future based on data-driven tools and in

Leading European Football Clubs Announce Participation in New Super League Competition19.4.2021 00:22:00 CEST | Press release

Twelve of Europe’s leading football clubs have today come together to announce they have agreed to establish a new mid-week competition, the Super League, governed by its Founding Clubs. AC Milan, Arsenal FC, Atlético de Madrid, Chelsea FC, FC Barcelona, FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid CF and Tottenham Hotspur have all joined as Founding Clubs. It is anticipated that a further three clubs will join ahead of the inaugural season, which is intended to commence as soon as practicable. Going forward, the Founding Clubs look forward to holding discussions with UEFA and FIFA to work together in partnership to deliver the best outcomes for the new League and for football as a whole. The formation of the Super League comes at a time when the global pandemic has accelerated the instability in the existing European football economic model. Further, for a number of years, the Founding Clubs have had the objective of improving th

Advanced Eye Protection Against Covid-19 For Healthcare Professionals – an Exclusive Bollé Safety Technology16.4.2021 22:00:00 CEST | Press release

Bollé Safety, world leader in the design and manufacture of protective eyewear, presents its Healthcare division dedicated to all healthcare professionals. Its range of protective eyewear with anti-fog and anti-scratch PLATINUM® coating provides highly exposed employees with the highest levels of protection, clarity, and vision. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210416005009/en/ @BolléSafety - A.Childeric Viruses & infections’ protection Bollé Safety offers certified products compliant with the most stringent international standards. Its anti-fog PPE product range is tailored to protect professionals who are at high risk of being exposed to bodily fluids when providing care to patients. It is the company’s shared commitment to provide the highest quality protection for all healthcare workers. The importance of a clear vision Bollé Safety’s unique and exclusive permanent double sided anti-fog and anti-scratch PLA

Zeepay Ghana Acquires Mangwee Mobile Money in Zambia16.4.2021 19:55:00 CEST | Press release

Zeepay, the leading African Challenger Fintech with operations in over 10 African countries today acquired a 51 percent stake in Mangwee Mobile Money in Zambia. In a private placement Zeepay and Mangwee agreed to a sale of 51 percent of Mangwee shares to Zeepay. The deal makes Zeepay Ghana the majority shareholder of the entity. Mangwee has been in operations since 2018, and was initially set up to operate as an alternative wallet targeting university students in Zambia with the aim of assisting to drive the cost of mobile money services downward. Zeepay is the leading African challenger fintech with operations across 20 African countries and 30 day active in 10 of them. The company specializes in paying remittances into mobile money wallets across Africa and is regulated by both Bank of Ghana as an EMI issuer and in the UK as a Money Transfer Operator, by the Financial Conduct Authority. The merger is the first of its kind; that two Indigenous African fintechs into Mobile Money operat

CGTN: Leading With Action: China in the Fight for Carbon-Neutral Future16.4.2021 18:29:00 CEST | Press release

Climate change is not taking a break from wreaking havoc in 2020, with the joint highest global temperatures on record, rampant bushfires, the faster rates of sea level rise and the extinction of some species. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210416005435/en/ Under this circumstance, Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a virtual meeting Friday on climate change, ahead of the Leaders' Climate Summit on Earth Day convened by the U.S., scheduled next week. Emphasizing that he always advocates building a community with a shared future for mankind, the Chinese president voiced his willingness to strengthen cooperation with France and Germany on climate change. "Tackling climate change is a common cause for all mankind and it should not become a geopolitical bargaining chip, a target for attacking other countries, or an excuse for trade barriers," h

Colicity Inc. Announces the Separate Trading of its Class A Common Stock and Warrants, Commencing on or about April 16, 202116.4.2021 15:30:00 CEST | Press release

Colicity Inc. (the “Company”) announced that holders of the units sold in the Company’s initial public offering of 34,500,000 units, including the underwriters’ exercise of their full over-allotment option for 4,500,000 units, completed on February 26, 2021 (the “Offering”) may elect to separately trade the Class A common stock and warrants included in the units commencing on or about April 16, 2021. Any Units not separated will continue to trade on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “COLIU,” and the Class A common stock and warrants will separately trade on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbols “COLI” and “COLIW,” respectively. No fractional warrants will be issued upon separation of the units and only whole warrants will trade. Holders of units will need to have their brokers contact Continental Stock Transfer & Trust Company, the Company’s transfer agent, in order to separate the units into Class A common stock and warrants. This press release shall not constitute an o

In our pressroom you can read all our latest releases, find our press contacts, images, documents and other relevant information about us.

Visit our pressroom