Hiro Capital Doubles Down on Digital Sports With its Latest Investment in PlayerData - Builds on Games & DSports Portfolio Acceleration
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.”
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/
About Business Wire
For more than 50 years, Business Wire has been the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure.
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
LEO Pharma Presents Long-Term Safety and Efficacy Data for Tralokinumab in Adults With Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis at AAD VMX 202123.4.2021 17:05:00 EEST | Press release
LEO Pharma A/S, a global leader in medical dermatology, today announced results on the long-term safety and efficacy profile of tralokinumab in adult patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. Results were shared as an oral presentation during the American Academy of Dermatology Virtual Meeting Experience (AAD VMX) 2021. Tralokinumab is a high affinity, human monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to and inhibits the IL-13 cytokine, a key driver of atopic dermatitis signs and symptoms.2,3 It is an investigational therapy in clinical development, and its safety and efficacy are currently being evaluated by regulatory authorities. The interim analysis at 56 weeks in the ECZTEND trial (NCT03587805) showed tralokinumab 300 mg every other week plus optional topical corticosteroids (TCS) demonstrated long-term improvements in itch, sleep, and in atopic dermatitis signs and symptoms.1 Patients who had enrolled in pivotal Phase 3 trials ECZTRA 1 and 2 who continued into ECZTEND w
Merck Announces New Data Strengthening Evidence for Continued Safe and Effective MAVENCLAD® Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic23.4.2021 16:11:00 EEST | Press release
Not intended for UK and U.S. based media Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced a new analysis from the MAGNIFY-MS sub-study showing a specific immune repopulation pattern in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) treated with MAVENCLAD® (cladribine tablets), which may contribute to their ability to fight infections and develop protective antibodies from vaccines. The data were presented at the 2021 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting that was held virtually 17-22 April 2021. In the MAGNIFY-MS study, reduction of memory B cells occurred as early as one month after MAVENCLAD initiation with lowest levels sustained for up to 12 months, while naïve B cells, which are typically required for the generation of antibody responses following vaccination, began recovering immediately. Previously shared data from MAGNIFY-MS indicated that patients receiving MAVENCLAD are able to mount responses to influenza and varicella zoster vaccines, irrespec
Xsolla Offers Exit Strategies to Game Studios for Exit Advising and Planning23.4.2021 16:00:00 EEST | Press release
Xsolla, the video game commerce company powered by its Transaction Engine and Business Engine to help developers and publishers market, sell, connect and optimize their games globally, has announced Xsolla Exit Strategies. The new service will connect development studios with financial and transaction advisors, guiding them through the process of selling their game property or studio, from due diligence preparation to exiting. The unveil of Xsolla Exit Strategies comes full circle from Xsolla Funding Club, launched March 2019, which provides matchmaking between vetted game projects and qualified investors. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210423005013/en/ Let Xsolla Exit Strategies match you with a financial and transaction advisor to help meet your exit goals. (Graphic: Business Wire) The gaming industry continues to flourish as demand is high for strategic partnerships and acquisitions for both game companies
Wipro Achieves Google Cloud Partner Specialization in Application Development23.4.2021 15:33:00 EEST | Press release
Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, today announced that it has achieved the Google Cloud Partner Specialization in application development. This marks the fourth Partner Specialization badge that Wipro has received from Google Cloud, following recognition for outstanding cloud security, migration, and work transformation. This specialization demonstrates Wipro’s capabilities across multiple areas as a Google Cloud SI partner. As a trusted Google Cloud partner, Wipro can help customers leverage the best of Google Cloud platform as they develop and manage cloud-native business applications, enabling faster time to market, increasing scalability of applications and integrating them with external and internal systems in the IT landscape. This specialization will allow Wipro’s team of certified professionals to accelerate the customer modernization journey, increase agility and adapta
LEO Pharma Receives Positive CHMP Opinion of Adtralza® (tralokinumab) for the Treatment of Adults With Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis23.4.2021 14:59:00 EEST | Press release
LEO Pharma A/S, a global leader in medical dermatology, today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion and recommended granting a marketing authorization of Adtralza® (tralokinumab) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adult patients who are candidates for systemic therapy. The CHMP positive opinion is one of the final steps before the European Commission makes its decision on the Marketing Authorization Application for use of Adtralza, an investigational therapy in clinical development, throughout the European Union. This final decision is expected in the coming months and if authorized, Adtralza will be the first fully human, monoclonal antibody available to specifically target the IL-13 cytokine, a key driver of atopic dermatitis signs and symptoms. Adtralza specifically targets IL-13 with high affinity and is developed to improve the symptoms of atopic derma
Schlumberger Announces First-Quarter 2021 Results23.4.2021 13:50:00 EEST | Press release
Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB) today reported results for the first-quarter 2021. First-Quarter Results (Stated in millions, except per share amounts) Three Months Ended Change Mar. 31, 2021 Dec. 31, 2020 Mar. 31, 2020 Sequential Year-on-year Revenue* $5,223 $5,532 $7,455 -6% -30% Income (loss) before taxes - GAAP basis $386 $471 $(8,089) -18% n/m Net income (loss) - GAAP basis $299 $374 $(7,376) -20% n/m Diluted EPS (loss per share) - GAAP basis $0.21 $0.27 $(5.32) -22% n/m Adjusted EBITDA** $1,049 $1,112 $1,347 -6% -22% Adjusted EBITDA margin** 20.1% 20.1% 18.1% 0 bps 203 bps Pretax segment operating income** $664 $654 $776 1% -14% Pretax segment operating margin** 12.7% 11.8% 10.4% 88 bps 230 bps Net income, excluding charges & credits** $299 $309 $351 -3% -15% Diluted EPS, excluding charges & credits** $0.21 $0.22 $0.25 -5% -16% Revenue by Geography International $4,211 $4,343 $5,225 -3% -19% North America* 972 1,167 2,180 -17% -55% Other 40 22 50 n/m n/m $5,223 $5,532 $7,455 -6%
ANAORI kakugama: The New Cooking Tool Shaking Up the Culinary World23.4.2021 13:30:00 EEST | Press release
Japanese brand ANAORI, a leader in manufacturing carbon graphite products, has developed a groundbreaking cooking tool that combines new technologies and natural materials in a unique design. In the coming weeks, renowned chefs from around the world will apply their expertise to showcase the potential of ANAORI kakugama. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210423005016/en/ ANAORI kakugama Watch the ANAORI kakugama video here ANAORI kakugama: The Culinary Tool Combining Tradition and Innovation The philosophy of ANAORI was born out of respect for Japanese culture, rooted in a tradition of living in harmony with nature. Naturality according to ANAORI means understanding the principles of nature without confronting it, multiplying its powers by means of minimal intervention, in order to best utilise it. The Japanese company unveils two ANAORI kakugama models in two different sizes, to cook with the rhythm of the seas
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