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.
PlayerData combines frictionless ease-of-use with sports-science Machine Learning.
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 te sector include Peloton, Tonal, Mirror and Hiro's portfolio investment, Zwift, as well as major strategic Sports and Wellness segments within Apple (News - Alert) (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
*"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
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 (News - Alert) 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 (News - Alert) 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/
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