In January 2015 Sport for Business hosted The Business of Sports Science as part of the BT Young Scientist Show. Amid conversations on stage with Paul McGinley, Jim Gavin and more, we presented an Award called the Spark of Innovation. Four companies were shortlisted for the advances they were making in this exciting area, and the winner was selected by the audience of Sport for Business members.

The winner was a company called Kitman Labs who were preparing for a move from their Dublin base to a new office in California.

Today they are setting a new industry standard for how elite sports organisations use data and yesterday they announced the close of a $52M investment round led by Guggenheim Investments, a global asset investment and advisory firm with more than $259 billion in assets under management.

This latest tranche of investment brings Kitman Labs’ total outside funding to $82M.

230 Million Data Points Per Athlete

On average, 2.5 million data points per athlete will be gathered this year at the highest levels of sport. They will come from wearables, trackers and cameras around stadia and training grounds. By 2025, that number is expected to increase to a staggering 230 million data points per athlete.

Kitman Labs has created an operating system for sport that enables organisations to consolidate and transform data from point solutions into actionable, team-specific insights with advanced analytics that guide collaborative decisions about talent strategies, performance, health and safety, and youth development.

It’s a long way from monitoring the amount of weight lifted in rehab on a whiteboard in the gym.

“We are empowering teams to move quickly into the new paradigm for sports performance and talent strategy, characterised by bringing together data, people and processes,” said Stephen Smith, Founder and CEO of the company.

Bridging the Gap

“Our fully-scalable operating system for sport bridges the gap between legacy software, trackers and wearables, consolidating them into one centralized platform that creates real-time insights that improve performance on and off the field.”

“With the support of Guggenheim Investments, we can scale the company faster to create the industry standard solution and accelerate ongoing innovation to stay ahead of the rapidly changing market requirements in sport.”

“We are happy to help Kitman Labs in its mission to become the must-have operating system in the sports industry, as data and collaborative operating models have become the new strategic imperative,” said Rory Twomey, Vice President at Guggenheim Investments.

“Given their customer growth in the last year, it’s clear the market demand for this new way of operating is accelerating and we have confidence in Kitman Labs’ vision and the unique ability of the team to innovate and capitalize on the significant opportunity ahead of them.”

Kitman Labs will leverage the new capital in three specific ways:

  • Investment in data science and development of its platform to help teams consolidate more data from across their organization into a single platform, improve and automate workflows for all departments in a sports team, and turn data into powerful intelligence.
  • Growth of the global team to accelerate product development and continue the growth of the domain experts that understand the unique challenges of a team environment and help to tailor their platform and insight based on each team’s style of play, system and goals. Following a year of 56% growth in global headcount, grow its current team of 125 by 100 people, an 80% increase in the size of the company.
  • Furthering its industry-leading research effort to help sports, medical and technology professionals better understand the power of data in sport.

It has also said it will expand its focus beyond sports in 2022 to include the military and government service category, given the myriad parallels in human performance requirements.

It is an Irish success story in the world of sport that we are proud to have marked with one small piece of recognition along their ascent.

 

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