Kitman Labs scores $52m to up its sports data game

5 Nov 2021

Image: © Gorodenkoff/Stock.adobe.com

With expansion on the cards, Kitman Labs has revealed plans for its growing workforce and its interest in opening up a market in the military sector.

Irish sports science company Kitman Labs has announced a fresh round of funding led by Guggenheim Investments, a global asset investment and advisory firm.

The additional $52m brings total outside funding for Kitman Labs to $82m. Previous investors include Sony, Blue Run Ventures, Comvest Partners senior investor Peter Kight, former Ireland rugby captain Jamie Heaslip and Enterprise Ireland.

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

“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.”

The investment will be used to boost data science and product development at Kitman Labs and enhance its automations for users.

The global team of 125 people will also see growth with 100 new roles to be created. In particular, the company plans to grow its base of domain experts to guide the tailoring of its platform. It currently has more than 50 performance experts with experience in coaching, medical, sports science and data science.

Recent growth at Kitman Labs was bolstered by two key acquisitions. Earlier this year, it acquired Presagia’s sports business, which gave Kitman more than 110 new clients in the US, including numerous prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association teams. Prior to that, it acquired UK company The Sports Office, taking over its performance management systems.

These acquisitions have added to the Kitman Labs dataset of talent, performance and medical data for different stages of the athlete life cycle.

The company also revealed plans to expand its offering beyond sports in the coming year. This will leverage opportunities in other areas with human performance requirements, including the military sector.

Sports will no doubt continue to be a core part of Kitman’s business, however. The company reports that 2.5m data points per athlete will be gathered this year, increasing up to 230m by 2025.

Guggenheim VP Rory Twomey, who is based in Dublin, said the investors hope to see the Kitman Labs become a “must-have operating system in the sports industry”.

“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 capitalise on the significant opportunity ahead of them,” he added.

Founded in 2012, Kitman Labs currently serves more than 700 teams from soccer, rugby and American football to baseball, basketball and hockey.

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com