Hiro Capital invests in PlayerData

Hiro Capital, a London/Luxembourg VC fund investing across Games, Esports, Streaming and Digital Sports, has made a USD2.3 million 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 raise will be used to supercharge PlayerData’s growth across multiple sports and to expand internationally.

This announcement marks Hiro Capital’s 12th investment in 2020/21 and its fourth 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. 

Digital Sports and Connected Fitness are star growth sectors of 2020/21. Global Connected Fitness revenues grew 30 per cent in 2020 and Health and Fitness app downloads grew +47 per cent YoY to c700m, 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. 

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. 

Hotrabhvanon says: “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.”