Sportlight, a tech startup that provides player performance data to professional football teams, has raised £4m from investors including the owner of Southampton FC.
Oxfordshire-based Sportlight tracks athletes’ performances and supplies analytics to clients, including Premier League football clubs, to give them a better understanding of players and their abilities.
The startup uses LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, which is often used in the autonomous vehicle industry.
In an interview with UKTN, Sportlight CEO Raf Keustermans said LiDAR is a “significantly more accurate way to measure movement and speed” than techniques traditionally used to track athlete data.
“This is not an iteration of something that’s already out there, this is a completely new core technology that we’re using that has only just become viable to use in this industry,” Keustermans told UKTN.
The new fundraising for Sportlight has given the company a £12m valuation, suggesting a growing appetite among investors for data and analytical solutions in sport.
Speaking about the role of data in sport, Keustermans told UKTN that “it’s only going to get bigger”.
He said: “The underlying trend is only going in one direction, technology and data are becoming critical parts of professional sports.”
The funding round included the Southampton FC majority stakeholder, Sport Republic. Also participating in the round were Bolt Ventures and Andy Young, the former CFO of City Football Group, owners of Premier League champions Manchester City.
Keustermans has described the company’s goal as “to become the gold standard, eventually replacing legacy technologies as the main source of data for professional sports organisations”.
Sportlight has said it currently works with a “majority of Premier League teams” and is also looking to work with other sporting bodies.
Keustermans said that while the company is currently focused on the Premier League, it is in early talks about expanding to the other major European football leagues, as well as the US’s National Basketball Association (NBA).