- Nextiles has now raised more than US$6 million
- NBA sees huge potential for smart fabric tech in elite basketball
Smart fabric technology startup Nextiles has raised US$5 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round that will help it develop technology that could generate entirely new sources of data for performance analytics.
The round was led by Drive by DraftKings, the venture capital arm of the betting firm, and included Madison Square Garden Sports Corp, Alumni Ventures, SmartSports, Phoenix Capital Ventures and Newlab.
Three-time Olympic ice hockey medallist Hilary Knight is also an investor, as is the National Basketball Association (NBA), which included Nextiles in its inaugural Launchpad incubator initiative earlier this year.
Nextiles technology meres flexible electronics with sewing technology to create ‘smart threads’ that can be added to any fabric. As the fabric bends, stretches, and twists, the smart threads measure these mechanical changes via Bluetooth, providing data that can be used to analyse performance and assess potential injury.
The company, which has now raised US$6 million, says it is the only vendor that can provide real-time Newtonian force analytics and 3D motion capture from compression clothing.
“We are honoured to have attracted strategic investors who believe in our vision of a more connected future,” said George Sun, chief executive and founder of Nextiles. “Our success has proven the need for a reliable and comfortable technology platform for athletes, so we’re excited to accelerate our expansion into other sports and launch new products later this year.”
Nextiles is currently involved in baseball and tennis, with the company set to launch its ‘Sleeve’ platform later this year. But elite basketball is also seen as a big opportunity – especially with the NBA’s involvement.
“What stands out to us about Nextiles is its materials science expertise and overall approach to the human performance industry,” said Tom Ryan, vice president of basketball strategy at the NBA. “We’re excited to support Nextiles in its next phase of growth as we continue to help design and test new solutions to better quantify performance.”