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Lidar-based athlete tracking startup Sportlight raises UK£4m to expand beyond soccer

UK-based company currently works with the majority of Premier League teams and has the NBA in its sights.

8 July 2022 Steve McCaskill
Lidar-based athlete tracking startup Sportlight raises UK£4m to expand beyond soccer

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  • Sportlight wants its light-based system to replace legacy analytics tools
  • Reports suggest it is in early stage discussions with NBA

Athlete tracking tech startup Sportlight has raised UK£4 million (US$4.8 million) in funding to continue its work with major soccer clubs and expand into new sports.

Sky News reports the investment round included Sport Republic, the owner of Premier League soccer club Southampton, Bolt Ventures, and former City Football Group (CFG) chief financial officer Andy Young and gives the Oxfordshire-based company a valuation of UK£12 million (US$14.4 million).

Sportlight was founded in 2017 as a spin-off from Createc, which develops various technology for the defence, transport and nuclear industries.

Createc’s products include radiation measurement, crowd management, and intelligent software that provides threat analysis in conflict zones and many of these innovations, such as computer vision, can be applied to the sporting arena.

At present, Sportlight’s main focus has been on soccer and the company works with the majority of the 20 clubs in the Premier League. Its all-weather sensors are deployed at the halfway line and use Lidar technology – which uses pulses of laser light to scan pitches in a similar fashion to radar – collecting information that can be fed back into analytics platforms.

The hope is that the additional funding will allow the system to replace legacy data collection platforms and drive expansion. Sportlight is said to be in early stage talks with other clubs and leagues, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) about enhancing its data collection operations.


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