Kitman Labs, a sports science software company, announced today (Sunday, 10th August) that it is expanding its operations into the US, having raised US $4 million in Series A finance from US VC firm BlueRun Ventures.
The new funding will be used to expand the company’s operations into the lucrative professional sports market in the US, and enable the continued development of the company’s Profiler system — an advanced athlete management system, built with an emphasis on injury prevention and backed through sports science research.
Off the back of significant traction in Ireland and the UK, Chief Executive Iarfhlaith Kelly sees a big opportunity in the adoption of proven sports science based software right across professional sport in America:
“The company was borne out of professional rugby in Europe, a highly disciplined sport requiring huge physicality. In the hunt for new ways to help reduce injuries we turned to sports science research to help clubs empower themselves to adopt best practices and make smarter, more effective decisions when training and treating their athletes. The technology within Kitman’s Profiler system encapsulates that idea and makes it accessible to the back-office staff of professional teams.
This investment gives our team at Kitman Labs the resources to launch our systems into the US, bringing the very best in sports science research and advanced technology to American sports. It also helps us significantly grow our engineering team in Dublin where we’re continuously investing in great people, enabling them to build these important technologies”.
Iarfhlaith Kelly, CEO at Kitman Labs.
Managing Partner at BlueRun Ventures, John Malloy explains why he thinks this is such an exciting opportunity:
“Injuries in sport are a big problem. Having played rugby myself for many years, I understand how important it is to improve athletic performance and reduce injuries. The team at Kitman Labs are bringing together sports science knowledge, advanced statistical analysis, and remote sensor data to open up new opportunities for American sports teams to gain an edge on the competition.
This is an exciting investment for BlueRun because we see the opportunity in bringing together two of the greatest industries in the world: sport and technology”.
John Malloy, Managing Partner at BlueRun Ventures.
Stephen Smith, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, also commented:
“We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with some of the biggest sports team in America, providing them with the World’s most leading evidence based software solutions to manage big data, reduce injuries and optimise performance”.
Stephen Smith, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Kitman Labs.
A client of Enterprise Ireland, Kitman Labs has been supported by the government development agency since the beginning:
“Enterprise Ireland is delighted to see Kitman Labs successfully achieving yet another significant milestone. We have been a strong supporter of the business since they won our Competitive Start Fund in 2012 and raised HPSU seed funding in 2013. We look forward to seeing the company grow into a world-beater with this new investment”.
Lisa Vaughan, Enterprise Ireland Manager Scaling and High Potential Start Ups.
Kitman Labs was founded in November 2012 by Iarfhlaith Kelly and Stephen Smith. It’s a sports science company which started in the Media Cube, but has recently expanded to a larger facility in The North Lotts in Dublin’s city centre.
The company has extensive experience in the area of sports science and injury rehabilitation, with the sports science team having worked at the highest levels of professional rugby. Combining this with a hugely experienced engineering team and a partnership with the School of Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, Kitman Labs have all the expertise needed to develop world class sports science software, much needed for professional sports clubs.
BlueRun Ventures is an early stage venture capital firm with offices in the United States, Shanghai, Beijing, and Korea. BlueRun looks at early stage investments. They really are as they say “geographically agnostic, doing business where business is best done.” BlueRun invests in information technology, mobile and consumer technologies, with an emphasis on early stage mobile opportunities.
BRV has a large portfolio of previous investments including PayPal (sold to eBay), Waze (sold to Google), and Topsy (sold to Apple).
Kitman used Venture Legal Services, based in Ireland to close out the round.