Back Of The Net: Ireland’s SportsTech Companies

Powered by Cpl Recruitment: Ireland has made immeasurable contributions to the sports world over the years.

We gave the world hurling, then Roy Keane, then Brian O’Driscoll, then Katie Taylor, then (ahem) Conor McGregor.

Along the way, we’ve gotten pretty good at SportsTech, as the eclectic mix of companies on this list illustrates.

Statsports
Creating wearable GPS performance analysis equipment which acts as a ‘black box’ for athletes, Statsports has offices in Dundalk, London, Chicago and Florida. Founded in Dublin in 2007 by Sean O’Connor and CEO Alan Clarke, they currently work with 80% of the English Premier League, as well as European soccer legends Barcelona and Juventus, plus sporting bodies like the IRFU, RFU, NFL, NBA and MLS. @statsports

PlayerTek
Founded by Ronan McRuairi and Kevin McDaid in 2014, and based in Dundalk, Co. Louth, PlayerTek announced $1M in seed funding earlier this year. The company has developed commercially available professional-standard GPS tracking equipment, using a wearable device to help players monitor and optimise their abilities. @playertek

Pundit Arena
A popular sports media platform which gives aspiring sports writers access to over 500,000 readers per month, Pundit Arena was founded in Cork by Richard Barrett and Ross O’Dwyer in 2013. The top writers on the site earn money based on the most popular articles in a paid user generated media system, with the company generating income via advertising and content syndication. @punditarena

Kitman Labs
The creators of software which combines scientific research and statistical analysis to help reduce the risk of athlete injury, Kitman Labs claim to have reduced injuries by over 30% in a three-year trial period. Following a $4M investment from BlueRun Ventures in 2013, this year sees them breaking into the US market via an office in California. Kitman Labs was founded in Dublin in 2012 by Stephen Smith and Iarfhlaith Kelly. Irish rugby player turned budding tech mogul Jamie Heaslip is a private investor. @KitmanLabs

ClubApp
A live scoring platform which supports sports teams, clubs and organisations, ClubApp provides a place to broadcast and store data on matches in real time. Founded in Dublin by Barry Nestor and Greg Coleman in 2012, the app is made available to teams and clubs for free use, and currently has over 150,000 active users. @ClubApp

LumaFit
‘Virtual coach’ product LumaFit comprises a suite of workouts housed in a phone app, along with a wearable earpiece device. Created in Dublin by founder Darren Hughes in 2013, in 2014 the company raised $104.8k through crowdfunding initiatives. They currently have offices in Dublin and San Francisco. @LumaFit

Crowdsight
Crowdsight identifies the most valuable fan generated content at sports and entertainment events, enabling sponsors to react to and reward individual fan moments live. The emphasis is on tracking the social media content creating the most ‘buzz’ at any point in time, allowing the sponsor to use social analytics and data to drive their digital activation efforts. Supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Hothouse innovation centre, Crowdsight was founded in Dublin in 2015 by John Fennessy; clients to date have included SSE Airtricity and Dublin Marathon. @crwdsight

Simply Golf
Founded in Dublin in 2014 and led by CEO Colm Daly, Simply Golf connects golfers with instructors through a smartphone app, using geolocation to find the nearest professional. @simplygolf1

Ultimate Rugby
Founded in Dublin in 2012 by Irish rugby hero Brian O’Driscoll along with entrepreneur and Hostelworld co-founder Ray Nolan, Ultimate Rugby is a comprehensive rugby app which gathers season schedules, news, live scores and social media interactions in one online hub. @ultimaterugby

GameGolf
John Maguire’s digital tracking system Game Golf received the Presidential seal of approval (via an appearance on Barack Obama’s belt) in Martha’s Vinyard last August. The system is currently used in 79 countries, the PGA and The Golf Channel are on board as partners, and investors in Founder/CEO Maguire’s company Active Mind Technology include Seagate, Crosslink Capital, AME Cloud Ventures and Venture51. Since 2010, he’s raised $15M in capital. @GAMEGOLF

FanFootage
Founded in Dublin in 2011 by CEO Cathal Furey, CTO Vinny Glennon and CCO Rowan Devereux, FanFootage specialize in live event video crowdsourcing. Initially focussing upon the live music industry, they have successfully expanded into sporting events, partnering with the likes of Moto GP, Premier Rugby, Leinster Rugby and the GAA. With Enterprise Ireland offering early financial assistance; they’re now preparing for a Series A funding round. @fanfootage

Salaso
Founded by Aoife Ni Mhuiri in 2011, with offices in Limerick and Kerry, Salaso creates software which instructs the user in prescribed exercise programme, designed to speed recovery from injury and manage pain, offering to date a library of 1000+ videos. @Salaso

Feed From the Field
Founded in Dublin in 2014 by CEO Barry O’Reilly, Feed From The Field takes live action replays from the pitch and publishes it worldwide (via app) to mobile phones in less than five seconds. The technology is being given a trial run at the La Liga Spanish Football League in November. @SuperSoccerApp

Shadowman Sports
Shadowman Sports teaches American Football players how to tackle with a dummy made from specially-designed and tested PVC which can be inflated in under ninety seconds. Founded in Limerick in 2010 by CEO John Paul Hartigan, who originally created the product as his final year college thesis, Shadowman Sports currently has offices in Limerick, San Francisco and Chicago. @shadowmansports

Teamer
Founded in Dublin in 2009 by Ken Moulton and CEO Niall McEvoy, Teamer is a free-to-use sports team management system, developed to help sports teams organise and communicate. In addition to their Dublin base, they have offices in the UK, the US, Australia and NZ. Funders to date have included Kernel Capital Partners and the Bank Of Ireland Seed and Early Stage Equity Fund. @teamer

Huggity
Working with global brands in over twenty countries, Huggity’s products include FanPic, a billion-pixel photo which lets fans find themselves in crowd shots. With clients including Sky Sports, BT, Vodafone, the All Blacks and Manchester United. Huggity was founded in Dublin by Mike Sikorski in 2011; in 2013 they announced €600k in funding led by the AIB Seed Capital Fund. They currently have offices in Dublin, London, Boston and Warsaw. @huggity

Pledge Sports
Founded by CEO Richard Pearson in 2014, Pledge Sports is a crowdfunding platform specifically for Irish sports teams, clubs, events, brands and individuals looking to raise money by running campaigns with rewards for contributions. @PledgeSports

World Sports Team
Founded in Dublin by Eamonn Sayers in 2014, and based at the GEC, World Sports Team is a volunteer-driven non-profit comprising a network of fans who raise money and awareness for those suffering from serious sports-related injuries. @worldsportsteam

Sportora
Launched in 2014 by founders Jim Reddy and Greg Curran, Sportora is a personalised, social community platform for sports participants and fans to share their views via an app for iOS and Android. The company is a NovaUCD (the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin) client company, founded in 2009. @sportorafans

Golfgraffix
Based in Dublin’s GEC (Guinness Enterprise Centre) and partnered with distributors in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Europe, Golfgraffix create apps rendering golf courses in 3D for marketing usage. Founded by Dubliner John Aherne in 2009, in 2013 Golfgraffix signed a deal with Nicklaus Design to bring their products to China and the US. @Golfgraffix

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