Athlete tracking start-up Sportlight scores with £4m fundraising

June 30, 2022

A sports start-up which uses athlete tracking technology to provide Premier League clubs and other clients with more precise insights into players' performance has sealed a £4m injection of funding.

Sky News understands that Sportlight, which was established in 2017, has raised the money from a group of investors, including Sport Republic, the owner of Southampton FC, Bolt Ventures and Andy Young, the former chief financial officer at City Football Group, the owner of Manchester City.

Sportlight was established as a spinout from Createc, a specialist research and development company which developed technology to provide threat analysis for personnel operating in conflict zones and the nuclear and infrastructure sectors.

Its fundraising, which was at a £12m valuation, highlights the growing emphasis elite sports teams place on having access to advanced data to inform their decision-making.

The company's sensors, called LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), and artificial intelligence produce extremely granular data for analysis by sporting organisations.

It says it now works with a majority of the 20 teams in English football's top flight.

Sportlight says its technology works in all-weather conditions, with sensors installed in stadia around the halfway line, usually near the main broadcast gantry.

Raf Keustermans, Sportlight's chief executive, said the company's ambition was "to become the gold standard, eventually replacing legacy technologies as the main source of data for professional sports organisations".

Mr Keustermans is a serial entrepreneur who also co-founded gaming companies including Plumbee, which was sold to Sony, and Bonza Gaming.

Based in Bicester, Sportlight is now in early discussions with a number of other sports bodies, including America's NBA basketball league, and teams in other leagues.

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