UCD-based Output Sports seeking €3m to build Premier League presence

Sports tech company provides clubs with device to measure range of athletic attributes

Goalscorer James Tarkowski of Burnley (left) collides with Brighton and Hove Albion’s Solly March last weekend. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Goalscorer James Tarkowski of Burnley (left) collides with Brighton and Hove Albion’s Solly March last weekend. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

 

Irish sports technology company Output Sports is seeking to raise €3 million over the next six months to “significantly expand” its client base in the professional football market in the UK, Europe and in the US.

Among its 120 clients are the English Football Association and Premier League clubs Burnley, Norwich City, and Watford, as well as Spanish La Liga club Cádiz and Major League Soccer clubs FC Cincinnati and Colorado Rapids.

Last year, the UCD-based company launched a product called Output//Capture, which tests multiple components of athletic performance and track training programmes with a single matchbox-sized wearable sensor.

The product uses advanced signal processing and machine-learning techniques so coaches and physiotherapists can fully understand and optimise athlete performances using a single, user-centric and fully integrated system.

Since it was launched last February, the company has developed a strong client base for the product in several sports including baseball, basketball, GAA, rugby, and football in Ireland, the UK, Europe, and the US.

For example, Burnley is one of the oldest professional football clubs in England having been established in 1882. The club has been league champion on two occasions, has won the FA Cup once and won the Football League Championship in the 2015-2016 season.

Burnley first-team head physiotherapist Phil Pomeroy said the technology provided by the company helped the club to measure player performance in greater detail.

“As a club we are always looking for new ways of improving players and mitigating potential injury risks,” he said.

“To help with this we collect baseline values on a range of different metrics including power, speed, mobility, and balance. It is key that this data is reliable and valid in order to ensure decisions around player welfare can be made with confidence.

“We were initially drawn to Output by their ability to accurately measure a wide variety of performance metrics in a portable and user-centric system. The Output system has proved it is capable of doing the same.

“With Output we have been able to measure metrics with far more granularity than ever previously possible without more expensive or cumbersome equipment.

“We’ve found the Output team great to deal with. They’re always looking for methods of improving their system and understand the importance in practitioner input to help with the same and have been very responsive in adding any new features we’ve requested.”

Output Sports, headquartered at NovaUCD, was co-founded in 2018 by Dr Martin O’Reilly, Dr Darragh Whelan, Julian Eberle and Prof Brian Caulfield. Its most recently filed accounts show it turned a profit of more than €18,000 in the year ended December 31st, 2019. It has a staff of 10 people.

Dr O’Reilly said the group was looking to raise a scaling round of more than €3 million to “help grow our team internationally and expand our client base in soccer and many other sports”.

Output Sport has to date raised €1.3 million in a seed-funding round which was led by the Atlantic Bridge University Fund.

The other investors in this round were Elkstone Partners, Enterprise Ireland, and angel investors John Hearne, co-founder and former CEO of Curám Software, along with Leinster Rugby players Adam Byrne and Dan Leavy.