Irish sports tech company Kitman Labs has unveiled a new software platform that has been largely developed at its innovation centre in Dublin.
The fast-growing company, whose clients include Chelsea, La Galaxy, Saracens, Harlequins and Bayer Leverkusen, employs around 125 people in total, many of them in the Republic.
Founder and chief executive Stephen Smith said the company is developing "the operating system for sports".
Founded in 2012 in Dublin, Kitman is working to reduce the risk of injury within professional sports by using artificial intelligence and data science to improve athletes' health, welfare and performance. More than 700 elite teams across the NFL, the NHL, Major League Baseball, the NCAA college sports body in the US, the English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, the Pro14, Premiership Rugby and Japan's Top League use the company's technology platform.
Its advanced analytics help to guide and enable cross-functional collaboration for sports teams, primarily around talent strategies, performance, health and safety, and youth development.
With much of the development work for the new “intelligence platform” carried out locally, Mr Smith said the company was continuing to hire aggressively in Dublin.
Kitman late last year closed a new $52 million (€45 million) funding round led by Guggenheim Investments to bring total funding to date to $82 million.
Mr Smith said the company was using the funding to invest heavily in new capabilities for the platform, which he said is the result of years of strategic product development, user experience innovations and data science advancements.
“We have a very aggressive roadmap to support the current and future needs of our customers. In the next couple of months alone, you will see announcements in the areas of analytics, coaching, youth development, strategic planning, and recruitment,” he said.
“While many businesses chose to hunker down during Covid, we leaned into growth and investment, which has paid off in every aspect of our business. The Intelligence Platform is just one example. We substantially grew the top line of the company, saw market adoption across northern, eastern and southern European football, American football, the NCAA, and performance centres,” Mr Smith added.
The last publicly available abridged accounts for Kitman show accumulated losses rose to €19.9 million in 2020 from €16 million a year earlier.
The company, which completed its second acquisition last year when it bought Presagia Sports, said it expects strong growth for 2022 with the availability of the new platform being a key driver in terms of sales.
“The data revolution that has transformed so many other industries is now sweeping through sports. Traditional ways of operating no longer work – the teams and leagues that can harness the enormous volumes of data they have are the ones that will sustain competitive advantage and put out a better product,” said Mr Smith.