NEW YORK (May 19, 2014) – PlaySight Interactive, the innovative sports technology Company and creators of an affordable, tennis analytic system (the ‘SmartCourt’), today announced the completion of a $3.5 million investment round from high-profile private investors including Novak Djokovic, Billie-Jean King and Wall Street legend Bill Ackman alongside D5 Capital. The new capital will fund a global roll-out of PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology for recreational and elite tennis, as well as research and development on applications in other popular sports beyond tennis.
“We are very proud to have such a powerful group of investors who share our vision of bringing elite player technology to the grassroots and club level,” said Chen Shachar, PlaySight CEO. “When we developed this technology we saw an opportunity to create an affordable, easy-to-install, cloud-based system for athletes of all levels to improve their game. In the same way that wearable tech devices and micro-cameras are transforming running and extreme sports, we are certain that SmartCourts will make tennis more engaging and fun. PlaySight combines advanced player analytics technology (PAT) with video-replay and social media to deliver an exceptional experience to the world’s 100 million tennis players. It will change the way we play ball-sports forever.”
“PlaySight is the first mass-market technology for tennis clubs and colleges, bringing the same sophisticated analytics available at the highest levels of sport, at an affordable price point,” said Rupert Ashe, CEO of early stage investment group, D5 Capital. “PlaySight makes the game more fun and appealing to new and casual players while providing an incredibly valuable training tool for the more frequent player.”
The investor group announced today includes:
Bill Ackman: Founder of Pershing Capital Management LLC;
Novak Djokovic: Six-time Grand Slam champion including US Open, Wimbledon, and Australian Open four times, held world #1 ranking for 101 weeks and is currently #2;
Billie Jean King: Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner, International Tennis Hall of Fame Inductee and winner of 39 Grand Slam titles;
Mark Ein: Founder/early investor in five companies that have reached billion dollar valuations; founder/owner of the four-time WTT defending champion Washington Kastles and Board member the International Tennis Hall of Fame;
Gordon A.Uehling III: Former ATP ranked tennis player, coach and founder of CourtSense – the first SmartClub in the world which all his courts are equipped withSmartCourts;
James Kern: Veteran Wall Street Executive with over two decades of Capital Markets expertise. James will be joining PlaySight’s Board of Directors.
About PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology
Based on concepts originally designed to train fighter pilots, PlaySight‘s SmartCourt is an affordable, proprietary technology that is easily installed at tennis facilities and private courts. The SmartCourt provides players with professional real time (and post session) match statistics, analytics, line-calling and video. SmartCourt’s combined capabilities dramatically enhance the tennis-playing experience and greatly improve training and coaching efficiency.
Using five HD cameras, PlaySight’s SmartCourt automatically classifies and tags all the events that take place during a session without the need for court-side operators or wearable sensors. Players can watch selected events (e.g. every backhand down the line that went long), with no need to watch the whole video or manually tag it. PlaySight is also able to record 3D tactical game management information including the height of balls over the net, speed of every shot and the depth of balls hit within the court. The SmartCourt is easily operated by the players through a courtside kiosk and all video and data can be shared within seconds with coaches, friends and family at remote locations. Players can also track distance covered and calories burned during a match or practice session.
The Company plans to apply their affordable technology to basketball, soccer, hockey, baseball and other fields of sports with the same SmartCourt concept.
Already approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for use in amateur tournaments, PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology is already installed at a number of prestige venues including Roland Garros in Paris (home of the French Tennis Federation), Queens Club in London and Stefan Edberg’s academy in Sweden. PlaySight has already installed a total of 35 SmartCourts globally, including 19 in the United States. The Company has recently installed its first collegiate court at The University of Georgia, and is scheduled to install a more than 100 facilities in Florida, California, New York and at other locations around the world later this year.
For Further Information:
Rupert Ashe, CEO D5 Capital
T: +44 (0)7775 781 803