Sports analytics company PlaySight Interactive Ltd. has raised $3.5 million from world number two tennis player Novak Djokovic and tennis women’s legend Billie Jean King. Other high profile investors in the financing round include Founder of Pershing Capital Management LLC Bill Ackman as well as Mark Ein, Dr. James Loehr, and Ray Benton.
PlaySight has created an affordable, tennis analytics system called the SmartCourt, which is suitable for both amateur and professional players. The new investment will fund a global roll-out of PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology as well as R&D on applications in other popular sports beyond tennis.
PlaySight was founded in 2011 by CEO Chen Shachar, chief product designer Yoram Bentzur and CTO Evgeni Khazanov. The company is headquartered in New York and has R&D offices in Kfar Saba.
Shachar said, “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.”
Venturehouse Group CEO Mark Ein said, “PlaySight has the potential to revolutionize the game of tennis as well as other sports through bringing the same sophisticated analytics available at the highest levels sports at a price point that makes it accessible to clubs and players of all levels around the globe. Through this ‘video-gamification’ of sports, PlaySight will make the game more fun and appealing to new and casual players while providing an incredibly valuable training tool for the more frequent player.”
The company plans to apply its technology to basketball, soccer, hockey, baseball and other fields of sports with the same SmartCourt concept. Approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for use in amateur tournaments, PlaySight’s SmartCourt technology is installed at a number of prestige venues including Roland Garros in Paris (home of the French Tennis Federation), CourtSense Tennis Training Center in New Jersey, Queens Club in London, Stefan Edberg’s academy in Sweden, Holland’s Laurense Tennis Academy (the training center for legendary coach Sven Groeneveld) and Ramat Hasharon tennis center in Israel.
PlaySight has already installed a total of 35 SmartCourts globally, including 19 in the US. 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.