African-born tech firm Sportable scores R283m funding

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 07 Dec 2023
Sportable CEO Dugald Macdonald and CTO Peter Husemeyer.
Sportable CEO Dugald Macdonald and CTO Peter Husemeyer.

Cape Town-based venture capital firm HAVAÍC is contributing $1 million (R18.8 million) to Sportable’s $15 million (R283 million) Series A investment round.

Founded by two South Africans in 2016, Sportable deploys micro-tracking technology to enhance data collection and analysis in ball and contact sports, particularly rugby, soccer and American football.

HAVAÍC’s investment marks its first in Sportable, and makes it the sole African investor in this Series A round. Other investors include US-based sports investor Ryan Sports Ventures and Australian fund XV Capital led by Stirling Mortlock and James Godfrey.

According to a statement, the investment will allow Sportable to further expand its partnerships with international tournaments, including the Six Nations Rugby Championship, as well as global ball manufacturers, media companies and sporting leagues.

Led by CEO Dugald Macdonald and CTO Peter Husemeyer, the company has a growing global footprint, with offices in London, Melbourne and Cape Town.

Ian Lessem, managing partner at HAVAÍC, comments: “The team’s reach into the big leagues and brands across rugby, American football and soccer is impressive.”

Sportable has a combination of experience, far-reaching connections and a product with potential to scale, he adds. “As champions of African tech innovation with global prospects, Sportable 100% hits the mark for HAVAÍC.”

Macdonald notes Sportable looks forward to tapping into HAVAÍC’s insights, networks, investing approach and experience, as it is a steady partner to help navigate the opportunities and challenges of scaling technology across borders.

According to the latest Sports Global Market Report, the global sports market is this year worth $512 billion, growing at a compound annual rate of 5.2%.

Sportable aims to empower industry players, including sporting leagues, teams, players, media, sponsors, betting companies and fan applications, to improve performance along the value chain.

Its micro-tracking technology modules fitted in balls and on players are plotted by radio frequency beacons around the field to capture and process data.

The wireless hardware and cloud-based platform can be set up and broadcast-ready within 90 minutes to analyse games with near-zero latency, it claims. Partners use the insights delivered via APIs and event streams to produce actionable real-time data.

The Sportable smart rugby ball.
The Sportable smart rugby ball.