In recent years there has been a growing trend towards the development and use of wearable technology. An Australian company – Catapult Sports – has tapped into this movement by packaging the latest tech into movement tracking devices designed for the athletic market.
What Do They Do?
Catapult manufactures wearable sports sensors for professional athletes. Their range of mobile tracking devices can utilise both the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Local Positioning Systems (LPS) (i.e. portable satellites or nodes located inside a stadium), tailored to the specific needs of the sport and playing environment. Sports people are able to track training and game day performance, with the real time data stream that is generated then being used by coaches and training staff to improve performance.
More than just a tech company, Catapult maintains a strong research-based approach to innovation. It uses scientifically validated metrics in performance data, such as power output and movement efficiency, which in turn provide a guide to player fatigue. This enables the coaching staff to gain greater insight into their athlete’s injury risk, readiness and ability to return to play.
“Teams want to find value in data and they want to use science to manage their athletes,” says CEO Shaun Holthouse.
In a sports world that is increasingly data driven, Catapult has grown to dominate this new market in athlete analytics. Their products are worn by over 9,500 elite athletes at more than 500 sporting clubs and Olympic teams worldwide. Its users are spread over 30+ sports in 35 countries.
Catapult tracking devices have found particularly strong application to:
|o American Football||o Football (Soccer)|
|o Basketball||o Baseball|
|o Australian Rules Football||o Rugby League|
|o Rugby Union||o Rowing|
|o Field Hockey||o Ice Hockey|
Last season’s NFL, NBA and NCAA football champions all monitored the health and performance of their athletes using Catapult – an impressive list of credentials indeed – and the numbers are growing. It now works with almost half of the NFL and one third of all NBA franchises. In the past year it saw sales growth of 64%.
In 2014 Catapult bought its biggest Australian rival GPSports. Fast Company recently named it as number 12 globally on their 2015 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies list.
Financials & The Future
Catapult successfully floated on the Australian Stock Exchange last December. Pre-IPO it was able to raise more than A$10 million from investors. This included A$3.6 million from Disruptive Investment Group. US billionaire Mark Cuban – owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise – also invested in the company. Shares in Catapult (CAT:ASX) are up 50% on the original issuance price in just a few months, giving the company a market capitalization of just under A$100 million.
With continued offshore expansion a central part of Catapult’s growth strategy, it has been boosting its marketing efforts in both the US and Europe. The capital raised via the recent public offering gives it a strong foundation from which to fund the next phase of its growth.