Buyout helps Catapult land in US sports field

The Australian

Australian sports technology start-up Catapult Sports has bought Canberra-based GPSports after raising $6 million from high-profile investors.

The deal means the combined entity now boast among its clients 12 FIFA World Cup soccer squads; this year’s NFL, NBA and college football champions in the US and, at home, every AFL, NRL and Australian Super Rugby team.

Catapult chief executive Shaun Holthouse said the acquisition cemented Catapult’s leading position in performance management technology.

“Like Catapult, GPSports has differentiated itself from competitors by developing evidence-based systems with leading sports practitioners which improve athlete performance and teams,” Holthouse said.

“With the industry maturing rapidly resulting in consolidation, our core focus will now be to develop scale and distribution across the globe.”

Catapult, which specialises in wearable tracking devices and analytics for elite athletes, will open up shop in the US next week to boost its export potential. It already has a strong presence in the country, boasting Dallas Mavericks basketball team owner Mark Cuban as an investor.

Last month Catapult signed a deal with US-based STATS to provide performance data to the NBA and college basketball teams, and has plans to expand the partnership into other areas later. At home, Catapult counts Netspace co-founder Stuart Marburg as an investor.

Holthouse said Catapult and GPSports would continue to operate separately from their Melbourne and Canberra offices: “We know a lot of GPSports clients are very loyal to the brand and technology. The last thing we want to do is disrupt a good thing. Over the longer term we will be looking for synergies that bring added value to our combined customer base.”