Catapult Sports buys GPSports ahead of US expansion

Herald Sun

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 boasts 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 market-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," Mr 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, and has plans to double its seven or so staff by the end of the year.

The company already has a strong presence in the country, boasting Dallas Mavericks basketball team owner Mark Cuban as an investor and advisor.

Last month Catapult inked a deal with US-based technology, data and content company STATS to provide performance data to the NBA and US college basketball teams, and has plans to expand the partnership into other areas later.

At home, Catapult also counts Netspace co-founder Stuart Marburg as one of its investors.

Mr Holthouse said for the time being Catapult and GPSports would continue to operate separately from their Melbourne and Canberra offices, respectively.

“Day one after the acquisition, we expect the only thing GPSports users will notice is an increased focus on customer service as we invest in this side of the operation,” Holthouse said.

“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."

The company is set to unveil new products shortly and will focus on extending its growth in the US.