April 16, 2019

Andrea Radrizzani’s Aser Group has announced a strategic investment in Sports Data Labs (SDL), a San-Francisco-based startup that provides technology for in-game capture, analysis and distribution of real-time human data.

The move makes Aser, which is the parent company of second-tier English soccer club Leeds United and multinational sports network Eleven Sports, the single biggest investor in SDL, and will see the investment firm take an active role in the company’s global commercial strategy.

As part of the agreement, SDL will make its first move into team sports by partnering with promotion challengers Leeds in a deal focused on developing commercial and performance-related opportunities within soccer for real-time sensor technologies usually found outside of sport.

“SDL has been relentless in putting the pillars in place to create an entirely new data stream available for commercialisation in sports,” said Aser chief executive Massimo Marinelli.

“While commercialisation of human data is still in its infancy, we believe the longer-term monetisation opportunities are significant. Our evaluation has concluded that SDL has the right proprietary technology, vision and team to be the leader in this space.”

An official release said SDL will use the additional funds to bolster its core technology team, as well as develop the human data market for sports betting and other key growth areas.

Over the past year, the company has provided more than 300 hours of real-time human data for live broadcast in 150 countries worldwide.

“We are thrilled to partner with Aser Group and leverage their global expertise in media rights distribution to support our growth into new markets and sports,” added Mark Gorski, co-founder and chief executive of Sports Data Labs.

“We are solving foundational issues that are at the heart of what is required to move the human data ecosystem forward. Aser’s commitment will enable us to continue our growth within the sports vertical and focus our efforts on areas that we believe have significant revenue potential for all stakeholders.”

Aser has made significant investments in technology and media companies in recent times, and last year led a US$28 million Series D funding round for Whistle Sports, while it also invested in Italian content platform Hellodi. The firm has also established easyprod, a full-service production company.