Irish start-up Output Sports takes aim at global soccer market

Irish sports-tech company Output Sports is planning to raise more than €3m in the next six months to help expand its client base in the soccer market in the UK, Europe and the US.

The University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out was founded in 2018 and is now based at NovaUCD.

It raised €1.3m in seed funding last year led by the Atlantic Bridge University Fund, with participation from Enterprise Ireland, Elkstone Partners, angel investors and Leinster Rugby players Adam Byrne and Dan Leavy.

The start-up also launched its first wearable product, Output Capture, last year. This is a matchbox-sized sensor device that can test multiple components of athletic performance and track training programmes in elite athletes.

Output Capture uses advanced signal processing and machine learning techniques to help athletic staff such as coaches or physiotherapists to understand and optimise athletes’ performance using a single, fully integrated system.

Since its launch, the start-up has created a client portfolio in sports such as baseball, basketball, GAA, rugby and soccer across Ireland, the UK, Europe and the US. Its soccer clients include professional teams in the English Premier League, Spain’s La Liga and US Major League Soccer.

Output said its user community is capturing more than 40,000 exercise reps per month using Output Capture.

Dr Martin O’Reilly, co-founder and CEO, said that Output is now seeking more than €3m in funding to help the company expand internationally in soccer and other sports.

“We see the global soccer market, from elite to grassroots levels, as an area Output can bring huge value in terms of understanding and optimising athletes’ performance in the years ahead.”

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English soccer club Burnley FC is one of Output’s client teams that use its technology to track player performance.

Phil Pomeroy, the club’s head physiotherapist, said that his club is always looking for new ways to improve players and mitigate potential injury risks, a task that requires monitoring extensive player data.

“We were initially drawn to Output by their ability to accurately measure a wide variety of performance metrics in a portable and user-centric system,” he added. “With Output we have been able to measure metrics with far more granularity than ever previously possible without more expensive or cumbersome equipment.”

Headquartered at NovaUCD, Output is a spin-out of the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, and the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics. Along with O’Reilly, its founders are Dr Darragh Whelan, Julian Eberle and Prof Brian Caulfield.

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