Why We Invested: Output Sports

By Brady Acton, Venture Investment Associate at Elkstone.

The global sports technology market is on the rebound. As sporting calendars and budgets return to pre-covid levels, the market is expected to grow 21% annually in the next four years to $42.6 billion. One company ready for strong growth in 2022 is Output Sports, which is on a mission to make sports science simple and scalable.

Output markets a wearable device that allows trainers to measure the performance of athletes in any setting across 160+ lab-grade assessments with market leading accuracy. The device allows performance coaches to measure what truly matters for any sport, from speed to agility to mechanics.

We first invested in Output’s seed round in 2020 after becoming impressed with co-founders Martin O’Reilly, Darragh Whelan, and Julian Eberle, who have deep sports tech expertise and were tackling a large market opportunity. This year, we are following our money with Output’s pre–Series A round, underpinned by the Company’s strong traction with the likes of Major League Baseball, Six Nations rugby, and Premier League football.

What got us excited:

With both sports and startups, the quality of the team makes or breaks an opportunity. From the start, we’ve been impressed by the Output team, who combine deep domain expertise with the right amount of grit and determination. The Company began as a spin-out of top-class academic research by two UCD PhD’s in sports technology, Martin O’Reilly and Darragh Whelan, who soon teamed up with Co-founder and CTO Julian Eberle to add a strong technical skillset. With a Gold Medal BSc in Theoretical Physics from UCD, Julian was previously Assistant VP of Data at Citi at only age 25 and was an Irish Olympic handball international.

Similarly, Output’s technology impressed us from the get-go. The device is a wearable sensor which records athletes’ performance measurements, such as speed and agility, with the help of an integrated software platform. The versatility and laboratory-grade accuracy of the sensors is unrivalled in the off-field performance testing industry, and its user-friendly dashboard enables coaches to track a player’s historic performance and compare players over a wide range of metrics. In 2022, Output will market its V2 product, which is lighter in weight and includes iOS compatibility.

A testament to the strength of the product, Output has achieved strong growth since its inception. The Company grew their customer base by over 500% including several marquee customers including English FA, France Rugby, a top MLB franchise, and famed speed-coach Les Spellman. In 2021, Spellman used Output’s device to prepare the NFL’s #1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence, for the Draft.

What’s next for Output Sports?

The sports analytics sector is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate of 21.8% from now to 2028, from $2 billion to $10 billion, with nearly half of the growth coming from North America. With a US focus and a highly scalable product, Output is ready for a break-out year in 2022.

Beyond 2022, Output aims to scale directly to the athlete, marketing the wearable device directly to consumers with community-led features, social media integration, and 3rd party fitness app integration, so any professional or amateur athlete can improve their performance, anytime and anywhere.

The market opportunity here is immense. Consumer adoption of fitness trackers and health-based wearables is anticipated to drive growth of the Global Wearable Technology market to $118.16 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 13.8% from 2021 to 2028.

We have an exciting journey ahead with Martin, Darragh, and Julian and the Output Sports team. If you’d like to learn more about Output Sports or the team here at Elkstone, feel free to get in touch at venture@nullelkstoneprivate.com. Equally, if you’re a founder with a game-changing business, we’d love to hear from you.