Published On: Wed, Oct 3rd, 2018

SoftBank leads $35 Million investment in Israeli sports engagement startup Heed

HEED, a revolutionary new AI platform that illuminates the invisible insights behind key moments from live events, has raised $35 million funding round led by SoftBank Group International.

Founded in 2016 by AGT International, owned by Israeli Mati Kochavi, and Endeavor, Ari Emanuel‘s American talent agency, HEED headquarters is based in New York, with offices in London. Its development center is in Herzliya, Israel. The company has 50 employees.

HEED uses AI to identify a game’s most exciting moments and IoT-based data analytics to generate groundbreaking exclusive new insights and automatically deliver them in near real-time to fans’ mobile devices. It goes even deeper to unlock the emotional and behavioral realities of live sports events.

 

The Israeli sports-tech industry has been growing in recent years, and 103 companies operate in Israel today. The largest acquisition in this sector was Replay, acquired in March 2016 by chip giant Intel for $ 175 million.

In April 2018, the Israeli sports clothing company Nike acquired an Israeli startup called Invertex, which developed a 3D foot measurement technology for $ 10 million.

Intel acquires Israeli startup Replay Technologies for $175 million

Softbank is a holding company established in 1981 by Masayoshi San, known as Masa, and one of Japan’s wealthiest, with a capital of $25 billion.

Softbank has invested heavily in a variety of Israeli companies including $ 3 billion investment in Adam Neumann’s joint workspace company, WeWork; The Israeli cyber company Cybereason raked in about $ 100 million from Softbank last summer and Israeli startup Lemonade also raised $120 million from the Japanese giant.

Nike buys Israeli computer vision startup Invertex

HEED co-founder and owner of AGT International Mati Kochavi said: “Technology has evolved tremendously in interpreting the physical world. HEED is harnessing this to create a new sports fan experience. This was the driving force behind our vision – to create a platform that uses AI and IoT to deliver the best and exclusive sports moments in near real time. HEED is leading this transformation, and we’re excited to bring on SoftBank as a strategic partner.”

“At HEED, we see a world in which live events become global digital experiences, spectators become participants, and stats become stories,” said HEED CEO Danna Rabin. “The platform we’ve built provides league and team partners with an innovative way to grow their fanbases across different geographies, demographics and sports categories and engage with them in a different way. This investment is an exciting step forward for us as we transform the future of sports for our partners and their global fans.”

The investment will bolster HEED’s expansion as it partners with sports clubs and leagues around the world to create deeper connections with mobile fans.

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