STRIVE, a performance optimization platform for athletes, raised $6M in a Series A round led by Future Communities Capital.
As next-gen wearables unlock a wealth of training-specific data, startups like STRIVE are turning reps into wins for sports teams, military operators, and more.
Muscle On the Mind
STRIVE makes electromyography (EMG) sensor technology that can be integrated with most brands of compression apparel.
Tracking muscle activity, symmetry, and fatigue, the embedded wearables deliver real-time data used for training and injury prevention. Then, the company’s software distills and visualizes the data into actionable insights for athletes and teams.
To date, 215+ pro and collegiate teams use the software, including the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Manchester City F.C., and the University of Kentucky men’s basketball program.
Praising the technology, the NFL’s leading rusher Jonathan Taylor and Heisman winner Troy Smith invested in the round, putting the platform into the hands of the game’s biggest stars.
But, STRIVE founder & CEO Nikola Mrvaljevic calls athletics “just the tip of the iceberg.” In addition to signing more leagues and teams, the company will leverage its current partnership with the US Air Force to reach high-stake operators in the military and heavy industry.
Any fitness tracker will display steps, heart rate, or time asleep. Competitors at the highest level require robust data analytics to gain an edge.
Combining unobtrusive wearable technology with sports science, startups sneaking sensors into sports gear—or what athletes wear under—hope to create an unfair advantage.
- Smart fabric maker Nextiles raised $5M this June, including investment from the NBA, US Air Force, and MSG Sports.
- Cipher Skin’s sensor-packed sleeves track motion and biometrics for athletic, therapeutic, and industrial use cases.
- Catapult’s GPS-enabled wearable tracks speed, distance, and workload for 3,200 pro and amateur teams in 137 countries.
Beyond shirts, sleeves, and tights, Prevent Biometrics’ concussion-monitoring mouthguard is used in pro football and rugby, as well as by the US DoD. Meanwhile, Plantiga’s AI insole and Playmaker’s cleat-affixed device offer deep insight into in-game data across numerous leagues.
A different approach, Orreco integrates with other wearables, combining training data with blood biometrics and game schedules for holistic team management.
Looking ahead: Already putting millions toward player development, pro sports teams are leveraging tech to get the most out of their investments. But, as human performance increasingly turns into a numbers game, organizations will need solutions that can distill the firehose of new data into a winning formula.