Smart equipment, VR, and analytics are shaping basketball’s future.
Game on. From aspiring amateurs to elite athletes, the market is massive and growing quickly.
- There are 450M+ basketball players globally.
- Among pro franchises, three NBA squads rank among the top 10 highest valued teams.
The latest: Tapping innovative tech and gamification, Gym Class and huupe scored new funding.
Backed by YC and a16z, VR basketball app Gym Class added an $8M seed round. Boasting 1M downloads, 14K reviews, and a 4.9-star rating, the company is bringing real-world roundball into the metaverse.
huupe, meanwhile, closed a $3M seed investment. Using LiDAR sensors and AR, its connected basketball hoop tracks shots and gamifies performance, enabling competition with other huupe owners.
Social by design, CEO Paul Anton told us its most important feature is community-building:
“Basketball transcends race, creed, color, religion, and politics. Now, with huupe, basketball will even transcend physical distance.”
Slam dunk. Technology is transforming every aspect of sports performance, including the game of basketball. From AI to wearables to AR/VR, athletes, scouts, and leagues are taking notice.
- Crosscourt enhances the pick-up experience with its member-based basketball club.
- HomeCourt, Uplift, and Handle Fitness use 3D motion tracking to analyze your game.
- ShotTracker and SIQ Basketball sneak sensors into jerseys, arenas, and even the ball itself for real-time game management.
Elsewhere, the NBA debuted its own incubator program called Launchpad, investing in startups (like Uplift) that elevate the performance and the state of play.
And, as analytics take center stage, Launchpad-backed connected apparel maker Nextiles and load monitoring platform Orreco use biometrics to unlock performance.
Takeaway: To prevent injuries, sharpen skills, or simply to make a shootaround more fun, as more capital flows to the space, emerging technologies will usher in a new era of sports.