Gemini Sports Analytics raises $1.5M to modernize the world of athlete management
By Nancy Dahlberg
Jake Schuster worked in the world of elite athlete performance for a decade, and saw the need for a predictive analytics tool to help make data-driven decisions. So he dove into startup life fulltime about a year ago to begin building Gemini Sports Analytics.
“We help sports teams win more games by using their athlete data to make better, faster decisions on how they acquire, develop and manage their athletes,” said Schuster, founder and CEO of the Miami startup.
Today, Gemini Sports Analytics is announcing it has raised a $1.5 million seed round, led by leAD Sports & Tech Partners, an Orlando-based joint venture between the family office of Adidas’ founder and Tavistock. Participating in the round are Florida Funders, the most active VC in the Southeast, Miami-based Ocean Azul Partners, the Florida Institute and a number of local angel investors.
“Florida Funders is proud to support another thriving startup built in South Florida. There is a clear need for organizations to have increased visibility into athlete data, and Gemini Sports Analytics provides a concrete, efficient way to apply the numbers and gamer fast, actionable insights,” said Tom Wallace, managing partner of Florida Funders, which recently closed a $60 million Fund 2 and made 35 startup investments from it so far, including this one.
The new funding will bring more hiring for the startup team of seven plus advisors. Gemini Sports Analytics, or GSA, is releasing the beta version of its web application on Thursday with its first customer, an Italian soccer team, and it has built commercial relationships with an NFL team and an NBA team and other partners are in the wings, Schuster said. GSA’s initial offering introduces no-code predictive analytics through a sports-specific interface enabled by best-in-class AI and Cloud platforms.
“What’s important for us in the next three to six months is not stacking up revenue, it’s hitting a home run with early partners who co-create with us and ensure that we’re doing a good job,” Schuster explains. “This is an industry very, very jaded from poor software that over promises and under delivers, so we’re pretty dedicated to doing the opposite.”
All of GSA’s core team comes from the world of pro sports, including its core engineers, Chandler Evans and Nate Verlin, who were senior software developers for the Houston Astros with the biggest analytics department in the world, Schuster said.
Schuster was a performance coach and a sports scientist in the professional sports world for a decade. He worked overseas and domestically, working with the Dutch Olympic Federation and the New Zealand Rugby team’s 2016 Olympics team, as well as stints with lacrosse, baseball, USA field hockey and women’s rugby. He also was senior scientist for a technology company out of Brisbane, Australia, that provided strength and movement testing systems for 500 professional sports teams around the world.
In all of these roles, he and colleagues experienced the challenges of not having the ability to make full use of all the data being collecting on athletes every day on the field, in the gym, even in their sleep. GSA’s initial AI-powered makes data accessible faster, and new data models can be deployed in hours.
Schuster moved to Miami in 2019, a year before the Move-to-Miami influx started. “When I got burned out on changing countries every two years for the world of pro sports, I had my eyes on this place because I had met Mayor Suarez a couple of times, including before his election, and I said, ‘I think this guy’s going to make Miami a pretty cool place to live’.”
No regrets in this journey. “I love it here. I met my girlfriend here and I have a wonderful personal and professional network,” said Schuster. “And none of this would have happened without the help of [Miami Tech leaders] Ryan Rea and Maria Derchi. They encouraged me to go fulltime, they encouraged me to go after certain funding opportunities, they have been instrumental in helping me be a product of this tech scene.”
Follow Nancy Dahlberg on Twitter and email her at email@example.com
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