PlayerData nets Homeless World Cup as partner

L-R: Roy Hotrabhvanon, CEO at PlayerData; Mel Young, co-founder of The Homeless World Cup; Hayden Ball, CTO at Playerdata; and Mariana Mercado, volunteer manager at The Homeless World Cup. Picture: Stewart Attwood
L-R: Roy Hotrabhvanon, CEO at PlayerData; Mel Young, co-founder of The Homeless World Cup; Hayden Ball, CTO at Playerdata; and Mariana Mercado, volunteer manager at The Homeless World Cup. Picture: Stewart Attwood
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A wearable tech firm has partnered with a global social enterprise that aims to tackle homelessness through sport.

Edinburgh-based PlayerData, a technology start-up whose products monitor an athlete’s biometrics, performance and technique, has teamed up with the Homeless World Cup Foundation and will deploy its latest technology at the organisation’s 16th football tournament.

The start-up’s tracking system will be attached to each player at the event in Mexico City, which will feature more than 500 players from at least 40 countries, and will wirelessly relay data to a base station that updates the event’s site in real time.

The same data will also be used to provide insights to players and their coaches to help improve performance. Some 200,000 spectators are attending the event in the Mexican capital, with millions more expected to view games online.

PlayerData was founded in 2015 by University of Edinburgh computer science graduates Roy Hotrabhvanon, now chief executive, and Hayden Ball, now chief technology officer. Early-stage support came from the likes of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise.

Its investor base includes Blackcircles.com founder Mike Welch, also the company’s chairman, his investment advisory firm Full Circle Partners, and former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy.

Speaking about the firm’s latest product PlayerData Edge, Hotrabhvanon, a former international archer who has represented his native Thailand, said: “It’s an exciting time for the team and our investors as we close in on the end of beta testing with paying clients, and it’s an honour and privilege to be partnering with such a well-respected global tournament as the Homeless World Cup.” Edge is targeting high value sports including football, cycling and golf, plus other industry sectors over time such as gaming and healthcare.

Mel Young, co-founder of the Homeless World Cup Foundation said: “[PlayerData’s] tech will offer our teams and fans an insight into teams’ performances like never before and I believe that this is the first of many exciting collaborations with them.”