Member News | 09.01.2018
Burness Paull has enhanced its powerful reputation in Scotland’s booming tech sector by advising a start-up on first-stage equity investment to allow the business to continue the development of its wearable sports technology.
The firm’s Technology Sector, headed by Callum Sinclair, helped PlayerData to deliver investment from a number of high-profile individuals, including former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy and Blackcircles.com founder Mike Welch, who becomes Chairman of PlayerData.
Last month, Burness Paull advised on the successful management buyout of Edinburgh-based Cortex Worldwide, which provides cloud-based digital marketing solutions.
Callum Sinclair said: “Cortex and PlayerData are two very different deals which offer a snapshot of the wealth of tech talent in Scotland. Burness Paull continues to work with a wide range of vibrant tech businesses at all stages of their journeys at an incredibly exciting time for the sector in Scotland. ”
Sinclair, who has 15 years‘ experience in information and communications technology law, added: “The tech sector is all about identifying great ideas and supporting the people behind them to develop those ideas into applications that can make a real difference to people’s lives. PlayerData looks like one of those great ideas – and when investors like Sir Terry Leahy and Mike Welch come on board, that is a real vote of confidence.”
Sinclair said beyond the tech deals, there was a growing realisation that all businesses are now tech businesses. He said: “This is another area where Burness Paull really adds value with its tech credentials – we bring the EI (Emotional Intelligence) to complement the AI (Artificial Intelligence) to resolve a whole range of technology challenges. This involves working for global cloud providers and on significant ICT sourcing projects, national mobile and broadband rollouts, large IT contracts and much more.”
PlayerData, founded in 2015 by tech entrepreneurs Roy Hotrabhvanon and Hayden Ball, created PlayerData EDGE, a garment with sensors and a removable control module which delivers data on biometrics, performance and technique for individuals and teams in movement-based sports. The investment will allow the company to develop a market-ready product by late 2018.
Peter Lawson, head of corporate at Burness Paull, said: “Roy and Hayden are seeking to develop the next generation of athlete monitoring and Burness Paull is delighted to support them on the next step of their journey. PlayerData is another great example of a vibrant young tech business in Scotland and it is exciting for us to be working with such dynamic young entrepreneurs."
Roy Hotrabhvanon, Chief Executive Officer of PlayerData and a former international archer, said: “PlayerData is perfectly positioned to enter one of the fastest-growing markets, wearable technologies. Speed and execution is of the utmost importance and the support of Burness Paull in helping to deliver this first-stage equity investment is crucial in our journey to market.
“With six biometric performance indicators, we’re already ahead of all competitors. Using the latest advances in artificial intelligence, we are developing algorithms to give coaches actionable insight to athlete performances.”
The global wearable electronic devices market is forecast to have grown by 50 per cent from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2017 and industry reports predict the overall smart wearables market will grow in value to over $15 billion by 2021. CSC Insight estimates sales of over 5 million wearable devices in the UK alone in 2016, growing to 14 million by 2020.
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