Israeli AI sports production co Pixellot raises $16m

Alon Werber

The Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on sports has increased the need for more broadcasting content.

Israeli AI-automated sports production company Pixellot today announced the completion of a $16 million financing round led by Shamrock Capital Advisors and with the participation of Grupo Globo and the Arkin family and new investor Altshuler-Shaham. This brings to $60 million, the amount raised by the company including $35 million in 2018. Pixellot investors also include FirstTime VC, Asahi Broadcasting Company, and Baidu.

The company was founded in 2013 by Miky Tamir and CTO Gal Oz. The company has 150 employees including 80 at its Petah Tikva development center and the rest in its offices in the US, Europe and Asia.

The new funds will be used to accelerate sales and marketing and address the growing need for safer, more cost-effective solutions for broadcasting and stats in the evolving sports landscape during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As sports fans around the world eagerly await the return of their teams and leagues, it’s more important than ever to provide the ability for sports organizations to broadcast content," said Andy Howard, Partner at Shamrock Capital. "Pixellot’s high-quality, cost-effective automated sports production solutions will benefit content providers, teams and viewers, particularly as fan attendance remains limited to preserve the health and safety of players and fans."

Pixellot’s AI-based automated production solution provides the sports market with easy and affordable ways to produce and distribute high-quality game video and stats. The system is installed at the venue once and then it functions automatically - producing and streaming games live and on-demand. Pixellot’s AI-automated technology ensures high-quality broadcasts without any human operators at the venue including advanced graphics and statistics. Computer vision algorithms monitor the movement of the ball and the players, and automatically select the action and highlights sports fans want to watch

Pixellot CEO Alon Werber said, "Pixellot has a winning proposition that will enable teams to return to play while interacting with their fans easily and safely in a cost-effective manner. Even Division One leagues worldwide are much more cost-conscious and are now showing a growing interest in our automated video analysis and analytics solution. We are happy that our investors realized this unique situation and unanimously agreed that there is a need to double-down on our commercial activity. We believe automatic production is a solution that will eventually lead to better engagement between teams and fans." "With 8,000 fields and venues and 40,000 live games produced each month, Pixellot is clearly the leader in this market," said Adam Ben Dror, Head of Alternatives Department at Altschuler-Shaham. "Pixellot’s breadth of product offering and global capabilities truly set them apart and we are confident that enabling Pixellot to charge ahead and meet the growing demand for its products globally will bring great value to the sports world and to our investors."

At the end of 2019, Pixellot announced the acquisition of VidSwap - an analytics and video platform for coaches and analysts. Pixellot works with schools, clubs, leagues, and federations worldwide, and currently streams more than 90,000 live hours per month from over 140 leagues and tournaments.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 24, 2020

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