NEWS: Sports Company Splits From Parent Company, Seeks $1 Million in Seed Funding
A company that combined neuroscience research with mobile technology to help athletes has spun out of its parent company and plans to open a $1 million seed round.
The new company, with HQ in Newport Beach, spun out of Kadho, which developed a mind-body training platform for athletes that play volleyball, baseball and softball. Kadho just released a new technology it created: voice-recognition for kids. (See related story here)
Kadho Sports is now a separate, independent entity. It also has a new CEO, Yasuto Suga, who’s been working in tech for 20 years.
What Funds Would Be Used For
The $1 million would be used to gain market share for the company’s “elite” athlete services, for operations and to explore “high-value” opportunities in new fields, Suga told OC Startups Now.
The new fields include other industries that depend on making lightening-fast, significant decisions on a daily basis, like those made by police, firefighters and EMT’s. The original technology works to enhance athletic performance by training the mind in reaction time, anticipation skill and visualization.
“We can accelerate how real-world instincts are learned and executed in the field, (to save) potentially the lives of both the personnel themselves and the public,” Suga said.
Kadho Sports planned to open a $2 million seed round last Fall, but that was postponed until the company split from Kadho, Suga said. And, the amount has been lowered to $1 million, based on the company’s target valuation of $5 million and its funding needs.
“We believe the $1M is feasible and gives us enough runway to continue raising value,” Suga said.
Kadho Sports is also looking to expand its management team. It’s looking for an experienced business development lead.
“An ideal candidate is somebody with extensive experience, who can provide strategy on company growth, and has relationship capital in the sports or personnel fields,” Suga said.
Kadho Sports is also seeking advisors “who can add credibility and strategic knowledge to help us grow,” he added.
Suga’s tech experience started with Flash design and development. (Adobe Flash is one of the most widely-used Web programming frameworks on the internet and a Flash designer creates animations, games and other rich content with Flash and ActionScript.)
“In Flash’s early days, I was regarded as one of its pioneers, and was co-author of the book ‘New Masters of Flash,’” he said. “I turned this hobby into a career and had an opportunity to create engaging, interactive experiences for the movie, video game, and music industries.”
He also worked for Cie Games (ultimately acquired by Glu Mobile, a San Francisco-based developer and publisher of mobile games for smartphone and tablet devices.) to transition that company into a game studio. He served as studio lead on multiple titles for social and mobile platforms and developed games for Facebook.
“Publishing and creating games taught me important skills related to user engagement and retention,” he said. “And on the technology side, (I learned) to publish a real-time, scalable service for a large volume of users.”
This comes in handy at Kadho Sports, where “it’s critical to not only make a good impression, but to also create an engaging user experience that athletes enjoy using,” he said. “I now have the opportunity to combine my passion for sports with all of this previous experience.”
Kadho Sports’ clients include NCAA football, baseball and volleyball teams. Schools include the UCLA, USC and the University of Arizona. Kadho Sports also supports U.S. Olympic teams in advance of the 2020 games.