Seed funding for evalu – intelligent coaching software for athletes
September 29, 2016
Evalu is a Munich startup whose software offers athletes the opportunity to be coached at a professional level. The team of engineers, athletes, and coaches has been developing artificial intelligence software, which assesses, evaluates, and supports athletes. Recently, evalu secured seed funding with several high-profile investors from the Munich area as well as the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF). The startup was aided in this endeavor through the BayStartUp GmbH and the UnternehmerTUM GmbH.
The young startup’s first product – evalu.run – supports runners who wish to run with ease. The product is an ideal fit for ambitious runners in particular, as evalu’s intelligent coaching app combined with its fully textile shoe insole sensor provides an unmatched opportunity for healthy and efficient training. By providing individualized training programs and live feedback, the app teaches runners to optimize their running technique. Unlike other wearables, the product provides a biomechanically-validated measurement as well as interpretation of an individual’s running technique.
Benedikt Seitz, founder of evalu says: “We are excited to be able to continue working toward our vision of creating the perfect digital sports coach. By 2020, Europe will be dominating the ‘smart fitness wearable’ market and with evalu.run we see the perfect opportunity to combine the sports market with the wearable market using artificial intelligence. Our goal is simple. The better the software understands the athlete, the better we can support him or her in their training.” To accomplish this, evalu applies machine learning algorithms. The data from the shoe insole allows the app to recognize strengths, weaknesses, and pattern changes. Seitz continues: “Of course, without our wearable this would not be possible. Because the sensor is completely textile, the runner can’t feel it in their shoes. Runners will be amazed how quickly our coach will lead to an amazing running experience.”
Yann Fiebig, investment manager at HTGF says about the investment: “With evalu, the joint and body stresses experienced by athletes during training will be quantifiable for the first time. In this manner, a scientific training stratification will be enabled, which we think is one of the most exciting use cases in the field of smart wearables.”
The startup, previously funded through the Exist program, is now a part of the renowned TechFounders accelerator and is working together with the European Space Agency (ESA BIC) to comprehensively capture the athlete.
About the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF)
The High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, high potential technology companies, who implement promising research outcomes into their business. With the help of the seed funding, these startups are to carry out their R&D plans and prepare a prototype, aka “proof of concept”, or a market-ready product. HTGF initially invests 600,000 Euro, but up to 2 million Euro are available per startup altogether. Investors in the public-private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the KfW banking group, as well as the 18 commercial enterprises: ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann, and Carl Zeiss. Altogether, the High-Tech Gründerfonds contributes around 576 million Euro (272 mllion Euro in fonds I and 304 million Euro in fonds II).