Transforming a rollercoaster into a rocket – 5 years in the making

by Michael Hoglund
on May 18

This Winter marks the 5 year anniversary of the founding of Signality by our CEO Mikael Rousson and our VP of Marketing Michael Höglund, and what a ride it has been, quite the rollercoaster ride at some times.

What started out as a vision in 2016 of making sports data into a self-driving car has been the startup rollercoaster ride, there have been tight turns, ups, downs, steep slopes, and sometimes even inversions. They have laughed, cried, screamed, and exhaled deeply, but the ride has been good.

And, wouldn’t you know – that rollercoaster has now turned into a growing and well-nourished company that is doing well. Signality is thriving and growing in the range of 400% year over year. Over this period we have been fortunate to have had great investors with enormous patience that share the same vision as the founders for the #FutureofSports

Our core investors understood that building something truly unique is complicated and while it certainly requires world-class skill, it also demands the unwavering belief that this will work, this is what the world is changing into; how sports will transform.

And that vision has never changed since Signality was founded. 

Sports data should, and will be, fully automated and also widely available to everyone in the world, regardless if you are Lebron James or a bunch of 12 year old girls playing soccer, they should all be able to have the same data available at their fingertips, in real-time. And let’s not forget about that junior high school quarterback in Texas, who should be able to glean the same, or even more, insights into his throwing motion as Tom Brady. 

What originally started out as a vague outline of a future Signality could envision is now starting to have clear contours and a shape . We’ve been chipping away at solving hard problems, but it hasn’t been easy.

“As a startup CEO, I slept like a baby. I woke up every 2 hours and cried. — Ben Horowitz.

Signality has, like all startups, been through that phase of crying now and then, but we have grown from a stumbling baby, through the phase of an angry teenager, and now, finally, into a young adult with a clear path forward. 

Of course, we occasionally swear because: “No-one one gets it!” or “How hard can it be?!” and every now and then: “WTF is wrong with y’all!! 😠 ”.

But 99% of the time we are even-keeled and taking it one step at a time, with our gaze focused on the path we are following. 😃

Highlights 2020 and 2021

So, what have we accomplished over these five years? Also, what are the latest building blocks that we have managed to put in place in our cloud platform over the last, covid ridden, year and what’s coming down the pike for the #FutureofSports?

In summary, we have accomplished quite a few objectives last year that we believe are fundamental pieces for any sports business to be able to leverage their growth and engage their fans and audience even deeper. To engage your audience, data is key because data tells a story, data brings a narrative to the match, the season, the players, and it fuels the passion of your audience.

Milliseconds.

Realtime enables you to fuel your audience’s passion for sports by bringing them the stories in the match as they happen, not minutes or hours later. With Signality we are down to the milliseconds. And that is all down in the cloud.

Automation. 

Today, extracting data requires a lot of manual work. Last year we processed over 500 football matches with full automation, not a single iota was spent on manually starting a match or operating the match as it is played- a truly self-driving car. However, that’s only a fraction of the matches we are signed up to deliver in real-time, with full automation, this year. Stay tuned…

Accuracy of data.

Having realtime and automation just sucks, with lack of a better word, if the data you deliver in real-time is not accurate enough.

A university validated our data recently, similar to the setup that FIFA uses for their EPS. The result was 98.6 % accuracy on positional data, and in terms of player localisation is below 20 cm, and an average of 98.6% correct player identification in game conditions.

#FutureofSports

Covid-19 is not in the rearview mirror, just yet. However, more and more of the sports industry is unlocking and people are getting excited just with the thought of being in a venue with other fans, or hearing fans in the bleachers as you watch the game.

This past year has been quite eventful for sports, in general, but as they say: What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. The same goes for Signality. 

We have spent our time building, improving, and optimising our real-time platform to be able to be the crucial piece of the #FutureofSports. 

Now we are building the tools that will enable our customers to create the new experiences for their fans and audience that will be part of the #FutureofSport, whether that’s digital, video, or other media.

Let us know, if you want a demo of our platform and the capabilities. Just send an email to michael.hoglund@signality.com