Sports software firm lands $1.5M in VC

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Upper Hand Inc., an Indianapolis-based maker of cloud-based sports management software, announced Tuesday that it has scored $1.5 million in venture funding from Houston-based Park Ten Capital.

The new round brings Upper Hand’s venture funding total to almost $4 million since the beginning of 2016.

The $1.5 million is expected to further Upper Hand’s investment in technology while expanding hiring efforts in customer support and product development, company officials said. The funding also will be used for the continued development of technical and strategic partnerships.

Upper Hand, which was founded in 2011 by Evansville native Kevin MacCauley, grew its workforce to more than 20 last month through the acquisition of Orono, Maine-based Double Blue Sports, which specializes in video analysis and sharing software. Upper Hand is now the world’s first sports and fitness management technology platform to integrate video analysis and video coaching, company officials said.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with Upper Hand as a lead investor, further positioning the company to dominate the sports industry in software innovation across the nation,” Taylor Kelly, who managed the investment for Park Ten, said in a written statement.  “Even more impressive than the software itself, is the team assembled at Upper Hand. Their passion, drive and focus, combined with our investment, will propel this software to new heights. Their unwavering commitment to revolutionize the sport and fitness industry, along with their cutting-edge technology, made our decision to invest an easy one.”

According to his LinkedIn page, Kelly, in addition to being affiliated with Park Ten Capital, is also president and CEO of Texas-based PaySafe Associates, a global provider of payment solutions, and a board member of Rock Regional Hospital in Derby, Kansas.

Upper Hand,  formerly known as Bookacoach and Bookit Commerce Inc., left the popular co-working space The Speak Easy in early 2015, moved into office space near Meridian and Vermont streets, and then moved operations to Morrison Opera Place at 47 S. Meridian in May 2016.

Upper Hand is not yet profitable, but MacCauley said  “we are closing in.” He declined to provide annual revenue figures but said the company experienced 200 percent growth in 2017.

“Attracting such a prestigious investor is recognition of our potential to solve the fragmentation in today’s sports industry,” MacCauley said in written remarks. “This funding gives us the financial strength to advance our goals and deliver unparalleled value to sports business owners in a way that optimizes business results while perfecting athlete development.”

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