Blue Label Ventures, the venture capital and private equity arm of JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms, has invested in Cape Town-based technology startup Mobii Systems, a deal that will see Blue Label take up 26% of Mobii.
“Blue Label Ventures identifies and invests in disruptive businesses that have the potential to reach new markets and achieve global commercial success,” says Tallies Taljaard, co-founder of Blue Label Ventures. “Mobii’s team of engineers have, with very little funding, built two exciting and truly innovative applications that have massive potential to go global.
“Through our investment, we will enable the business to grow and take advantage of opportunities for expansion into new markets. High performance sporting technology is a global multi-billion-dollar industry that is still fragmented and underserved.”
Mobii built the timing platform on which Blue Label Telecom’s timed fitness events company MyRun operates. Activity data is collected from various wearable Mobii transponders and synchronised to microservices architecture for real-time processing.
The technology platform comprises a range of custom-designed electronic hardware, handles large scale applications and can be adapted for similar markets to collect IoT datasets.
Mobii’s developers built the backbone for rugby match analysis on the Stratus platform, which gives teams, managers, coaches, medical personnel and referees the data, tools and insights to help them plan their strategy and perform at their best. Stratus collects and processes billions of data points to create simplified reporting and predictive analysis tools.
“Our long-standing relationship with the Springboks and SARU provided us with the insights to build this truly world-class platform,” says Rodney Barrett, co-founder of Mobii Systems.
Taljaard sees Blue Label’s well-established relationship with Mobii through MyRun as a catalyst for bringing Mobii’s technology to other companies in the group. “We want to give other companies in the Blue Label group the opportunity to leverage Mobii’s technology, particularly Ticketpro, which is the official ticketing partner of a number of sporting bodies,” he says.
Mobii recently launched “Time of Flight”, a geo-location service that tracks players in action on the sports field, assisting them and their coaching staff with positioning in real-time and in-play. The Time of Flight system is more accurate than Global Positioning Systems (GPS) because it functions within a small, focused arena, rather than via satellite communications.