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EDH Sport Secures BIG Capital Investment

5 May 2007
VENTURE capital company HBD has pumped £1.m/Euro 1.6m into radar tracking technology company EDH to help it make a bigger impact on the international sports arena.

The technology developed by EDH tracks the speed and distance of balls, across a range of sports including golf, tennis and cricket. The resulting data can be used for scoring, game improvement, equipment fitting or measuring the accuracy of line calls. In addition to its use in tennis, golf and cricket, the investment will help EDH adapt its systems for baseball and soccer applications, too. "We see tremendous potential at major soccer tournaments like the 2010 World Cup, at other tennis championships and in the US baseball leagues," said HBD portfolio manager Eben van Heerden. "It is already used in the Davis Cup and Master Series tennis championships and in golf pro shops to help with club selection."

Van Heerden said EDH had a global market and would use the cash to increase its development, production and marketing capacity. "Sport is big business. It is a passion shared by every country and this is what makes EDH such an exciting investment for us. These are true, passionate entrepreneurs who have found a unique niche in sport." HBD would deem its investment a success if it could exit the deal with a profit within three to five years, he said.

EDH was started 17 years ago by Henri Johnson to develop a military radar tracking system, but it has found its niche by adapting its technologies for sport. Johnson said he needed an investor that was more than a donor, and HBD would fill that role by adding its input to the management, strategy and marketing initiatives. HBD was founded by internet billionaire Mark Shuttleworth, and recently launched a second fund of £11.5m/ Euro 17.3m to support early-stage businesses with global potential. EDH is the first firm to receive an investment from that fund. Globally, research from Datamonitor shows the total value of venture capital pumped into the technology sector in the first half of this year was $1bn higher than the investments made in the first half last year.