Nextiles, a smart fabric technology for athletes, announced its $5 million seed round led by Drive by DraftKings, with participation from the NBA, Madison Square Garden Sports Corp., Alumni Ventures, SmartSports, Phoenix Capital Ventures and Newlab.
The new round includes investments from previous round investors, customers and an investment from three-time Olympic ice hockey medalist Hilary Knight.
The funding will accelerate Nextiles’ patented fabric-based sensor platform supporting sports analytics.
Nextiles, a materials science company, merges flexible electronics with its patented sewing technology to quantify raw forces, range of motion and micro-movements. The smart threads are force-sensitive, can be sewn into any fabric, and measure mechanical changes via Bluetooth as the material bends, stretches, and twists.
This round brings Nextiles’ total funding to over $6 million, building on the company’s recent government grants. In late 2021, Nextiles received two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Science Foundation and the Air Force, both focused on biometrics research.
“We are honored to have attracted strategic investors who believe in our vision of a more connected future,” said Dr. George Sun, CEO and Founder of Nextiles. “Our success has proven the need for a reliable and comfortable technology platform for athletes, so we’re excited to accelerate our expansion into other sports and launch new products later this year.”
“Nextiles is building the future of wearable technology with its solid-state leads, delivering breakthrough motion analytics to athletes to improve technique and prevent injury,” said Meredith McPherron, CEO and Managing Partner of Drive by DraftKings. “We are thrilled to partner with Nextiles as they expand their product application to all sports.”
Nextiles is currently in the baseball and tennis market and is participating in the NBA’s inaugural NBA Launchpad initiative.
“What sets us apart at Nextiles is our expertise in materials science and our holistic approach to the human performance industry,” said Tom Ryan, vice president, Basketball Strategy, NBA. “We are excited to support Nextiles in its next phase of growth as we continue to help design and test new solutions to better quantify performance.”
Later this summer, Nextiles will launch its Nextiles Sleeve platform in the tennis and college baseball market.