Fabric tech startup Nextiles raises $5m oversubscribed seed round to fuel growth in smart athletics
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 prior round investors and customers, as well as an investment from three-time Olympic ice hockey medalist Hilary Knight. The new funding will be used to accelerate Nextiles' patented fabric-based sensor platform and usher in new analytics across all sports.
This round brings Nextiles' total funding to over $6 million, building on top of the company's recent government grants. In late 2021, Nextiles was awarded two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Science Foundation and Air Force, both focusing on biometric research.
George Sun, CEO and Founder, Nextiles: "We are honored to have attracted strategic investors who believe in our vision of a more connected future. 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."
At its core, Nextiles is a materials science company that merges flexible electronics with its patented sewing technology. The smart threads are force-sensitive, can be sewn into any fabric and measure mechanical changes via Bluetooth as the fabric bends, stretches and twists. Nextiles is the only company in athletics today capable of providing real-time Newtonian force analytics and 3D motion capture from compression clothing.
Meredith McPherron, CEO and Managing Partner, Drive by DraftKings: "Nextiles is building the future of wearable technology with its semiconductive threads, providing breakthrough movement analytics for athletes to improve technique and avoid injury. We are thrilled to partner with Nextiles as they expand their product application across all athletics."
Nextiles is in the market with baseball and tennis today, and through participating in the NBA's inaugural NBA Launchpad initiative, Nextiles quickly realized there were several opportunities to apply its technology in elite basketball.
Tom Ryan, Vice President, Basketball Strategy, NBA: "What stands out to us about Nextiles is its materials science expertise and overall approach to the human performance industry. We're 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 market and in collegiate baseball. Nextiles will also launch its suite of ground force products in early fall for select customers.