- Mustard, an AI sports coaching app, has raised $1.7 million from Shasta Ventures, Intersect VC, and sporting legends including NFL player Drew Brees and former MLB pitcher Nolan Ryan.
- The app is built to help children improve their baseball pitching technique using machine learning tech that leverages the expertise of elite-level coaches like Tom House to analyze video footage and deliver personalized feedback.
- Some Major League Baseball organisations have also expressed interest in the tech, according to CEO Rocky Collis.
- We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck Mustard used to bring new investors on board.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
AI sports coaching app Mustard has just raised $1.7 million in funding from Shasta Ventures, Intersect VC, and a series of sporting legends including NFL player Drew Brees and former Major League Baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan.
The Mustard app uses machine learning technology to analyze video footage shot on phones to evaluate the mechanics of a throw and then generates a customized report card to help children improve their technique. It harness the knowledge of founder and elite-level sports coach Tom House to provide scientific feedback that was previously accessed by top athletes using 3D sensor technology.
"We're taking what we think is the best coaching in the world and we've developed technology to deliver this coaching to kids in a personalized automatic way," said CEO Rocky Collis. "Tom [House] literally invented how to pitch a baseball … He is the most successful personal athletic coach of all time."
The free beta version of the app, which has just launched, will train the Mustard algorithm on data from the baseball technique of up to 50 children. The full version of the product will go live towards the beginning of 2021.
The new funding will be used to expand the startup's team of engineers, initially to refine the existing product and then to expand into other sports.
The startup hopes to level the playing field in youth sports, said Collis.
"Kids that don't have a coach, those are really the kids we want to try to find a way to help," he said. "Most kids quit playing sports by 13 or 14 and we think a lot of it is because they don't get decent coaching. At that age, all of a sudden, they're playing against kids who are getting decent coaching and they can't compete. It's not fun and they quit."
Mustard said that a substantial portion of the app will always be free, although it does plan to roll out some premium content behind an "accessible paywall" after a time.
Although the product was designed around children, the tech is also proving popular at the professional level as well.
"What's interesting about the technology is we've developed it thinking about the kid, but what we've learned is that we've kind of backed into uses for the elite-level too," said Collis. "There's a lot of Major League Baseball organisations that are interested in using the technology."
Here's an exclusive look at the pitch deck Mustard used to bring new investors on board:
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