Arria NLG Acquires Boost Sport AI as Part of Sports Expansion

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  • Mustafa Abdul-Hamid
    American basketball player

Natural language and analytics company Arria NLG has acquired Boost Sport AI, a sports data startup, as it looks to help groups across sports get more out of advanced stats.

Boost Sport, led by CEO and former professional basketball player Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, started as a computer vision tool to help college basketball coaches track their players. Boost Sport licensed Arria’s tech to automatically generate simple insights from the data in normal language. It then partnered with Arria as it expanded its client base beyond teams, building tools for content companies and sports marketers looking to integrate relevant stats into their copy with ease.

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Now the two firms will be even more closely connected. Financial details were not announced, but Abdul-Hamid said the all-equity deal valued his company at “much more” than the $1.3 million he raised last year. Boost Sport was also considering a multimillion-dollar Series A round before joining Arria.

“We’ve got several large clients that we would have had trouble serving on our own, and now we can attack those revenue opportunities,” Abdul-Hamid said.

Going forward, he identified three main lines of business. First, Boost Sport will continue serving teams. This year, it has partnered with 25 schools, including UCLA and the University of Florida. It’s also developing an insights service for companies as well as fans, sharing stats and stories around the numbers, which it plans to launch for March Madness. Lastly, the company is expanding its content generation platform for brands, like gambling operators that are looking for unique ways to engage their customers.

Joining Abdul-Hamid at Arria will be CTO Inga Nakhmanson, director of analytics Jorge Costa (who previously worked at the NBA), and senior VP of marketing Tim Mitchell (an ex-Nike executive), as part of a team of roughly 15 employees. TitletownTech—a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft—Stadia Ventures and others will now be Arria backers through their investments in Boost Sport.

“We believed Mustafa, Inga and the Boost team were mapping out unique use cases utilizing computer vision to take complex data sets and create digestible stories for the end user,” TitletownTech partner Cordero Barkley said in a statement. “Through the pandemic, Boost and its leadership successfully executed timely adjustments to grow its capabilities. Our TitletownTech team and partners are excited to support Boost and Arria on this new phase of the journey.”

With existing verticals in industries, including finance and health, Arria now has its eyes on athletics, having seen Sportradar and Genius Sports go public and grow to a combined market cap larger than $7 billion by playing pivotal roles in the flow of information between leagues and consumer brands.

“We really thought, Wow, this is an opportunity to go after sports analytics together,” Arria NLG CEO Sharon Daniels said.

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