Oliver Platform Develops To Impact Future Of Sport
This partnership will allow Oliver to scale its technology and expand access across the globe, fulfilling its mission to give young players in Latin America a chance to “make it”.
José González and Agustin Rozadas have developed Oliver, an affordable and easy-to-use platform that collects data from players to improve their performance and help individuals and teams better understand team dynamics.
Their journey towards realizing this vision has recently been given an historic boost. FC Barcelona has entered into a research and development partnership with Oliver, a major breakthrough for the Argentinian startup.
This partnership will allow Oliver to scale its technology and expand access across the globe, fulfilling its mission to give young players in Latin America a chance to “make it”. Oliver’s growth trajectory in Latin America and alliance with FC Barcelona’s Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB) will make it interesting to watch how this company could impact the future of the sport.
OLIVER and FC Barcelona will continue working together to bring innovation to football. From field annoyances to industry innovation The origins of Oliver platform can be traced back to a soccer field on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, where one of the company’s founders discovered the difficulties of manual team training.
After being eliminated from a soccer tournament and confronted with discussions such as “who runs more” or “who should play in which position,” José decided to look for a tool that could provide much more objective information about these parameters while also informing teams on how to improve their performance. When he couldn’t find anything similar on the market, he decided it was time to form a team and create a product with these features.
The tool now assists soccer players in improving their skills and understanding of team dynamics by providing sports performance data via a small device tucked into players’ socks during training and matches.
This tiny but powerful wearable, when combined with artificial intelligence and a gamified mobile application, has the potential to improve the performance of every soccer player on the planet. Oliver’s worth extends beyond the individual to entire teams and their coaches. Oliver is a data-driven performance platform for futsal, grassroots, women’s, regional, and amateur soccer teams.
It measures movement, speed, striking power, interaction with the ball, and other data, and allows for on-field heat maps and sports and health data to be collected. Its affordable price makes it more accessible to local and small groups, as it is almost three years in development and is very cost-effective.
Oliver scaled quickly during its early development stages, thanks to Newtopia VC, a Latin American investment fund focused on promising early-stage companies in Latin America. The fund decided to invest in the technology in 2021, after which the startup could complete its R&D phases and expand into other Latin American and European markets.
Diego Noriega, Managing Partner at Newtopia VC, explains why investors are interested in investing in startups like Oliver: “Newtopia creates spaces and opportunities to invest in and support entrepreneurs with great ideas and solutions. We are investors dedicated to fostering a stronger sense of community and bolstering the Latin American entrepreneurial and investor ecosystem.”
This GPS device is already being used by four teams in the first Spanish futsal league: Córdoba Patrimonio, Ribera Navarra, Santa Coloma, and Noia Portus. Furthermore, the startup collaborates with over 95 teams in over 20 countries and has distribution agreements with Amazon and Ftbol Emotion for all of Europe.
It has also gained popularity in Brazil, where José Edmlson, a former national team player and ex-Barça player, shared his testimony about using Oliver for players in his academy, FC Ska. However, the most recent milestone in the partnership with Barça FC is the most significant for the growing Latin American company.
Barça Innovation Hub president Joan Laporta announced a relaunch of the club’s innovation and knowledge center and dedicated one of the first two investments in a startup from the world’s most famous football team to Oliver. The hub will now include a platform for investment in startups to promote entrepreneurial talent in the sports sector and capture the value of its growth.
One of its first two investments is Oliver platform, with the aim of helping the startup build a greater community, enhance and scale its technology, and work together in the areas of innovation, sustainability, and hospitality.
Joan Laporta and González praised the Barça Innovation Hub for its commitment to helping grassroots soccer communities gain more skills and knowledge. The investments are the first of many to come, making us think about what other sports innovations could come from Latin America’s highly active tech scene.
Oliver is just one example of successful sports tech startups from Latin America that are transforming the sports industry and using the region’s unique structural challenges as an opportunity to innovate. Draftea, the first daily fantasy sports company in Latin America, just raised $20 million for its Series A in January 2023.
GoGood, a Brazilian startup offering corporate plans with gyms, personal trainers, psychologists, and nutritionists, has raised funding for an estimated 10% of the startup at a pre-money valuation of R$ 50 million.
Finally, the Argentine company Alquilá Tu Cancha, which operates a sports-tech platform that connects athletes and sports facilities, has been named to the Forbes Global 500 list. The ability of regional sports tech startups to expand their presence, raise new funding rounds, and form global partnerships is especially impressive at a time when international funding is gradually decreasing.
These examples, as well as Oliver’s recent collaboration with Barça, demonstrate that Latin American founders are ready to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drive their teams to glory, just as their national sports stars have done for decades.