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Business & Economy

Sports analytics firm secures investment from North East innovation fund

A Newcastle-based business inspired by the founder’s love of American Football is getting a boost thanks to Northstar Ventures.

Pickwatch, which brings easy to understand analytics to NFL fans, has secured £200,000 investment from the North East Innovation Fund supported by the European Regional Development Fund, and managed by Northstar Ventures.

Founder Shaun Lowrie initially started Pickwatch five years ago in his spare room as a hobby, when he discovered there wasn’t a site that was giving him the kind of analysis and information on NFL that he wanted to know.

It’s now developed into a growing business with a team of five staff who have moved into their first office, and a platform that attracts millions of users.  With the investment completed, plans for developing the website and expanding the team can be put into action.

Shaun Lowrie, CEO of Pickwatch, said: “I’ve been a huge American Football fan since I was little. I developed the site as it’s something that as a fan I really wanted and when I started sharing it, it really took off. I’m keen to bring analytics to the average person, making it accessible and easy to understand. Interest in NFL is increasing, and this investment will help us take the business to the next level.”

Rick Charnley, investment manager at Northstar Ventures, said: “Pickwatch has created a substantial user base and with that an opportunity to create a significant business. The potential and market timing of a predictive, personalised data analytics platform for the US market, as well as Shaun’s ability to attract experienced angels, means we’re very happy to be involved in the next stage of Pickwatch’s journey.”