Asics ups stake in motion analysis with investment in Canadian startup
today Jun 27, 2019
Japanese sportswear multinational Asics Corporation announced on Wednesday that it has taken an equity stake in Curv Labs, an AI technology startup based in Canada, through its investment subsidiary Asics Ventures Corporation.
Founded in Toronto in 2017 and led by Shea Balish, Curv Labs has developed software which uses AI vision technology to turn the cameras of mobile devices into motion capture tools, allowing smartphones and other devices to measure and analyse user motion.
Asics’ investment in Curv Labs is the latest step in its promotion of solution services focused on motion analysis, a program which involves the development of the Kobe-based multinational’s own running form analysis app, the Asics Running Analyzer.
According to a press release, Asics is hoping to “further deepen and broaden” its motion analysis services through joint development with Curv Labs targeting a range of different sports categories.
Through the investment, the company therefore looks to be trying to get an edge over sportswear competitors such as Nike and Adidas, both of which have also developed their own suites of performance-tracking apps.
Curv Labs previously took part in the first edition of the Asics Tenkan-Ten Growth Catalyst accelerator program, having received mentoring, networking and financial support, as well as other high-performance services, from Asics.
Earlier this month, Asics announced that it had also invested in another Asics Tenkan-Ten alum, UK-based startup Aura Vision, a company offering in-store analytics services for offline retailers. By using existing security cameras to measure store traffic, product engagement and other customer behavior indicators, the startup claims that its technology can discover opportunities for operational improvements.
The value of Asics’ investment in Curv Labs has not been divulged.
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