Wearable running tech raises £9M
Fresh from a legendary launch at CES 2020, NURVV – the biomechanics innovator using British science to disrupt the global wearables industry – is today announcing it has closed its first venture funding round, led by Hiro Capital.
Hiro Capital – the new Sports technology, Games and Esports VC Fund led by Inspired Entertainment co-founder Luke Alvarez, Games Workshop co-founder Ian Livingstone CBE and Cherry Freeman, co-founder of LoveCrafts - has invested $9m in NURVV’s husband and wife team of serial entrepreneurs Jason and Ulrica Roberts.
The money will be used to bring NURVV’s debut product, NURVV Run, to a global market; to fund further research and development into its patented biomechanics sensor technologies and to support the founders in achieving their aim of helping 10 million runners to improve their technique.
NURVV Run was unveiled at this year’s Pepcom during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to great acclaim, featuring on multiple Best of CES lists from the likes of Wired, CNET and Gear Patrol. NURVV Run also won US Today’s Editor’s Choice award which handpicks winners that strike a balance in innovation, technology, design, and value.
Tested by hundreds of athletes, universities and leading institutions including SATRA Technology and the National Physical Laboratory over the past three years, the system uses 32 high-precision sensors fitted inside lightweight insoles to accurately capture data from the feet at 1,000 times per second, per sensor.
This data, which includes unique running metrics such as cadence, step length, footstrike, pronation and balance, is fed into the NURVV Run coaching app to show a complete picture of the wearer’s running technique. It uses advanced biomechanics to deliver simple, actionable insights as well as personalised coaching that gives guidance on how to improve before, during and after each run.
Its in-run, real-time coaching creates gamified speed and technique workouts to help wearers run at a target pace, to a chosen finish time or beat a personal record with responsive audio, visual and haptic feedback. Real-time prompts detailing step length, cadence and pace on critical splits also help keep runners on track to hit their goals.
This not only helps runners improve their technique and pace, but it can also help reduce injury via a Running Health score.
The Running Health score helps reduce injury by analysing each runner’s training load, pronation, cadence and balance – to identify problem areas before they become serious. Runners can also optimise their training with recommendations on the right distance to run to achieve their optimal training zone and avoid overtraining.
The NURVV Run insoles are compatible with all running shoes, are rain and mud proof and come with five hour active battery life. The system ships with two GPS trackers and access to the free NURVV Run Coaching app. Runners can connect the system to IOS, Apple Watch, Android and to ANT+ (Garmin) wearables.
“Runners are already able to collect a huge amount of data about each and every run they do. However, most of what they capture is historic, inaccurate and provides few insights on how to be a better runner,” said Jason Roberts, founder and CEO of NURVV. “NURVV Run revolutionises how people run by accurately capturing the metrics that matter most, directly from the point of action at the foot, before using live coaching to help them improve in a simple, easy-to-understand way.”
“From the very beginning of this journey we kept coming back to the same question: ‘Why is running measured from the wrist, when most of the important metrics happen at the feet?’,” added co-founder Ulrica Roberts. “Driven by the idea we could revolutionise running by putting core biomechanical principles at the heart of our solution, we sought out the expertise to make it happen.”
“Combining our cutting-edge wearable technology, in-house biomechanics expertise, and ongoing dialogue with the running community, NURVV Run is the most comprehensive tool for runners who crave more detailed information on their performance and technique,” said Dr Grant Trewartha, head of biomechanics at NURVV.
Luke Alvarez, the Managing Partner of Hiro, said: “Hiro is delighted to be investing in NURVV as our Fund’s fourth deal and our first Sports tech investment. NURVV’s success comes from putting the athlete’s body at the heart of everything they do. Nurvv is based on fundamental patented sensor technologies combined with deep biomechanics and data science that have revolutionary potential across sports, gaming, VR/AR and wellness. Jason and Ulrica are extraordinary entrepreneurs and we are excited to be working with them and their team to take NURVV to the next level.”
NURVV Run has been tested during 22 million steps of durability testing and 30,000 miles covered on the road.