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ShotTracker raises $5 million in seed round with Magic Johnson, David Stern

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Basketball wearables startup ShotTracker has raised $5 million in its seed round, according to a press release. The fundraising round includes investments by Earvin “Magic” Johnson and former NBA Commissioner David Stern. The two basketball legends will also serve in an advisory role for the company.

“ShotTracker TEAM will revolutionize the game not only because it automates the tracking of detailed player stats, but also because it’s an affordable solution for basketball programs at every level,” said Johnson, in a press release. “This new technology simplifies the assessment of performance that will have a major impact on young athletes’ preparation and ultimately their basketball careers.”

This year the company also announced a strategic partnership with Spalding.

The Kansas City, Kansas, company has developed ShotTracker TEAM, a platform that tracks player and ball movement for real-time basketball statistics. According to the press release, coaches can leave the court with a complete set of analytics, including shooting charts and player efficiency ratings.

The company was founded by Bruce Ianni and Davyeon Ross in 2013. The two met through Pipeline Entrepreneurs, a regional organization that supports high-growth entrepreneurs in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.

“Pipeline has been a critical piece of my journey, Bruce’s journey and the ShotTracker journey,” said Ross.

Ross is also proud to be building his business in the Kansas City area.

“When people hear ‘Kansas City’ they initially don’t think about entrepreneurship, but I think KC has a very thriving entrepreneurial community, a very genuine community,” said Ross. “For us it’s kind of cool to be able to be in the Kansas City community with great cost of living, great partnerships, great relationships, and being able to execute [on our business].”

There’s also another benefit to being in Middle America.

“It’s easy to get on either coast. We do business on both coasts, and we can get to either one in just a few hours,” said Ross.

According to Ross, the seed money will be used primary to bring the ShotTracker product to market, to develop sales channels and to set up demo centers across the country.

ShotTracker won the 2014 Silicon Prairie Awards for Best Creation and was a finalist for Startup of the Year and Technologist of the Year in 2015.

Silicon Prairie News first wrote about ShotTracker in 2013, “Pipeline members team up for wearable tech that tracks shots.”

Further national coverage:

Bloomberg

TechCrunch

GeekWire