Sportsbox AI, a company that uses motion capture technology to improve athletic performance, has closed an initial $5.5 million round from a group that includes pro golfers Michelle Wie West and David Blitzer, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
The tour was led by EP Golf Ventures, a new investment partnership between PGA of America and Elysian Park, a company backed by Los Angeles Dodgers owners. Announced in July, EP Golf’s aims to invest in companies that innovate the sport, particularly in the world of coaching, coaching, health, hospitality and agriculture.
Sportsbox AI’s first golf focused product. It allows converting a 2D video from a smartphone into a 3D version that can be viewed from six different angles. This technology helps golfers – and coaches – analyze their swings and view important biometrics without the need for expensive cameras or sensors to capture the movement.
CEO and co-founder Jeehae Lee said in an interview that Sportsbox AI will initially use the funds to expand its golf business. So far, the product has focused on coaches and professionals, but true scale requires approval from regular golf consumers. The group is also looking for opportunities in broadcast integration and club installation.
Sportsbox AI’s rating has not been revealed. Other participants include golf coaches Sean Foley and David Ledbetter. Randy Zuckerberg, businessman and sister of Facebook President Mark Zuckerberg; golf announcers Amanda Balionis and Kira K. Dixon; and LPGA golfers Alex Marina and Mel Reed.
“I want to make it clear that we have these amazing women on the cover table — that’s very rare for a company in golf, sports and technology,” Lee, a former LPGA professional, said in an interview. “I can contact them for advice, and they are an important part of how we make decisions about the future of the company.”
Sportsbox AI was founded in 2020 by Lee; Sam Menaker, former CEO of Voicebox Technologies; and Stephanie Wei, golf reporter. In addition to 2D-to-3D technology, the company’s golf product includes a platform for coaches and guided training exercises. The company plans to eventually expand into other sports.
Wie West, a golf celebrity since she qualified for the USGA Amateur Championships at the age of 10, is an investor in Tonal exercises, golf equipment maker LA Golf, and Oxigen, the water brand owned by Steve Curry. Blitzer’s sports portfolio includes franchises in all five of the major US leagues – the 76ers, Devils, NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, MLB’s Cleveland Guardians, and MLS’s Real Salt Lake.
EP Golf was initially funded by Elysian Park and the PGA of America (a separate entity from the PGA Tour). The group is looking to attract more investors.
“I think this is the first time in America that the PGA has been involved in getting behind golf technology in any way – they usually prefer to stay neutral,” Lee told me. “The fact that they have invested, put their own capital into supporting our company’s growth, I think is very important.”