NBIF said in a statement it invested $500,000 in the round, which also included investments by Technology Venture Corporation of Moncton and other public and private investors.
Avrij provides a software that helps sports organizations track and monitor an athlete’s off-field behaviour. A statement released Tuesday said the funds will be used to refine the platform by integrating video and photo analysis in addition to text.
In the world of professional sports, an athlete's online image can affect his or her career and personal brand. Avrij has found a way to use data and machine learning to monitor that image and help organizations monitor and track an athlete’s behaviour.
Avrij’s founders became aware of the market need while working in New York as data science consultants for various educational institutes and health organizations. On the advice of a friend, they moved back to New Brunswick to develop the business.
“We look forward to a successful future as we build our sports analytics application in the province,” said Avriji CFO Carmen McKell in the statement.
“We’re pleased to be back home and part of the growing start-up scene in New Brunswick. The landscape has changed dramatically over the years with new support for early stage businesses.”
The company is led by CEO Garfield Fisher, alongside McKell and COO Shambhavi Pundir. Combined, they have over 50 years' experience in statistics and predictive analytics. The company's website, which lists offices in Ottawa and Fredericton, lists a five-member team.
“Pro sports teams have already expressed interest, and knowing that they were able to come home to New Brunswick to make this dream a reality is all the better,” said NBIF Director of Investments Raymond Fitzpatrick.
Technology Venture Corporation is a boutique investment fund headed by Jon Manship and Susan Hicks, who were involved in the sale of Spielo Manufacturing to GTECH Holdings for as much as US$185 million in 2004. TVC operates quietly but is a key backer of such Atlantic Canadian institutions as the VC fund Build Ventures and the Moncton-based business hub Venn Innovation.
It's believed that this is TVC's first new investment since it backed Sentrant Security, a cybersecurity startup that sold out last September to Neilsen Holdings. TVC has also invested in other startups including Masitek Instruments of Moncton, Inversa Systems in Frederiction and Medusa Medical Technologies in Halifax.