The story of Amsterdam-based startup Metrica Sports reads like a fairytale: three students become friends over their shared love for football, and while watching their favourite sport together they realize they can use the science they apply in university to create usable data that football clubs need. Next thing you know their favourite team FC Barcelona becomes one of their favourite clients. It sounds too good to be true, but it all really happened to Metrica Sports in less than three years time. Founder Rubén Saavedra tells us how they did it when we visit their office at Ace Venture Lab’s Startup Village.
Football friends becoming founders
When Barcelona-born Saavedra came to Amsterdam as a neuro science exchange student, he became friends with Argentinian Bruno Dagnino: “With me being from Barcelona and Bruno being from Argentina, Messi was an easy link. We were also the only guys in the faculty who loved football”. Through playing football they met Enzo Angiletta, who had his own video production company. While watching matches together the three friends realized that all the data about distances crossed thrown at you during halftime are usually only interesting for the commentators, but not useful for the teams themselves. “I was researching tracking data with mice & rats, Bruno was doing that with eye movements, and then we saw this was available with football as well”. The three friends saw a niche. The neuroscience students decided to apply their movement tracking technique to football and Metrica Sports was born.