The Australian wellness management platform for youth athletes, iNSPIRETEK has secured $2.5M in seed funding, in a round led by the early-stage VC Investible. This investment marks the 37th initial cheque from the Investible Early-Stage Fund 1 portfolio.
The capital raise attracted high profile tech founders including Vu Tran of GO1, Matthew Browne of Donesafe and Black Nova and David Shein of Com Tech and Our Innovation Fund. SmartSports, a US-based investment and advisory firm in the sports and health space, also joined this round.
Founded by former competitive gymnast Annie Flamsteed, the Brisbane-based company was started as a solution to the growing mental health crisis in sport by providing athletes the mental health support and tools they need at a time when they would benefit the most.
“As someone who struggled with mental health during my time as an athlete, I know how important the correlation is between a healthy body and a healthy mind in high-pressure sporting environments,” said Annie. “Current sporting models that focus on elite athletes are missing a critical time in an individual’s development. Our goal is to drive positive behavioural change for athletes. Performance is just a by-product of that.”
Technology with impact
iNSPIRETEK automates mental health interventions with data-driven technology that is both secure and private. It enables organisations to track results, identify trends, as well as engage and educate their communities on a better understanding of holistic wellbeing.
The platform is already used by over 10,000 school-aged athletes and over 40 organisations, with a range of national sporting bodies, clubs, and private and public schools, including the Mental Health Foundation of Australia (MHFA), Classic Wallabies, 753 Playmakers, the International Association of Child Development Programs (IACDP), as well as Gymnastics QLD, Palm Beach Currumbin SHS and Gold Coast Knights, among others.
Amongst its higher profile advocates is ESPN tennis analyst and legendary tennis coach Darren Cahill, who has coached three players to Grand Slam titles and the world No. 1 ranking: Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi and most recently Simona Halep.
“iNSPIRETEK’s intervention technology addresses mental wellness in sport at a grassroots level, recognising that individual resilience cannot occur when a person is thrust into a rigorous training regime and public scrutiny without the proper tools and support,” he said.
“The importance of this technology has been heightened in recent times, as more professional athletes have put a spotlight on systemic mental health issues affecting all athletes.”
A bright future for mental health technology
The sporting industry brings in over $700bn per year, with little to no infrastructure to support athletes’ mental health, but that is changing. According to Rock Health, mental health technology companies raised $3.1b in the first nine months of 2021 alone.
“iNSPIRETEK solves a globally-prevalent problem which has seen increased visibility recently across multiple sports. It is as important to focus on mental wellbeing as physical performance which is where global peers fall short,” said Daniel Veytsblit, Investment Director of Investible. “Coupling the broad impact of the platform, the traction to date and the high calibre management team, it is unsurprising to see further investor interest at this early stage.”
iNSPIRETEK employs close to 20 full time staff across Brisbane and Sydney and is currently scaling up both its APAC and US teams with a view for further expansion beyond Series A next year.
“The sheer speed and level of adoption tells us that this product is not only highly relevant but critical to the future of the sporting industry,” continued Flamsteed. “The funding will be instrumental in pushing forward on growth within the APAC region, as well as product development and expansion into the US.”
iNSPIRETEK is available on both mobile and web-based platforms and has products developed specific to the needs of organisations, clubs, coaches and athletes.