Sports software maker Hudl scores $72 million from Accel, Nelnet

The company makes a sports video analysis platform that allows coaches and athletes to capture, edit and share game or practice video from mobile devices.

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Sports video analysis platform Hudl has scored $72.5 million in a funding round led by Accel and educational services company Nelnet.

Hudl makes software that allows coaches and athletes to capture, edit and share game or practice video on mobile devices -- a fete the company credits with democratizing access to high-quality video analysis.

But beyond making video tools more accessible, the company is hoping to update the archaic technology and video sharing practices that still run rampant in many athletic organizations. Coaches and players have long relied on game and practice footage to prepare for games and analyze performances.

Up until recently, the only way to do that was to use legacy style video equipment and DVDs to disperse the footage. Hudl's approach is significantly more modern. Via customized iOS and Android apps, coaches can share not only videos, but also scouting reports and game notes with other coaches; athletes can use their mobile phones to study footage and share highlights with recruiters and fans; and recruiters can filter through athlete profiles while scouting for prospective team members.

Since it's founding in 2006, Hudl has expanded from serving small youth organizations and high schools to college and professional teams. Hudl says its now used in 40 countries by more than 3.5 million users, including 13 Premier League football clubs.

Hudl CEO David Graff outlined the company's plans for the new funding, which include building more platform functionality and growing its team. Graff also said Hudl is on the outlook for potential acquisitions.

One possible matchup that comes to mind is the Denver, Colorado-based company PlayerLync. In similar fashion to Hudl, PlayerLync offers a mobile-based platform for sharing game and practice videos and playbooks. PlayerLync's differentiator, however, seems to be its MDM capabilities, as it allows coaches and staff to remotely wipe a player's tablet or mobile device if they are cut from the team.

But given PlayerLync's enterprise ambitions, it's more likely that they would be the ones to buy out Hudl, and not the other way around.

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