Sportsbox AI, a company that uses motion-capture technology to improve athletic performance, has closed a $5.5 million seed round from a group that includes golf pro Michelle Wie West and David Blitzer, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils.
The round was led by EP Golf Ventures, a new investment partnership between the PGA of America and Elysian Park, a firm backed by the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Announced in July, EP Golf’s aims to invest in companies that are innovating the sport, particularly in the world of coaching, training, health, hospitality and agriculture.
Sportsbox AI’s first product is golf-focused. It allows for 2D video shot from a smartphone to be converted into a 3D version that can be viewed from six different angles. The technology helps golfers—and instructors—analyze their swings and view important biometrics without the need for expensive motion-capture cameras or sensors.
Sportsbox AI will use the money initially to scale its golf business, CEO and co-founder Jeehae Lee said in an interview. So far the product has been focused on coaches and pros, but real scale requires adoption from regular golf consumers. The group is also looking at opportunities in broadcast integrations and club fitting.
Sportsbox AI’s valuation was not disclosed. Other participants include golf coaches Sean Foley and David Leadbetter; Randi Zuckerberg, an entrepreneur and sister of Facebook chairman Mark Zuckerberg; golf broadcasters Amanda Balionis and Kira K. Dixon; and LPGA golfers Marina Alex and Mel Reid.
“I want to highlight that we have these incredible women on the cap table—that’s pretty rare for a company in golf, in sports, and in technology,” Lee, a former LPGA professional, said in an interview. “I get to call them up for advice, and they are a significant part of how we make decisions about the future of the company.”
Sportsbox AI was founded in 2020 by Lee; Sam Menaker, a former executive at Voicebox Technologies; and Stephanie Wei, a golf reporter. In addition to the 2D-to-3D technology, the company’s golf product includes a platform for coaches and guided golf practice drills. The company plans to eventually expand into other sports.
Wie West, a golf celebrity since she qualified for a USGA amateur championship at age 10, is an investor in exercise company Tonal, golf equipment maker LA Golf, and Oxigen, the water brand co-owned by Steph Curry. Blitzer’s sports portfolio includes equity in franchises across all five major U.S. 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 (an entity separate from the PGA Tour). The group is looking to bring on additional investors.
“I think this is the first time that the PGA of America has participated in getting behind a golf technology in any way—they typically like to stay neutral,” Lee said. “The fact that they’ve invested, put their own capital into supporting the growth of our company, I think that is pretty significant.”