Earlier this year we were introduced to VALD, an international phenom that has applied human measurement technologies to revolutionize musculoskeletal healthcare in professional sport, defence, clinical and hospital settings.
This week, we announced that Vistara Growth led a growth investment into VALD with participation from the Queensland Business Innovation Fund, managed by Queensland Investment Corp (“QIC”), a leading Australian-based pension fund and existing investor in the company. While VALD is headquartered in Brisbane, the majority of its customers and revenue were already in North America where we have witnessed the Company’s strong brand and expanding presence; we are thrilled to partner with QIC and the Company to drive further growth both in our backyard and other markets worldwide.
More importantly, why are we so excited about the future of VALD and how is it enabling better outcomes for athletes, soldiers, and patients? TL;DR version below, but we encourage everyone to explore the full investment thesis.
- VALD has an industry-leading suite of products that can provide a holistic view of a user’s musculoskeletal system alongside a software platform to utilize that data in managing training, injury detection or recovery. This is an industry with many one-off, siloed tools that have underwhelmed and don’t integrate with each other. VALD’s is the first truly multi-product integrated solution that is sold on subscription, with regular introduction of new products and features that deliver increasing value, making the platform, the system of record for its customers.
- VALD enables allied healthcare practitioners to move from subjective assessments to data-driven analysis and recommendations. In the process the Company is creating the worlds deepest dataset for injury prevention and recovery across ages and conditions, this is a huge potential value to the healthcare industry. This opportunity to scale further into physio clinics, rehabilitation centres, and hospitals with the support of the insurers and government “payers” presents a massive underpenetrated market across the globe.
- VALD first established its reputation among the world’s most discerning and demanding of customers, such as professional sports teams, elite military units, and innovative hospitals. They have since married a research and product led organization with a strong go-to-market motion to build a customer base of over 1,000. The Company is deeply respected by its users and has established an active, collaborative and high achieving company culture much like its customers.
Combining hardware and software to drive improved outcomes
Since its inception in 2016, VALD has become the leading musculoskeletal testing platform, enabling its clients to better understand and manage human movement, performance, injury risk, and rehabilitation through its proprietary suite of measurement products and integrated software platform. VALD is used by medical, defence, and strength and conditioning professionals to benchmark, manage and rehabilitate various musculoskeletal and neural conditions.
The VALD product suite in combination with VALD Hub (their centralized data visualization and management platform) can provide users with objective data to measure baseline performance, improve clinical outcomes and support a successful patient journey.
The benefits of VALD’s products are grounded in research and have been tested and proven by over 30 peer-reviewed scientific studies conducted by universities and research institutions.
The data VALD captures and synthesizes allows practitioners to rapidly make data-driven decisions on strength, prevalence of injury, and recommended exercises for a particular joint or muscle group. For example, VALD’s NordBord combines advanced sensors, real-time data visualisation, and cloud analytics, to accurately quantify and monitor an athlete or patient’s hamstring strength and imbalances.
Building a world-class client base across diversified customer profiles
In our discussions with the Company, we were incredibly impressed by the caliber and breadth of the client base across performance sport, health, and tactical verticals.
Currently, VALD’s products are trusted by over 1,000 clients across 70 countries, with >50% of revenue coming from North American. The Company is a defined leader with significant market share among the world’s professional sports organizations, while expanding rapidly in the health and tactical segments.
In our discussion’s with VALD’s clients it was clear how important the platform was to their success. Feedback showed that users valued the platform’s intuitiveness and aggregation of information within the VALD Hub, and high degree of trust in the precision of the hardware. After experiencing the platform, many organizations mentioned there is “no going back” given the increased velocity of and ability to make better-informed decisions about how to prevent and treat injury.
Improving healthcare outcomes for everyday people
In performance sports, measurement and data capture have become table stakes to ensure that athletes are always in peak condition, to aid in rehabilitation, or to identify potential weaknesses before an injury occurs. Through product innovation leading to both smaller and more affordable versions of VALD’s technology, this level of precision measurement is now accessible outside the world of performance sports and available in local physio clinics and hospitals. With these new product introductions, such as the DynaMo, a handheld dynamometer designed for busy clinicians of all experience levels, the Company has seen rapid growth in its health segment.
The opportunity in the health segment is massive, as most practitioners still rely on subjective measurements, with leaders in the space having only recently begun to embrace this type of data collection and human measurement to improve both rehabilitation and preventive care.
VALD is well-positioned to be the global leader in this segment supported by its multi-product platform, focus on patient outcomes through data-driven decision-making, and impeccable reputation in high-performance sports.
“We’ve helped global sporting teams win championships, and we now look forward to taking that same technology and using it to help a 72-year-old grandmother rehabilitate from a hip replacement so she can pick up her grandchild,” VALD CEO Laurie Malone
Bringing new value to their clients
In addition to developing its own products, VALD has been able to successfully acquire and integrate new technologies into its platform, such as the acquisition of SMARTSPEED. To accelerate the Company’s detailed and expansive product roadmap, the Company has acquired leading but under-commercialized products, much like its own history when co-founders Laurie Malone and Sam James started the Company by commercializing a product developed at a local research university, later branded as the Nordbord. Across the existing customer base we have witnessed the impressive adoption of acquired technologies that have been integrated into the VALD platform. Researchers, inventors, and early-stage companies in the space see VALD as a desired partner to help fulfill their missions and ambitions. And, as investors, this provides us with confidence in VALD ’s capacity to act as the platform for MSK treatment and the natural acquiror for top-tier technologies in the industry.
Vistara’s partnership with VALD: a creative solution for growth and shareholder alignment
With our expansion growth financing, VALD will be able to fund an expansion of its go-to-market team and accelerate its product roadmap. By doing so, they will be able to further build upon their data collection and analytics capabilities which helps drive insights for clients and further enhances their position as the leading MSK platform.
VALD had prepared to IPO but determined in 2021, even during peak market conditions, that it was best served to stay private. In anticipation of the IPO, it had raised convertible debt from pre-IPO investors. We were able to tailor a creative structure that both helped refinance the public markets funds and provided ample new capital to pursue organic growth and acquisitions.
It has been great getting to know Laurie, Sam, and the rest of the incredibly dedicated management team at VALD. They have created a client-driven culture, and a clear and ambitious vision. We are incredibly excited to partner with VALD and look forward to what the future will bring as they apply technology to drive improved outcomes across MSK conditions and for the practitioners worldwide who dedicate their lives to those outcomes, whether it is winning Superbowl titles (they have been sent a few rings as a show of appreciation) or enabling grandparents to play with their grandchildren.
About Vistara Growth
Vistara Growth provides highly flexible growth debt and equity solutions to leading technology companies across North America. Founded, managed, and funded by seasoned technology finance and operating executives, “Vistara” (Sanskrit for “expansion”) is focused on enabling growth for the ambitious entrepreneurs we invest in, our investors, our people, and the communities we operate in. For more information, visit vistaragrowth.com