US-based venture capital firm Eckuity has made a strategic investment in the athlete-backed Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO).
The company, which typically invests in early-stage life sciences and health-tech companies, was joined in the investment round by Sir Michael Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital, another venture capital firm.
Eckuity made the investment in what it characterizes as the "fastest-growing sports discipline in the world" with the aim of accessing a “highly desirable yet difficult to reach consumer”.
It views the PTO as a platform via which companies developing innovative health, wellness, and medical tech products – the areas in which it invests – can distribute their products, with the organization’s athletes and audience aligning with those areas.
The PTO, meanwhile, will use the investment to raise the profile and rewards for professional triathletes and, in doing so, hopes to position them on a more similar level to top athletes in other major sports.
By doing so, it is thought the sport will be made more attractive to broadcasters, cities, and partners, in turn further driving up the commercial value of triathlon for the investors.
It was announced earlier this month, that the PTO had brought onboard New York-based sports agency and management company Excel Sports Management to support global partnership sales for its inaugural PTO Tour this year.
Youssef Sebban, managing partner at Eckuity, said: “We are excited about not only the enormous potential of the business but also our ability to leverage this platform for the distribution of outcome-changing health-tech products and services.
“We are fully aligned behind PTO’s mission and believe the management team will consistently deliver world-class events bringing this sport the coverage it so rightly deserves, thus providing a high-profile platform for influencing our culture to better mental and physical health.”
Charles Adamo, executive chairman of PTO added: “Triathlon itself is a recognized global brand for unwavering dedication, ultimate endeavor, unstoppable passion, and tremendous achievement. Our PTO professionals provide an inspiration to all those who face challenges in their lives and want to overcome obstacles and achieve their potential.
“We believe Eckuity’s healthcare expertise will assist in our goal of creating a more health and wellness conscious community by providing access to innovative healthcare technologies.”