The pre-collegiate-junior-club-sports-league-industrial-complex is getting a major digital upgrade, as parents in wealthy zip codes dole out more and more cash to get their kids on track to being a pro athlete - a gambit at least as dicey as venture investing, but with a much lower success rates of becoming unicorns or even the next Daniel Jones.

And Nebraskan digital software startup Hudl ($PRIVATE:HUDL) is very much here for it. Hudl provides video and analytics services to young athletes (or, their parents, who are ultimately the ones paying) looking to either gain an edge on the field, or also, in the recruitment process. It is a subscription-based product that lets users record, edit and analyze performance - and, ostensibly, prep a performance portfolio for potential future talent scouts. 

Business is booming - as our first chart reflects - it tracks Hudl's total Apple ($AAPL) App Store Ratings Count, a reflection of how often consumers weigh in on quality. And, in 2019, it has shot up more than 60%. Things have gone well at the Google ($GOOG) Play App Store, where Hudl has racked up nearly 18,000 reviews - mostly positive (not pictured). In both app stores, Hudl ratings are "4" or higher. 

The company is growing like a weed - in fact, it acquired Krossover from Stack Sports, earlier this year. That deal brought 40 new staffers into the fold. According to its LinkedIn ($MSFT) Employee Headcount, staffing crossed the 1,000 mark recently, increasing by more than 13% in 2019. Hudl investors including Accel and Nelnet have backed the startup with more than $100 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.

One thing that has helped Hudl gain popularity is its ability to get content distributed on social media - and being able to generate easily-consumable video clips helps adoption across a number of platforms. However, its content isn't getting adoption equally and all over the place - Hudl Facebook ($FB) Likes have declined over the last 18 months, while Instagram Followers (not shown) rose 13% in the last month alone, to 290,000.  

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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