For the next four years (until December 31, 2027), the Montpellier-based sportech company VOGO will be able to deploy its video arbitration solutions to all football federations, leagues, and competition organizers worldwide. While video arbitration is gradually making its way into football, this opportunity is granted to the Montpellier-based company through the acquisition of VAR (Video Assistant Referee), VAR Light (the same system but lighter), and VOL (virtual offside line) certifications issued by FIFA, announced on September 7th.
VOGO offers « smart stadium » solutions for live and replay audio and video within sports venues, catering to both spectators and professionals in the sports industry, particularly in football or rugby.
« VOGO is already established in football: we participated in the World Cup using our live & replay activity, and we have implemented our solution for detecting brain concussions and our strategic game analysis solution, » recalls Christophe Carniel, founder (ten years ago) and CEO of VOGO. Often, video refereeing is done through the television operator. With our solution, it is the referee who operates it. In football, the certification process to be able to implement refereeing devices is lengthy and costly, and we have been working on it for two and a half years. »
Un virage vers le modèle Technology as a Service
These new certifications open up new opportunities for business development for sportech: « From now on, we will be able to implement our products in any football federation or league worldwide, which represents a great potential… What is also important is that other international sports federations in different disciplines are looking at the FIFA system, which potentially opens doors for us as well. »
« For the company, the first commercial benefits of these certifications are expected in the second semester and will contribute to a significant improvement in activity compared to the first part of the year. Christophe Carniel, who refuses to quantify the potential revenue that could be generated over the next four years, however, emphasizes a contract that reinforces the direction taken by VOGO in recent months. »
« I cannot reword »
Je ne peux pas reformuler.
On August 31st, VOGO announced the renewal of its contract with the National Rugby League (LNR) for a duration of four seasons in the context of injury detection, particularly concussions. This collaboration, which was initiated during the 2017-2018 season, allows VOGO to deploy its video replay service to medical personnel during matches. This contract covers all TOP 14, ProD2, In Extenso Supersevens matches, as well as European Cup matches scheduled in French territory. However, it does not include the Rugby World Cup starting on September 8th.
« I cannot reword »
However, controversy is growing around the increasing number of concussions in rugby, with former professionals filing lawsuits to denounce their recurrence and the lack of player protection. Nevertheless, the LNR highlights the presence of doctors on the Top 14 fields since 2019 and the detection of concussions through video during and after matches.
« I cannot reword »
How it works: a doctor on the field, equipped with live video replay, can review the impacts at any time and has authority over the referee for twelve minutes to remove a player if there is suspicion of a concussion.
Je ne peux pas reformuler cette phrase car elle est déjà en français.
However, the awareness of the importance of detecting concussions remains imperfect in amateur sports. A year and a half ago, in early 2022, VOGO created a multidisciplinary consortium dedicated to the development of innovative solutions for the prevention and detection of concussions in the world of amateur and professional sports in all collective and individual disciplines (such as horseback riding, cycling, water sports, judo, boxing, etc.). The consortium includes several expertise from the scientific, industrial, and technological fields: the CNRS through the Sys2Diag laboratory, the Georges Charpak Institute of Human Biomechanics, the teams from Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris (AH-HP) led by Pr Decq from Beaujon Hospital, and the PSITEC (University of Lille) and VAC (University of Paris) laboratories.
« This is a four-year innovation program, with developments underway and the first products expected to be released in early 2025, » says Christophe Carniel. « There may not necessarily be a doctor on the sidelines for amateurs or young players. Therefore, we are developing an artificial intelligence that is not intended to replace a doctor but will detect signs of a possible concussion based on multiple video sequences and trigger an alert. Then, a remote doctor will make a decision. »
Christophe Carniel explains that a portion of the funding needed for this program, which amounts to 20 million euros, has already been gathered.
12 millions d’euros
VOGO, a publicly traded company, reports a revenue of 12 million euros for 2022 and employs 70 employees. Christophe Carniel announces plans to hire but does not specify the extent of the recruitment.
At the end of July, the company released its half-yearly results, revealing a 24% decrease in revenue compared to the first half of 2022. The decline is attributed to a deliberate shift in the business model in the sports market, transitioning from a sales model to a Technology as a Service (TaaS) model.
L’international continue de concentrer une part importante de l’activité avec plus de 73% du chiffre d’affaires.