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#The First Look
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The First Look - 17th of February 2024

I came across this company when doing some research into the passing of ex-AFL footballer, Shane Tuck.

Some of you may remember Shane, as he played a majority of his career for the Richmond Football Club (totaling 173 games) here in Melbourne, retiring in 2013 before becoming a full-time professional boxer between 2015 and 2017. Tragically, in July of 2020 and after a long battle with mental health, Shane was found deceased after he took his own life.

Before I go any further, I’d just like to pay my respects to anyone who may have known Shane.

My research begun after I took an interest into various mental health issues in professional athletes (although I should note this can happen at the grass roots level) directly linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or more commonly known as CTE. Put simply, CTE is found in persons suffering repeated trauma to the brain, through various degrees of ‘head knocks’ or physical impact.

In July of 2023, an Inquest was held into Shane’s death by the Victorian State Coroner, John Cain. (I will link the findings here - Microsoft Word - COR 2020 003895 TUCK Shane - Form 37 - Finding following an inquest signed on 11 December 2023.docx (

For those interested (however, I will say that reading reports such as these can be confronting) I encourage you to have a read of the findings passed down by State Coroner John Cain.

The scope of the Inquest was as follows:

A post-mortem neuropathological examination conducted by Associate Professor Michael Buckland found that Mr Tuck suffered from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) at the time of his death. After receiving submissions from the interested parties the following relevant matters will be investigated by the Coroner:

  1. What are the circumstances of Mr Tuck’s death.
  2. Did Mr Tuck suffer head injuries, including concussion during his Australian Football League (AFL) career.
  3. Did Mr Tuck suffer head injuries, including concussion, during his professional boxing career.
  4. What connection, if any, can be established between:

a. the head injuries sustained during Mr Tuck’s football career and his diagnosis of CTE.

b. the head injuries sustained during Mr Tuck’s football career and his diagnosis of CTE.

c. the head injuries sustained during Mr Tuck’s boxing career and his diagnosis of CTE.

d. Mr Tuck’s diagnosis of CTE and his death.

For those of you who don’t have the time, John Cain made twenty-one (21) recommendations as a result of his findings. Now, I won’t go through each one... the important one for the company I’m about to speak about is directly linked to recommendation eight (8);

“The AFL take all reasonable steps to promote and extend the use of mouthguard accelerometer technology in elite AFL/W clubs with a view to extending player uptake to 80% for the 2024 AFL/W season. In doing so, the AFL should consider obtaining specialist advice on overcoming any legal and privacy issues which may prevent the AFL from mandating the use of the mouthguard accelerometer technology in elite AFL/W clubs and using the data for clinical research purposes”.

This is the recommendation that made me do the research into the companies that might be able to provide what John Cain called, “mouthguard accelerometer technology”.

Enter, HitIQ (ASX:HIQ)…

What do HitIQ do?

The following is directly from their website..

We're building the world’s first end-to-end concussion management platform

Our platform aims to provide a total concussion ecosystem with products that support the identification, monitoring and management of sport-related brain injury.

Next generation concussion management technology

We're targeting a growing worldwide concussion management market including elite and community sport, clinical practitioners, military, and researchers.

We've collected a global data bank of head impacts across all major sports, which places us in a leadership position within the market. We pride ourselves on the integrity of our data.

Player welfare should leverage precise data

  • We ensure players understand not just how to use HITIQ products, but why our tech benefits them, their sport and their fans.
  • We coordinate with team doctors, coaches, and performance staff to take the uncertainty out of critical decision-making.
  • We support high performance practitioners with tools and technology to turn data into actionable insights.

The HitIQ Products

Nexus (The Mouthguard)

Embedded in a custom fit, custom calibrated mouthguard, our Independently validated impact sensor captures the frequency, location and intensity of all head impact exposures.


HitIQ has local manufacturing capabilities in Melbourne and can manufacture approximately 6,000 units per year by digitally scanning users' teeth and 3D printing customized devices (with an upfront payment of $599.. this does not include the payment for the scan required at a selected dental clinic to have the mouthguard fitted)

CSX (The Program)

CSX provides an easy to use, sideline concussion assessment tool. The system produces a digital record that can be shared with medical professionals, family and organisations to ensure coordinated athlete care.


ConneQt (Integrated Ecosystem)

HITIQ ConneQt is an integrated ecosystem linking Team Administrators, Caregivers and Players to medical professionals following potentially concussive events. This includes a Telehealth service that specialises in the treatment of sports-related concussions.

CoVR (Concussion Virtual Reality)

As of the 17th of February 2024…Yet to be released!

CoVR is a virtual reality based cognitive and oculomotor assessment platform. The immersive tool assesses various domains such as processing speed, memory, and decision making.


CoVR (Concussion Virtual Reality) is a brain function and concussion injury diagnosis system that uses virtual reality (VR) to deliver multiple tests and assess cognitive, oculomotor, and vestibular function in a sensitive manner, reducing traditional assessment limitations.

HitIQ suggest that current cognitive assessment tools used for diagnosing concussion have fundamental flaws in delivery, design, and measurement. The CoVR product line addresses these flaws by providing player engagement, precision, and a comprehensive dataset through a gamified virtual reality environment, enabling medical professionals to deliver an unprecedented concussion care plan.

Business Strategy:

At the outset of their IPO (dated April 2021), they indicated the following, “HitIQ’s initial focus is rapid penetration of the Australian elite sport market through the Nexus A9 product. With the AFL implementing the technology across the League, the Australian elite sports market will be used as a reference point to execute and demonstrate our value proposition prior to an aggressive push into our key target markets: the U.S & European elite sports markets”.

The key element of this blue print has been to build a cohort specific data set, which HitIQ aims to replicate through its partnerships with the following organisations:

  • Several high-profile college football (gridiron) teams for the 2020 and 2021 seasons;
  • Two Premiership Rugby teams namely, Bath and the Northampton Saints; and
  • The UFC, through its China & Las Vegas Performance Institutes.

Targeting the Elite Sports Sector

Further outlined in their prospectus is that HitIQ’s key focus will be to target the elite sports markets of North America, Europe and Australia due to the following:

  • Interest in elite sports;
  • The number of sporting leagues (contact sports) operating within these areas, and;
  • The size and value of the sporting leagues within these areas.

Let’s be real… it would be nice to see HitIQ’s products being utilised throughout Australia, but the real money to be made will be in Northern America and Europe.


Combined revenue of around $40 billion USD per year. ($61ish billion AUD)


Combined revenue of $236 million GBP per year. ($456ish million AUD)


Combined revenue of around $1.56 billion AUD.

HitIQ also mention European Football (Soccer), generating around $28.9 billion GBP per year. ($55ish billion AUD)

Targeting the Military

Between 5% and 35% of US troops deployed in Afghanistan during the global war on terror sustained a concussion. HitIQ also outline, “a growing demand for technology to assist in this area, combined with massive budgets makes this a huge potential market”.

  • US Military budget: $934 billion USD (this is back in 2021… and around $1,432 trillion AUD….)
  • Australian Military budget: $42.7 billion AUD.

There are other areas, such as ‘grass roots’ sporting within Australia along with Clinical Practitioners and Research that HitIQ are looking at.. but none of them are as important than their execution in Australia and ultimate expansion into the US and European markets. They’ve also made a few comments relating to combat sports, in particular the UFC.. nothing much more to say on that at this point in time.

How have they been going?

Update - 30th of June 2022 (Appendix 4E, dated the 31st of August 2022)


I’ll quote Otto Buttula (Non-Executive Chairman) from his letter to shareholders

“It has been without a doubt a disappointing year for HITIQ shareholders, for as I wrote last year, despite reaching $0.30, a 50% premium to our issue price, shortly after listing on the ASX, the Company has traded at a significant discount ever since, particularly during the traditional tax loss-selling period, which recently occurred in June. This has surprised me greatly! I am personally a shareholder in a number of other ASX listed and unlisted entities, many have no current revenues, and many have far less revenue than that of HITIQ, yet they have significantly higher valuations or market capitalisations. Whilst I strongly believe these other companies outlooks are appealing, does the investing public or our departing shareholders seriously think that HITIQ, as a global leader in concussion management technologies and management has a limited future!”

”I, the Board and many of our loyal shareholders, think not!”

In late 2021, HitIQ acquired CSX (which I went over above).

Managing Director and CEO (also co-founder) Mike Vegar explained that the essence of HitIQ is the data, and that due to the CSX platform, they now possessed over 15 million head impact data points and over 125,000 concussions assessments. He further explains maintaining this data collection will allow HitIQ to build significant assets by way of intrinsic value as the databank will play a critical role in transforming their products from descriptive to predictive.

Two (2) out of the four (4) products are now on the market, the mouthguard and the CSX platform.

Still awaiting updates on the status of CoVR and ConneQt…


  • Revenue from contracts with customers - Up 52% to $619,000 (from $406,000)
  • Loss from ordinary activities after tax - Up 37% to almost $7 million (from around $5 million)

Update - 30th of June 2023 (Appendix 4E, dated the 31st of August 2023)

More… Eh…

I will yet again quote Otto Buttula from his letter to shareholders…

“It has been another disappointing year in regard to HITIQ shareholder returns, with the Company’s share price continuing its decline”

Mike Vegar noted the following highlights for the year:

  • Selected to be the exclusive provider of concussion technology at Rugby League World Cup;
  • A new partnership with Shock Doctor, a world leader and pioneer in sports mouth guards;
  • Secured a third Australian Innovation Patent;
  • League wide deal with the Premier League for CSX technology;
  • West Australian Football Commission to utilise Nexus technology;
  • Extension of consumer platform with announcement of new product – ConneQt;
  • Nexus trial with United Rugby Championship;
  • Signed First Commercial US collegiate customer;
  • Signing of Country Football WA as first customer for new product - ConneQt; and
  • First commercial deal into the military market.

Mike further noted that he was “disappointed that opportunities which were expected to be executed for the year failed to complete”.

He then went on to reiterate, “our de-identified data collection strategy places us as one of the major players in the brain trauma sector… this data strategy will provide differentiated value proposition to corporates, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and other aligned institutions that will drive a strong, growing, and sustainable recurring revenue stream for the business”.


  • Largest customer receipts quarter to date in Q3 of FY22/23 of $425,000 in cash receipts (accounting for 77% of FY2022).
  • Revenue from contracts with customers - Up 26% to $774,000 (from $619,000).
  • Loss from ordinary activities after tax - Down 27% to $5 million (from around $7 million)

Update - 31st of January 2024 (AFL signs a multi-product deal with HitIQ)

hitiq-signs-multiproduct-deal-with-afl (

The public enjoyed this announcement to the market, as trading was halted (pending announcement) at .017, opening at .022, hitting a high of .030… annddd coming all the way back down and settling around .022ish…

A few key notes from the announcement:

  • HitIQ has executed a strategic partnership with the AFL to supply its Nexus head impact sensor technology and concussion management platform for the AFL and AFLW competitions in 2024.
  • The partnership covers both the AFL & AFLW competitions, as well as the VFL & VFLW competitions, representing approximately 60% of HitIQ's reported operating revenues in FY 2023.
  • The deal consists of two 12-month agreements for the 2024 season, with one agreement for the concussion management platform (approximately 1/3rd of total revenue) payable upfront, and one for the Nexus head impact sensor technology (the remaining 2/3rd) payable in two equal installments.
  • HitIQ's concussion management platform (CSX) will be mandated for use in the AFL and AFLW and offered within the VFL and VFLW competitions. The Nexus head impact sensor technology aims to capture and analyze head impact exposure across these competitions.

Update - 31st of January 2024 (Quarterly Activities Report - December 2023)

dec23-quarterly-activities-report-and-appendix-4c (

A few steps in the right direction with the following commercial agreements being made over the quarter.

Australian Football League (AFL) - As outlined in the above ASX announcement.

Sydney Roosters FC - A team within the National Rugby League (NRL)

Western Australian Football Commission (WAFC) - extension into 2024 from the previous year

Peak Physical Therapy - of note, HitIQ’s first sale into an international market.

Monash University, Deakin University and University of Canterbury - providing data for on-going studies.


Prevent Biometrics (USA) - Prevent | Impact Monitoring Mouthguard - Prevent Biometrics

A privately owned American company established in 2015, Prevent Biometrics are sort of doing the same thing as what HitIQ are attempting to do.

The products:


  1. Impact monitoring mouthguard (with individual charging case & a team charging case)
  2. A mobile application
  3. A web data portal.

Again, much like HitIQ, they say their product’s will do the following:

  1. Identify Players Needing Sideline Evaluation

Real-time and precise head impact monitoring transforms the sideline evaluation process from subjective observation to an objective, data-driven approach. This provides a much needed reassurance in safeguarding player safety.

  1. Instruct Safer Playing Techniques

By capturing and analyzing data on head impact exposure, our technology unviels patterns and trends crucial for player safety. When combined with video footage, coaches gain powerful insights to pinpoint potential risks and refine athlete technique effectively.

  1. Understand Head Impacts Throughout The Entire Organization

With head impact monitoring, team and league administrators adopt a proactive stance towards player safety. Our analytics dashboard enables insightful comparisons across players, positions, teams, sports, and athlete gender, empowering informed decisions for safer gameplay strategies.

  1. Collect Reliable Head Impact Data for Research Studies

Sound head impact data facilitates crucial studies on injury-causing forces, empowering the research and science community. Prevent collaborates with top academic researchers globally, providing invaluable support in measuring and comprehending head impacts for advancing scientific understanding.

A huge difference between the HitIQ mouthguard and the Prevent Biometrics mouthguard is that the Prevent Biometrics mouthguard allows you to fit the mouthguard at home (flashback to my 12 year old self burning my mouth when I attempted to fit my own at home). This could be more appealing at the ‘grass roots’ level.

The ‘Sports Business Journal’ wrote an article about Prevent Biometrics - Prevent Biometrics Measures Head Impact Data With Smart Mouthguards (

  • The University of Nevada is entering year three of a study (2019-2021) in which 50 players on the school’s D1 college football team have worn the mouthguard and has thus far collected data on 20,000 head impacts over the past two seasons.
  • Among the other support of Prevent Biometrics is Dr. Joseph Maroon, who is the team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers and medical director for the WWE. The NFL recognized Prevent Biometrics as a finalist at the league’s first and future pitch competition in 2017. Last year, the NFL expanded its impact-sensing mouthguard program from NFL teams to also include players on four college football programs, though that mouthguard device was developed with Virginia-based engineering firm Biocore.
  • The company’s biggest partnership to date has been with World Rugby, which began in 2021 with more than 700 youth players in New Zealand outfitted with Prevent’s mouthguards. The deal is now expanding to equip roughly 3,000 rugby players across the world, including players in the women’s Rugby World Cup.

A study conducted by the Ulster University found that, “the Prevent Biometrics custom fit mouthguard had a mean relative error in the peak of the magnitude of 4.9%, 4.6% and 2.5% for angular acceleration, angular velocity and linear acceleration at the test dummy head centre of gravity, respectively” - Full article: Concussion biomechanics, head acceleration exposure and brain injury criteria in sport: a review (

Another study, conducted by the Leeds Beckett University found, “a positive predictive value of 96% for active minutes” - Quantification of Head Acceleration Events in Rugby League: An Instrumented Mouthguard and Video Analysis Pilot Study - PMC (

Comparisons with Prevent Biometrics

Having a read through HitIQ’s prospectus, which was published in April of 2021, I found that the University of Canterbury in New Zealand had conducted a similar test in which HitIQ state, “highlights the accuracy of our impact sensor, with respective mean absolute error margins of 3.85% across the entirety of both linear and rotational acceleration profiles”.

The pricing is an obvious one, I think at a ‘grass roots’ level, parents or individuals would rather pay the $199 + $39 for the Prevent Biometrics version rather then HitIQ’s version of going through the effort of paying $599 for the mouthguard ($99 per year subscription fee thereafter), then doing the dental scans. I could be wrong... also, when it comes to the real money to be made, it doesn't come at the 'grass roots' level.

The HitIQ mouthguard will be better fitted (as you need to go to a dental clinic to have your mouth scanned), be longer lasting, and I think it has far superior tech... not to mention a better concussion assessment tool (CSX) and better integrated ecosystem (ConneQt).

Riddell (USA) - Riddell | InSite

Didn’t really spend too much time on these guys. They’ve patented a sensor that goes into the helmets worn by NFL players.

From all reports, they’re technology is behind that of HitIQ and Prevent Biometrics and they’re product will only be looked at by the NFL… albeit probably the largest sporting code in the world behind European Football (Soccer).

My thoughts and valuation - HitIQ

Love the product, love the idea.

CTE (among other brain related issues) is a huge talking point for all contact sports around the world, and a lot of sporting codes are putting measures in place to detect and prevent future harm to their players once their careers.

What I want to see HitIQ do the near(ish) future...

Milestone #1:

Taking over the Australian market:

  • Hopefully I see some mandates from sporting codes in Australia to utilise some form of concussion analysis technology and for HitIQ’s products to be the go to for each and every elite sporting code in Australia (contact sports that is). I’ll stress however, this is purely the starting point, I don’t think the company is worth much if they can only take over the Australian elite sporting market.
  • As a small example... the AFL has 18 teams with 22 players on the field for each team. 18 x 22 = 396.. and 396 x $599 (initial cost of the mouthguard bundle) = $237,204. This will be the revenue for the AFL, only for the first year. On-going revenue would be a $99 per year subscription fee, so around $40k revenue for every year thereafter.

Milestone #2:

The Americans take notice:

  • After a successful deployment of their products throughout the elite sporting codes within Australia, the USA take notice and HitIQ has the ability to implement an appropriate strategy to market their products to the big four (4), NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL.

Milestone #3: Interchangeable with step #2

The Europeans take notice:

  • As above…

Sure, there are a few steps to be taken in between each milestone which will generate further profits for HitIQ, but I think these are the biggies.

So is all this achievable for a small Australian company… sure, why not? I think they have the product and the TAM in order to achieve it and I’ll be keeping a close watch on all the steps HitIQ takes to achieve each of these milestones.


This is my first real deep dive into an up and coming company without profits, and I’m struggling to come to a decision on an appropriate method of valuation... any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.


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