Boxing/MMA analytics startup Hykso joins Y Combinator

Local startup company Hykso is part of Y Combinator’s Winter Cohort.

Hykso is now the second Montreal venture in two weeks to announce its inclusion in the reputable Mountain View-based incubator. Both VentureBeat and BetaKit reported this morning’s news.

The startup provides a way of measuring analytics for official boxing and MMA fights/sparring sessions through custom-built wrists sensors and algorithms.

Attacking an estimated market of over 35 million fighters worldwide, Hykso recently launched a presale campaign featuring a sensor, a charging station, and access to the companion app for $220. Just under 350 units remain for sale on the website, from an initial stock of 1,000.

A premium version that will deliver more performance data is also available for elite professional coaches and athletes.


A graduate of the University of Toronto, founder Khalil Zahar found his former boxing trainers’ instruction “extremely subjective,” and set out to build a performance-tracking sensor that could provide “concrete, quantifiable feedback,” according to VentureBeat. Cofounders Alexander Marcotte, Alexander Lapointe, Tommy Duquette, and Chris Lampert are joining him.

“Our ultimate vision is to leverage our expertise in embedded system gesture recognition, motion tracking, and data analysis to move into other sports that are starving for better sports-specific metrics,” Duquette told VentureBeat.


Those who pre-order the unit receive two punch-tracking sensors. The app runs on iOS 7+ and runs Bluetooth 4.2.

Coaches and athletes are able to monitor punch output as it happens with Hykso’s app. “We’ve found that watching in real time is a huge motivator for people,” Duquette told VentureBeat. “Even our top professional athletes tend to work a lot harder when they can see their punch volume and speed change based on their output. The real-time numbers seem to hold them more accountable.”

The tech blog also revealed that approximately 35 gyms worked with Hykso during its private beta. Testers included athletes like WBA world champion Javier Fortuna, undefeated professional boxing star Omar Figueroa, undefeated Golden Boy prospect Rashidi Ellis.

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