One of the most successful analytics groups in sports is actually not in sports. At least not in the usual way.

Just three years after co-founder Doug Fearing left the research and development department of the Los Angeles Dodgers, one of the largest a club has ever put together, the group of R&D experts that Fearing has come together to form Zelus Analytics has already formed can measure with it. If Zelus does not yet have the largest number of employees at 26, this may soon be the case.

“I should anticipate that I’ve heard rumors about soccer teams in China with 100 people,” said Luke Bornn, co-founder of Zelus. “But I haven’t confirmed such rumors yet.”

The Austin, Texas-based company is backed by RedBird Capital and differs from typical R&D groups in at least one way: its independence.