Elevar, the sports, and footwear wear company, has secured $2.6 million (~Rs 19 crore) in a Series A round of funding steered by Kalaari Capital, featuring participation from Dream Capital (DreamCap) the strategic venture capital, and the acquisitions and mergers division of Dream Sports.
The startup is a direct-to-consumer sports firm that manufactures cricket bats and athletic performance footwear, Elevar plans to use the raised capital to broaden its product offering, increase promotional strategies, and ramp up its workforce.
Elevar was founded by Kunal Joshi and Aayush Tapuriah in 2018 and now offers two types of products: running shoes and cricket bats. Despite the presence of several established global and Indian brands in the sports footwear category, the D2C company believes that its product and marketing strategy would enable it to build a position in the $3.5 billion industry. Elevar explains that India’s sports footwear industry growing at an average rate of 15-20 percent each year. The company is now gambling on its product and marketing strategy to set everything apart.
Kalaari Capital, the primary investor in this funding round, has invested approximately 187 startups, including this round which includes Dream11, Cashkaro.com, Cure.fit, Scoopwhoop, and Myntra among several others. This is the first investment of Dream Capital, earlier this month Dream Sports, the parent company of fantasy sports platform Dream11, allocated a $250 million fund under Dream Capital a venture capital (VC) and merger & acquisition arm that will target startups involving sports, online gaming, and fitness solutions.
Aayush Tapuriah, the co-founder of Elevar, said on the development, “Cutting-edge materials and technology in sporting goods have always been priced out of reach for several Indians. Our direct-to-consumer business model enables us to offer customers these innovative technologies at an extremely attractive price point.”
The Indian sports shoe business is heavily controlled by Reebok, Adidas, Nike, and Puma, all of which have evolved into direct-to-customer sales. The sports footwear industry is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 22.85 percent from 2021 to 2025, with global revenue reaching $872 million in 2021 alone.
Despite the popularity of Reebok and others, the category remains mostly fragmented. However, rising revenues, changing consumer choices, and e-commerce saturation are all contributing to the organized sector obtaining greater market share every year, and Elevar hopes that their product and marketing strategy will prove to be a perfect blend, allowing them to scale quickly. Many brands have been inclined to transition themselves to direct-to-consumer channels as a result of lockdown-induced store shutdown it has been considered the only way to survive during the outbreak.