D2C sports brand Elevar raises $2.5 million from Kalaari, Dream Capital


Mumbai: Elevar, a maker of sporting goods, has raised Rs 19 crore (about $2.5 million) in a Series A funding round led by Kalaari Capital, at a time when direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are gaining traction among consumers and investors alike. Dream Capital — the
recently launched corporate venture fund of sports-tech startup Dream Sports — also participated in the fundraising.

The capital will be used for expanding the product portfolio, marketing and hiring.

Launched in 2018 by Kunal Joshi and Aayush Tapuriah, Elevar at present has two product categories: running shoes and cricket bats. Though the sports footwear market has several established global and Indian brands, the D2C startup believes its product and marketing strategy will allow it to carve a niche in the $3.5-billion industry.

“Cutting-edge materials and technology in sporting goods have always been priced out of reach for several Indians,” Tapuriah said. “Our direct-to-consumer business model enables us to offer customers these innovative technologies at extremely attractive price points.”

“This (the funding) gives us the platform to take our (Elevar) product portfolio to the next level, enabling us to build a millennial-first sports brand that addresses our customer’s performance requirements as well as their modern design sensibilities,” Joshi added.

The widening D2C footprint

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Top investors like Sequoia Capital India, Verlinvest and Elevation Capital are
doubling down on their bets on D2C brands, which first launch their products online — leveraging social media and e-commerce marketplaces — and then scale distribution offline.

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The industry, which spans fashion to food, is expected to become a $100-billion business in India by 2025,
according to a March report by Avendus Capital.

  • In April, ET reported that GetVantage plans to raise $15-20 million, a corpus that will be used to fund more than 200 companies in e-commerce and online businesses. The company has signed up more than 700 firms for funding evaluation and will be looking at having at least 250 brands in its portfolio over the next 18 months.
  • In May, Klub, a fintech platform that provides revenue-based financing, said it will invest over Rs 250 crore in nearly 350 companies in e-commerce and online consumer businesses. So far, the company has funded more than 55 digital-first businesses including Eat.Fit, The Man Company, Tjori and Healthy Cravings.

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