Innovative sports brand Elevar has raised INR 19 crores in Series A round of funding led by venture capital firm Kalaari Capital with participation from Dream Capital (DreamCap), the Corporate Venture Capital and M&A arm of Dream Sports. The company will utilise the funds towards expanding its product portfolio, increasing its marketing efforts, and building out its team.
Launched in 2018, ELEVAR is a direct-to-consumer sports brand that currently has two core product categories – Athletic Performance Footwear and Cricket bats. Their team of designers, engineers and partners seek to deliver cutting-edge designs utilizing the latest research from biophysics and sport. Driven by the belief that customers deserve the best possible sporting experiences at affordable price points, they prioritise sourcing premium materials and utilize only the finest technologies for products across their portfolio.
Their flagship shoe – ARC RACER – is a versatile sneaker that is rich in features and high on design. At the heart of the shoe is Elevar’s proprietary sole unit, RYDEFOAM. Made from E-TPU, one of the world’s most innovative foam technologies, it gives the user an unparalleled running experience that combines pillow-like softness with spring-like responsiveness. The shoe is made affordable at one-third the price of comparable shoes from international brands.
Elevar’s unique line of cricket bats are engineered to offer an enhanced batting experience. Featuring the brand’s trademark ergonomic handle and sophisticated grip technology, these new-age bats enable superior power and control in each stroke. Aesthetically edgy, the bats are designed specifically to capture the minds of young cricketers.
Co-founders, Kunal Joshi & Aayush Taapuriah are friends who met in 2007 at Cornell University. They took divergent paths after college gaining rich experience across consulting, banking, investing and startups in both the US and India. 10 years on, Kunal decided to quit his Private Equity job at Temasek Holdings and Aayush decided to return to India after finishing his MBA at Wharton, so that they could finally pursue their dream of building India’s first iconic sports brand.
Kunal Joshi, Co-founder, Elevar, said, “We are thrilled to have Kalaari Capital and Dream Capital partner with us. This gives us the platform to take our 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.”
“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”, said Aayush Tapuriah, Co-founder, Elevar.
Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital, added, “Aayush and Kunal’s passion for building an India-first sports brand was infectious. Their understanding of the market, commitment to product innovation & customer experience stood out for us. We are proud to be an early partner in their vision to build a disruptive sports company from India.”
“Elevar’s products speak for themselves in terms of their appeal, design and quality. We look forward to partnering with the team to develop India’s leading sports lifestyle brand.” commented”, Dev Bajaj – Managing Director, Dream Capital.
The sports footwear market in India alone is ~$3.5b growing at ~15-20% p.a. While there is still a large unorganized section of this market – rising incomes, changing consumer tastes and e-commerce penetration are all leading to the organized sector gaining more market share each year. Despite the sector featuring several established global and Indian brands, Elevar claims that their disruptive product and marketing strategy will prove to be a winning combination allowing them to scale rapidly.