Castore, a U.K.-based performance brand for global sports teams, has received a 145 million pound investment in a funding round led by Raine Partners, the growth equity arm of The Raine Group, an advisory and investment firm focused on media, entertainment and sports. Hanaco Ventures and Felix Capital also participated in the investment through their respective growth funds.
The investment will allow Castore to work with more leading sports franchises around the world by supplying them with merchandise as well as the data needed to further develop their relationships with fans. The funds will enable Castore to further develop the breadth of its mainline product assortment and invest in personnel and infrastructure, Castore said.
Founded in Liverpool in 2016 by brothers Tom and Phil Beahon, Castore’s business model combines premium performance apparel with a vertically integrated digital commerce platform and supply chain platform for top sports teams and leagues. To date, Castore has partnered with 50 franchises globally in a variety of sports including soccer, tennis, motorsports, rugby and cricket and teams such as McLaren F1; Oracle Red Bull Racing; England Cricket Board; Glasgow Rangers; Bayer Leverkusen; Feyenoord; Sevilla FC; Athletic Club (Bilbao); Saracens Rugby, and Republic of Ireland Football.
“We are delighted to have secured the backing of highly reputable equity partners that will add significant value to all aspects of Castore’s business model — our team relationships, our sportswear brand and our omnichannel retail operations,” said the brothers, who serve as co-chief executive officers of the company. “We are confident these are the right investors to take us to the next stage of our growth, who share our passion for high-quality sports apparel, and, in addition to capital, will bring expertise and access to new markets.”
They added that the investment “will give us the financial firepower to invest in our supply chain and enhance our data analytics capabilities.”
Jason Schretter, partner of The Raine Group, added, “Castore is an insurgent sportswear brand that sits at the intersection of sports, premium brands, data analytics and e-commerce. Raine and our fellow coinvestors’ deep expertise across these industries helped us immediately understand the impact Castore can have on its clients. Sports teams and leagues are among the most cherished brands in the world. They deserve comprehensive and bespoke solutions to help them better connect, engage and monetize their global fan bases. Castore’s differentiated combination of high-quality merchandise and data-driven technology solutions is the answer sports franchises need to unlock this massive opportunity. We look forward to working with Tom, Phil and the entire Castore team to extend their connectivity to the world of sports.”
This is not the first investment Castore has received. The brand, which counts tennis star Andy Murray among its shareholders, raised 7.5 million pounds from private investors in 2020.