KOOH Sports, Indian health and fitness company which uses sports as a primary vehicle for transformation at the grass root level has recently closed a fresh follow-on round of $2.2 million. Existing investors such as HDFC, Faering Capital, Elevate Sports and the company’s Founders have participated in this round. The fresh funds will be used to pursue international markets expansion, taking new product innovations to market and also to enhance working capital to meet high growth needs. KOOH sports is currently operating in 180 schools across 50 cities, 80 multi-sport academies in 25 cities with a staff of strength of about 400 people which is expected to grow in the next 6-9 months to about 200-220 schools, 100 academies supported by and 500 plus people.
With the new fund raise; KOOH Sports also wants to reinforce the senior management team. Recently they have inducted John Gloster (ex-physiotherapist of Indian Cricket Team and Rajasthan Royals and is also a leading Health and Fitness expert) in a full time capacity as The Chief Quality Officer and Advisor to the Board of KOOH Sports. Similarly, they are looking to broaden the senior management team with operational and technical capabilities.
Announcing the fund raise, Chirag Patel, CEO, KOOH Sports, said “As we are scaling up, we need to offer better set of holistic sports education services and sports training solutions that underpins the KOOH Sports platform. Specifically for the India platform we now need two things. First, to have greater access to highly skilled and elite level sports coaches and technical staff. Whilst we already have a number of elite coaches in India both homegrown and international, we feel that in some sports particularly like swimming, football and tennis we need greater access to international staff so that we can start offering more services like high performance learning centres. Second, is to gain greater access to world-class facilities and programmes in developed markets like UK, Australia and Dubai in a way that is cost effective from an Indian market perspective. We are currently evaluating to buy one or more assets from a carefully curated list of assets in geographies like UK, Australia and Middle East and are also pursing international partnerships particularly in UK and Australia. Armed with new funding our ability to execute and quickly reinforce the India platform becomes that much easier.”
Susir Kumar, Founder, KOOH Sports, said, “Our existing shareholders have continued to show faith in the founders, the management team and the model and they continue to be excited with the new opportunities that we are presenting. There is a possibility that we may raise significant capital next year to further scale up through international expansion, add new sports specific capabilities and reinforce the product portfolio. If we have to transform sports outcomes then KOOH Sports is the right engine to drive the health and fitness outcomes first for our children. Training coaches and facilitating employment by introducing innovative solutions to cater to the demand gap, we are addressing the fundamental issues of scaling up and are confident of our growth strategy in the Indian and international market.”
Over the years, the company has built a robust training curriculum, trained over 400 sports coaches and every sports coach and physical education teacher that they hire goes through a rigorous internal training programme called KITES (KOOH Sports Institute of Training and Excellence for Sports Skills). The multi-level KITES training programme has been built by their expert curriculum team supported by their technical experts and consultants is the first such innovation. The company has got an accreditation from National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to set up a vocational training institute across the country.
SportsNaukri.in – a specific sports portal for the potential employers like schools, universities, clubs, communities and leagues is the second innovative initiative that the company has launched. SportsNaukri.in caters to the larger community of sports coaches and physical education teachers who are looking for job placements across the country and it is open to various other job categories like Sports Marketing Professionals, Sports Facility Manager, Sports Managers, Sports Event Management, Sports Science and Technology Professionals, Sports Medicine and many more.
The company strongly believes that technology is a great enabler for sports and the third such innovation is the mobile app ERP solution called Excalibur. Prabhu Srinivasan, Co-Founder, KOOH Sports said that we recognized early-on that with so many schools and academies tie-ups, it would get difficult to manage day to day operations and hence the need to embrace technology was conceived last year to remove potential barriers of scaling-up. The ERP solution gives them us opportunity to offer a third party solution packaged with curriculum and content to schools allowing us to gain an even wider access to more and more schools and academies at the grass-root level.