KOOH Sports gets a top-up from existing investors
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Health and fitness company KOOH Sports has closed a fresh follow-on round of $2.2 million from existing investors such as HDFC, Faering Capital, Elevate Sports and the founders, said the company.

The fresh funds would be deployed to pursue international markets expansion, including acquisition, taking new product innovations to market and also to enhance working capital to meet high growth needs, it said. 

Its co-founders Susir Kumar and Prabhu Srinivasan were former senior executives of  Intelenet Global Services, which got the backing of Blackstone from 2007 to 2011, and then again in 2015.

KOOH sports is currently operating in 180 schools across 50 cities, 80 multi-sport academies in 25 cities with a staff 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 500 plus people after the fundraise. A part of the capital would also be used to reinforce the senior management team. 

Recently it hired a health and fitness expert John Gloster, former physiotherapist of the Indian Cricket Team and IPL team Rajasthan Royals, in a full time capacity as the chief quality officer and advisor to the Board of KOOH Sports.  Similarly, it is looking to broaden the senior management team with operational and technical capabilities.

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. 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, particularly for swimming, football and tennis we need greater access to international staff. 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.” 

He added, “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, “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.”

The company had trained over 400 sports coaches and every sports coach and physical education teacher that they hire goes through an internal training programme called KITES (KOOH Sports Institute of Training and Excellence for Sports Skills), it added. 

The company has got an accreditation from National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to set up a vocational training institute across the country.

Previously, it also raised capital from Tata Consulting Services and HDFC in 2012 and 2015.  It has combined workforce of 400 people that include coaches, technical team and administrative staff. It expects to be a 1,000 people company in 3-5 years time-frame.

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