Tracksmith, a running apparel brand, has secured $4.1 million in series A funding led by Pentland Group which now increases the total funds of the company to $5.7 million. Pentland Group is the management group for many top brands like Reebok, Speedo and Lacoste footwear and various other sporting brands.
Launched in July 2014 as performance running apparel company for men, Tracksmith aims to provide apparel for runners which are much subtle rather than flashy neon and patterned gear which is in trend these days. They provide simple clothing in classic red, white and muted blue among which some are fashioned in technical fabrics while some are not.
With majority of workout clothing has been considered aesthetic with the fluorescent accents, co-founder of Tracksmith Matt Taylor condemns that many of the mainstream brands neglect the fact that running is a sport too. “Over the last five or ten years, everything has been watered down to a more generic health and wellness message. Nike is out front leading the industry, and all of the other brands have gotten them behind and followed,” said Taylor.
This has made Tracksmith focus on the traditional outdoor runner who may be commonly spotted even on the coastal areas. The business model of the company which is about selling the products directly to the consumer, allows the company to experiment a lot that is not easily possible with big retail companies. The unique approach of the company helped it win $1.6 million last year in its first round of funding that was led by 14W, Index Ventures and Lere Hippeau Ventures.
With regard to the recent investment by Pentland, “They have incredible experience in finance and the back-end. I think our strengths are in knowing running culture. We are engrossed in the brand positioning and marketing. I think they bring a lot of expertise that we wouldn’t have been able to get from a tech VC,” said Taylor.
With the new funds pumped into the company, the startup plans to market their product through event, run crews, pop-ups, and also plans to introduce new line of designs. It also has Tracksmith quarterly magazine called Meter where one can find all about running culture. Taylor plans to increase the frequency and have a digital version of it soon. “If you do content really well, you create a digital community around it,” said Taylor.