Sports and fitness discovery portal Sportobuddy, has raised $1.5 million in a seed round from former IPL team owner Mehul Shah.
The startup will deploy the proceeds to push the brand’s digital initiative and reach out to its expanding user-base, reports VCCircle.
Founded by Sandeep Madhavan and Sunil Kukadia, Sportobuddy is the brainchild of a group of entrepreneurs and sports enthusiasts who kick-started the company in November 2015 with an aim to spread the power of sports through a disruptive platform and a plethora of products, services, and curated content.
Owned and operated by Locobuddy Mobile Technology Pvt. Ltd, Sportobuddy allows users to discover and interact with fellow-players, measure one’s own performances, and host tournaments to compete with others besides getting information on gyms, yoga and Zumba studios, and adventure sports including rafting, para-sailing, and trekking.
Sportobuddy, which also offers courts and turfs with professional coaching services, has put together a team of feet-on-street who are actively pursuing relevant data and also tapping into online databases to bridge data gaps.
This year, health and fitness space has witnessed series of investment. Recently, FITPASS secured $1 million from Olympic gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra’s venture fund Shooting Star and Franchise India Brands. Another fitness startup Growfitter raised $600K in a Pre-Series A round of funding from San Francisco-based VC SQue Capital.
Fitso, GoSporto, Fitternity, Gympik, FitTicket, Spyn, Fitnapp, Oyeplay are some other fitness discovery startup active in the similar space.
Sports market in India is still highly fragmented and unorganized, demanding a great deal of education and appeal, especially when it comes to developing merchant and vendor connections.
In India, the total retail market for fitness as a category is valued at Rs 4,579 crore, growing at 16-18 per cent and is estimated to cross Rs 7,000 crore by the year 2017.