Castore raises £145m as it nears £1bn valuation

Manchester-headquartered sportswear brand Castore has secured £145 million of investment in a funding round led by US investment bank Raine Group.

Bloomberg reported that the funding round values Castore, which already counts Andy Murray as a shareholder, at around £950 million.

Other new investors include New York and Tel Aviv-based venture capital firm Hanaco Ventures and London-based Felix Capital.

Castore announced that it secured a significant growth investment in the funding round led by Raine Partners, The Raine Group’s flagship growth equity fund.

The Raine Group specializes in media, entertainment and sports.

Hanaco Ventures and Felix Capital participated in the investment through their respective growth funds.

Castore was founded in Liverpool in 2016 by brothers Tom and Phil Beahon.

Castore’s Team Sports platform manages omni-channel retailing — online, offline and event-based — operations for its partners, which include include 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 omni-channel retail operations,” said the Beahon brothers in a statement.

“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 …

“This investment will give us the financial firepower to invest in our supply chain and enhance our data analytics capabilities.

“There is huge demand out there for Castore and this will enable us to continue to deliver great products, service and choice to our sports industry partners and consumers, and to take on the established players in the global sports apparel market.

“We are very proud of the progress made, but we – and the full Castore team – are just getting started!”

Raine Group partner Jason Schretter said: “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.”

Rothschild & Co is acting as the sole financial adviser to Castore on this transaction. Allen & Overy and Addleshaw Goddard are legal advisors to Castore. Latham and Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Raine.