Bengaluru-based fashion startup Universal Sportsbiz Pvt Ltd (USPL) is raising INR 19.3 Cr ($2.6 Mn) funding from Team India captain Virat Kohli. Sports talent management firm Cornerstone Sport LLP, which represents Kohli, also participated in the round.
According to the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) filings accessed by Inc42, USPL has allocated 4282 equity shares to the two investors at a nominal value of INR 10 per share and a premium amount of INR 47,561 per share. Kohli has picked up 3046 equity shares for INR 13.76 Cr ($1.8 Mn), while Cornerstone Sport LLP has picked up 1,236 equity shares for INR 5.58 Cr ($760K). Universal Sportsbiz has already received INR 72 Lakhs ($98K) from Kohli and INR 29 Lakh ($40K) from Cornerstone Sport LLP.
Kohli is also an investor in the London-based social media startup Sport Convo, an app that was launched to bridge the gap between sports stars and fans. Besides this, he had invested INR 2.5 Cr ($340K) in insurtech startup Digit Insurance back in February, along with his wife and actor Anushka Sharma and Cornerstone Sport LLP.
The relationship between Universal Sportbiz and Virat Kohli is not new. Founded in 2012 by Anjana Reddy, Universal Sportbiz has forged multiple partnerships with famous sports and movie personalities to co-create apparel brands, which are sold to customers via online and offline channels. It has previously collaborated with Kohli for his fashion brand Wrogn. The Bengaluru-based startup’s portfolio also includes actor Shraddha Kapoor for Imara, actor Kriti Sanon for Ms Taken.
Prior to this, Universal Sportsbiz had raised $13.5 Mn (INR 100 Cr) in a Series E funding round at a post-money valuation of $163 Mn (INR 1,200 Cr) from American venture capital firm Accel Partners back in 2017. The company also counts Sachin Tendulkar as an investor.
The development comes as several Indian crickets have taken a keen interest in the Indian startup ecosystem. Recently, Former Test captain and Team India coach Ravi Shastri launched his male grooming and hygiene products line ‘23 Yards’, while captain of India’s first World Cup-winning team Kapil Dev invested an undisclosed amount in power sector-focused technology company Harmonizer India.
In addition, Paytm First Games onboarded Sachin Tendulkar as the face of the company. On the other hand, Tendulkar-backed gaming company Smaaash has decided to shut shop due to the Covid-19 pandemic impacting its business.