Prevayl gets funding boost to grow tech-based luxe sportswear offer
Prevayl, a luxe ‘smart’ sportswear company, has raised £7.5 million to help drive its launch and expansion with the firm's products set to debut on the market during Q4.
The Manchester-based firm, which makes sports clothing in which graphene technology is embedded, has attracted funding from digital-first consumer brand investment firm Stonebridge. The new investor is headed by D2C entrepreneur James Cox, who’s best known for his involvement with Simba Sleep, Mahabis and Torque Brands.
The sportswear start-up said the new money would help it to “take wearable health technology to new heights”.
The funding will be used “to kit out state-of-the-art laboratories and fitness areas with data testing facilities, new hires, garment design, continued innovation and IP creation and developing an infrastructure that will facilitate growth”.
The company describes itself as a pre-launch “cutting-edge sports performance brand” and said it’s “looking to empower consumers with their own biometric data, bringing together a premium, discreet aesthetic with powerful insight in a seamless user experience”.
It was founded by its CEO, former personal trainer Adam Crofts, and it chairman, serial entrepreneur David Newns. They said they spotted a gap in the market for a connected clothing brand that would “look considered, feel great and provide exemplary performance data”.
Crofts added that “to secure £7.5 million pre-revenue is testament to the whole team.”
And the team that Crofts and Newns have built is based in Manchester and includes “experienced apparel designers, hardware developers, intellectual property experts and marketeers, whose CVs are furnished with stellar experience in both apparel and technology, from the likes of GymShark, The Hut Group, VF Corporation, Lacoste, and Burberry, with others having designed for the 2016 Rio Olympics”.
The company also said it currently sits at number nine in the list of top 10 UK patent filers across any industry.
Its USP mixes performance materials with “a comparable look, feel and handle to luxury sportswear brands” with “elevated smart clothing that allow the wearer to connect with their body via invisible, sophisticated tech, to an APP, which monitors performance and recovery to enhance the user’s experience”.
The founders also said it will be “fashion-forward” and at launch, will consist of three distinct elements — the sportswear, the hardware and the app, “underscoring Croft’s vision to straddle the athleisure and tech industries”.
Three key items will form the basis of the collection with a tank top, a crop top and a T-shirt retailing around £90. Each design “will be available in stealthy matte black with bonded seams to reduce abrasion and discreet branding”. The sensors used are connected by invisible stainless steel threads, surrounded by a yarn that expands with heat to keep them close to the body. This is held in an internal panel that sits under the bra in the women’s crop top and around the chest in the men’s tank top.
Made in the UK, the hardware is said to be the smallest on the market. A tiny LED light alerts the user to the battery life, which lasts for up to 24 hours.
The company said this tech moves beyond the standard heart rate, pace and training zone to “offer meticulous insight and analysis of the body from comprehensive electrocardiogram data that identifies heart rate and variability including heart rate zone and recovery, orthostatic heart rate, cardio age, heart function, atrial fibrillation, and ectopic heartbeat”.
And where it “really diverges from the competition is with its level of breathing insight”.
James Cox said of all this: “What the company has created over the last 24 months is quite amazing and sits right in the sweet spot of what we believe consumers want. The founders are world class and well on the way to disrupting another large global market and we’re delighted that we can be part of that journey with them. Prevayl is the perfect example of the type of company which we love to back.”
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