Marquee investors join in Stepathlon's new capital raise round

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MUMBAI: Demonstrating confidence in the technology-driven fan engagement business of Stepathlon, marquee investors, including serial technology investor Josh Liberman, former IMG global president, Michael Dolan, executive vice-chairman and founder of Perform and DAZN, John Gleasure, and former chairman of LVMH Asia Pac and chairman of Turmeric Capital, Ravi Thakran have participated in a fresh round of capital raise by the technology-driven health and wellness company.

The investor group is a pre-eminent mix of individuals from the world of sports, entertainment, media and lifestyle, and prominent investors from private equity, technology, ESG and family offices. The other prominent investors in this round are Andrew Croker, former head of IMG worldwide football division and co-founder and former executive chairman of Perform, and David Gallop, former head of NRL and former head of Football Australia.

The investment will be utilised to upgrade the capabilities of Stepathlon's proprietary technology platform, hiring key personnel, and leveraging first party data. Stepathlon is now primed to enter a new ambitious phase of its growth with a proven model, world class clients, and investment, a company media release said.

Ravi Krishnan, CEO & Founder, Stepathlon said: “The caliber and diversity of our investor group is an indication of their belief in Stepathlon’s, vision, mission and business plan. We are at an inflection point not just for the Sports and Entertainment industry but the world as a whole. Stepathlon provides an opportunity for stakeholders, to take an inclusive and involved position in the health of their fan community whilst driving their own business goals and impact. We are a purpose driven organization strongly focused on people and planet via content, community and commerce.

Krishnan added: “It is getting very competitive in the ‘attention economy’ as rights holders and brands compete not just within, but across verticals. Stakeholders are sitting on goldmines, and we have the picks and the shovels. Engagement and activation will be keys to success to provide data driven outcomes. Stepathlon works with stakeholders to engage and expand in a relevant scalable manner. Everyone talks about data. It is both an art and a science."

After a successful stint in establishing IMG, and its multiple properties and businesses in India, Krishnan, who is considered a pioneer of the sports management and marketing industry in India, co-founded Stepathlon, while also partnering and advising global stakeholders on IP creation and market entry.

Commenting on the raise, Peter Hutton, sports industry veteran and currently Director, Media Partnerships at Meta said “The Stepathlon investor group is, by any standards, world class. It is testament to the progress that Stepathlon has made since their last raise in 2020. Addressing the endemic issue of continuous fan engagement by leveraging health and wellness via their Virtual Race and is not only a unique way of engaging fans and activating brands, but also of acquiring actionable first party data which is now critical for growth across all Sports Media and Entertainment.”

Stepathlon's mission is to build “the most active fan community on the planet” addressing an endemic issue in the sports and entertainment industry -- continuous fan engagement, especially through non-peak periods. Their clients include Manchester City, Australian Football League Club with the largest membership - Richmond FC, IPL Team Rajasthan Royals, and a growing global blue-chip pipeline of major events, leagues, sporting teams, celebrities, festivals and corporates.

Stepathlon’s unique Virtual Race engages and expands fan bases through a relevant common theme of health and fitness to drive quantitative and qualitative outcomes for rights holders, brands and other stakeholders, whilst capturing actionable first party data. Stepathlon’s sports marketing approach to wellness represents an inclusive approach in the Move-To-Earn category. Stepathlon leverages fan love to make getting healthy, a fun, entertaining, inclusive, and rewarding experience, the release added.