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Fitness sports brand Built For Athletes secures equity investment from River Capital

Premium North-West based sports and fitness brand Built For Athletes has secured a significant seven-figure equity injection from River Capital, fuelling future growth ambitions.

Built For Athletes was founded in 2018 by Nick Costello, with brother Danny Costello joining the business shortly after. Since launching the business, which designs stylish, functional and durable backpacks, carry goods and accessories for fitness enthusiasts, it has enjoyed rapid growth globally, distributing to more than 160 countries.

As a result of the brand’s strong performance, Built For Athletes has collaborated with several high-profile ambassadors and sports organisations including world’s strongest man Tom Stoltman the Alfa Romeo Formula One Team and German football giants Borussia Dortmund who became the latest to announce their partnership in October. With further global brand partnership announcements imminent, Nick and Danny are confident for Built For Athlete’s continued growth across a variety of sports.

River Capital’s investment will support Built For Athletes in strengthening the product pipeline and, expanding into new markets, as well as securing further strategic partnerships.

As part of the investment, the Built For Athletes board has been strengthened with the appointment of Richard Styles as Chairman. Richard brings significant experience in a range of high growth private equity backed direct-to-consumer businesses including Clubhouse Golf and having previously founded Kitbag, the international sports e-commerce business.

[Speaking on the investment, Nick Costello] said “We are thrilled to be partnering with River Capital for this exciting next phase at Built For Athletes. Mark and his team understood our business and the future potential of the brand from the outset. They bring with them a strong track record in supporting companies like ours scale.

The last three years have been a great period for us as we have grown the business and built brand equity and awareness with consumers across the world. We have a talented team who look forward to working with Mark and River Capital to accelerate our growth ambitions.

CEO Mark Borzomato, who alongside Jonathan Newton led the investment for River Capital added “In a relatively short period and in difficult times, Nick and Danny have built a strong business and brand which is already operating on a global scale and forging relationships with high profile global organisations. The underlying fitness market continues to grow, and we look forward to supporting the team as they expand the brand into new markets.”

Richard Higham, Managing Director and Ryan Niblock of Cleveland Scott provided BFA with Corporate Finance advice, with legal support for the management team provided by Mark Heppell at JMW Solicitors.

River Capital was advised by law firm Napthens, led by David Carr. Hayley Brightmore-Cox and Erin Berry at Knight Transaction Services and Luke Freeman from Whitecap Consulting provided financial and commercial due diligence respectively.