FICCI Award winning Sports Tech startup Athletto raises Angel Funding
Founded in April 2015 by Ujwal Sutaria(IIM-A alumni), Praveen Gadpayle ( NITIE alumni) and Narayana Vyas(IIM-A Alumni), Athletto is a sports and fitness platform to capture interactions among people while discovering sports and fitness facilities, coaching services, players and tournament information around them and booking it on the go.
They have raised an undisclosed angel funding from renowned industrialist Mr. Atul Ingle,
an avid sports lover himself. He is a self-made 1st generation entrepreneur and is keen to help the startups in building strong foundation of business from his past experience. He said, “I like the vision of the team, the passion and sector knowledge which they bring along with them. I have known the team from quite some time now and they are very meticulous in their approach and know their customers really well.”
Ujwal and Vyas are former national level tennis players and bring a combined experience of 30 years in the sports sector having played multiple sports like badminton, football, squash, handball, cricket, etc. Praveen previously worked with Gati, brings with him intense operations know-how and is the patient problem solver.
Athletto wants to digitize the sports ecosystem and currently provides cloud-based SaaS tool to the sports & fitness facility owners to manage their facility and helps them build and maintain their online presence thus increasing their revenues. On the consumer end, Athletto has a website as well as android and iOS app which provides customers with detailed information about each facility like photographs, timings, contact details, location, prices, ratings, reviews, coach information and more.
Contrary to the public notion that there is dearth of sports infra in our country, one will be shocked to know that India has 2.5L+ sports facilities spread across private, government, schools, colleges and residential complexes. Currently the average occupancy rates of these infra are at a dismal 10-15%. There is tremendous scope to improve it to 50-60%. Hence, the team is focussed on aggregating listings on their platform and trying to digitize this completely unorganized sports sector, which is estimated at more than USD $50 billion in Asia.
Athletto has also won an award at the India Sports Award organised by FICCI in Feb this year for their outstanding effort to promote sports among the masses using technology
Professor of Sports Marketing and Management at IIM-A, Mr. Sanjeev Tripathi says
“Digitizing the sports infra and making them easily discoverable will help in increasing the utilization of infrastructure, drive people to take up sports as well as increase the business of the venue owners. I must say that this is a wonderful idea and the team understands the market really well.”
Athletto has verified more than 8000 sports facilities across 8 cities for listing and partnered with more than 400 sports facilities across Bangalore for online booking. “Currently our platform is facilitating 200+ daily transactions and have already facilitated more than 40,000 transaction handling an amount of Rs 1.5 Cr in less than 10 months” said CEO and co-founder Ujwal Sutaria. He further said “The best part of sports is the high repeat rates and customer loyalty, we see an avg. repeat rate of 65% giving a high CLV making it a profitable and self-sustainable business”
They are making great inroads into the professional sporting scene in India through partnerships with sporting biggies like Bengaluru Football Club(BFC), Olympic medal winner Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory Shooting Academy, Vijay Amrtiraj’s Champions Tennis League team, Arsenal Soccer School, FCBescola and many others. Apart from these, many more exciting tie-ups are lined up for the future.
“We plan to deploy this capital in ramping up our operations in Bangalore and expanding to couple of other cities. A part of it will also be utilized in hiring talent and improving the technology and customer experience” said Ujwal.
Athletto started his journey of entrepreneurship with CIIE’s Young IIMAvericks Fellowship program (a program to support graduating students of IIM-A to take up the entrepreneurial path) and currently is receiving active mentoring support from CIIE.