Bangalore: 10club, one of the first e-commerce aggregators, has announced its second acquisition of a top selling sports and fitness equipment brand, Skudgear. Raviteja Visakoti, an IIM Kashipur Alumnus, along with his brother RithishVisakoti, founded and grew Skudgear that focuses on sports and fitness category and Rapidotzz, which specialises in smart watch accessories.
Raviteja longed to be financially independent since he was a student at IIM Kashipur, and that was what largely drove him to find ways to build a financially sustainable business. His brother and he had worked in corporate jobs, but both decided that it was not a path they wanted to pursue. They saved a small amount of money to order their first shipment of products, with the intent to sell them on Amazon. They worked tirelessly to identify the right product mix with reliable suppliers and soon, their products were garnering a good number of positive reviews on the platform.
They started operations from a single bedroom flat in Hyderabad with just 1 employee. Four years later, they had built a business with strong margins and a highly rated portfolio of products; several of them being bestsellers on marketplaces. Skudgear currently operates out of a 2,500 sq. ft. warehouse with 8 employees and has listed 400 SKUs on Amazon, which brings in the largest portion of sales for the company. Raviteja has an uncanny knack of identifying the right products based on their size and demand, which he used shrewdly in curating the product portfolio. He also started Beclina, a small collection of women’s handbags. He now dreams of building his venture into a $100 million brand but is encumbered by a lack of capital to expand his portfolio, the team to scale operations, and often supply chain difficulties.
10club stepped in at this juncture to acquire his business, with the aim to partner with him and grow his business multifold. 10club acquires, operates and grows digitally native businesses to create a portfolio of brands with the aim of growing them exponentially and empowering them to become market leaders in their respective industries. Earlier this year, 10club raised a seed fund of $40 million, the largest seed fund round in India with participation from Fireside, HeyDay, PDS International, Class 5 Global, Secocha Ventures and founders of hardware startup boat being the other investors.
10club has built a team of extremely talented and experienced individuals who specialise in building brands like Skudgear with a foundation that can sustain high velocity growth. Often, e-commerce brands face challenges in terms of lack of capital, inadequate technologies and expertise that a brand needs to overcome the stiff competition on online platforms. 10club brings with it resources that profitable brands need to unlock the next phase of growth for their businesses, with the aim of growing the business 10x, eventually achieving market domination for the brand.
Elaborating on the acquisition, Deepak Nair, Co-Founder & COO at 10club said, “Ravi is an extremely passionate young entrepreneur who uses his analytical acumen and a deep understanding of consumer preferences to dominate the category he operates in. His vision of building a large business in the sports and fitness space is perfectly aligned to what we at 10Cub have outlined for this exciting category. We are extremely excited to have Ravi and his team to anchor this category along with the other acquisitions we have planned in the coming months.”
10club brings with it expertise in the areas in which he specifically needs support – supply chain management for instance. When the pandemic hit, his business came to an absolute standstill as his supply from China dried up. 10club will work with Ravi to build operational excellence, with robust systems for sourcing and forecasting, scaling volumes, digitizing warehouse operations, channel expansion and identifying potential areas of growth to expand the product portfolio.
Commenting on the acquisition, Raviteja Visakoti, Co-Founder of Skudgear said, “Skudgear is where it is today, because of the agility we built into the fundamentals of the business. We’ve been fearless when it came to experimentation, quick to double down on what worked and remove what didn’t. I am glad to see that 10club operates with the same philosophy and we believe the team at 10club will grow the business exactly the way we would have. Deepak and Bhavna have built a great team and we are eager to explore the possibilities that the future holds for us in partnership with the 10club team.”
Raviteja will join the 10club team full time as an Entrepreneur in Residence with a renewed vigour to grow and build his business to the $100 million brand he had dreamed of. 10club will focus its energies on building the brand alongside him, with the aim of making it a category leader and a valuable addition to its portfolio of brands.