Premium men's sportswear brand Castore has raised £1.2m from a group of private investors, including the founder of high street fashion chain New Look.
Tom Singh, who is still a non-executive board member for New Look and sits on the advisory board of private equity firm Bridges Fund Management, is one of five investors backing the one year old company.
It was founded by brothers and former professional athletes Tom and Phil Beahon, both in their 20s, who worked in football and cricket respectively. They believed there was a gap in the market for quality sportswear “appealing to a more discerning customer”.
“Castore is a very exciting company with strong growth prospects, not just in the UK but worldwide,” said Singh.
“The premium sportswear market continues to expand rapidly and although currently dominated by a small group of multinational companies, there is undoubtedly appetite for a premium brand committed to superior product quality like Castore.”
The business already sells to 18 countries from its website, but now plans to open shops in Canary Wharf, Bank and Chelsea.
“We are delighted to have an investor of Tom Singh’s calibre on board. He is one of the great figures of British retail and someone we have huge respect for,” said Tom Beahon.
“Tom [Singh] fully understands our brand DNA and can see the huge potential for Castore in this growing market.”
As well as investing further in its online platform, it also wants to open international physical stores in Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York.
Castore's turnover is set to be £650,000 this year, rising to £2.1m next, with overseas sales accounting for 45 per cent of the total.
The business employs 12 people and works with a Portuguese textile factory to create its products. Worldwide distribution is handled from its Merseyside headquarters.