Better Never Stops: Our investment in Castore

Felix Capital
Felix Capital
Published in
5 min readNov 30, 2023

Felix partners with Castore in a £145m growth financing round

Race winner Max Verstappen at F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi in 2023, in Castore kits

At Felix, we are passionate about phenomenons that influence our culture and human behavior at a global level, and that give rise to new, iconic brands and platforms. We have been proud to support cultural pioneers such as Moonbug Entertainment, Highsnobiety and Goop on their journeys to become category defining businesses that are backed by an authentic and highly engaged community.

Over the last few years, we have been particularly interested in the intersection between sports, lifestyle, and entertainment (shared in our recent investment in Omada). We are excited today to announce the newest member of the Felix family — Castore — and joining the next chapter in their journey to become a global powerhouse that empowers everyone who participates in sports, from the world’s best athletes like Max Verstappen to those who aspire to break the 30 minute mark in a casual 5km park run.

The power and culture of Sports

Across all generations and nations, sport is fundamental to our cultural identity. Sport serves as a powerful medium for fostering unity and a sense of belonging. Sport promotes fundamental human values such as teamwork, determination, discipline, and resilience. Whether it’s the fervent support for a local football team or cheering on some of the biggest sports events in the world, from the FIFA World Cup, Formula 1, to the Super Bowl, Rugby World Cup, Olympic Games or Tennis Grand Slams, sport unites people, transcends cultural and language barriers, and fosters an emotional bond over a common love for a team or the game.

Crowds cheering in the streets of Bueno Aires after Argentina wins the 2022 World Cup

Despite increasing competing media and seemingly unlimited content, sports viewership continues to grow overtime, with over 55% of people in the US, UK & Europe, and over 75% of people in Latin America watching it on a regular basis. This is further reflected in investments in sports rights, which has grown over 4x in the last 3 years alone. And sports teams themselves have become incredibly valuable — The Dallas Cowboys (NFL) is valued at $9bn, New York Yankee (MLB) at $7.1bn, Real Madrid (La Liga, Spain) and Manchester United (Premier League, UK) both at $6bn, and the list continues.

Unsurprisingly, because of this cross-cultural zeal and aspiration that unites and inspires people, star athletes also continue to be household names. The most followed accounts on Instagram today are two of the best football players in the world — Cristiano Ronaldo at number 1 with a whopping 609m followers, followed by Lionel Messi with 489m fans worldwide.

Rangers FC team, in Castore kits

Introducing Castore, democratising performance sportswear

Castore is a Manchester-based sports apparel brand founded in 2016 by two brothers — Tom and Phil Beahon, originally from Liverpool. Both Manchester and Liverpool are two cities with immense sports franchises that have deeply shaped the local communities. As former athletes, the brothers are both passionate about creating products that enhance athletic performance and inspire athletes to be the best they can be. This created the company’ ethos of ‘Better Never Stops’ and pervades all they are striving to achieve.

Tom and Phil Beahon, founders of Castore

We first learned about Castore in 2018 through one of their angel investors, and have been following their impressive journey since. Castore has rapidly grown over the past 7 years to become both a successful individual brand, and a full service platform to sports team partners and their global communities. Castore’s own brand products are known for its technical excellence, stylish design, and high-performance fabric. The fantastic products have drawn the likes of tennis star Andy Murray to invest early-on, and have converted quite a few of Felix’s own team into fervent brand ambassadors.

On the teamwear side, Castore recognised there was a huge gap in the market for sports teams which was being underserved by the industry. They set out on a mission to help sports teams better connect with their fans and communities by designing, launching and operating their kits and merchandise business both online and in store. Castore is the only vertically integrated operator in the market, offering world class service, high performance products, design flexibility, a global supply chain and fulfillment, and attractive economics to teams large and small, ensuring that both the likes of Milton Keynes Dons (playing in English Football League League 2) and RedBull Racing could offer their fans a great product and experience. Castore now partners with over 50 franchises globally, catering to a massive end-market that is thirsty for innovation — including those in Football, Tennis, Motorsports, Rugby and Cricket.

Castore’s own team is a reflection of their mantra to constantly push themselves to do better. Tom and Phil are exemplary founders that combine deep passion with incredible execution and ambition. In the last 3 years alone, the business has consistently grown almost 300% each year in a highly capital efficient manner, making them the second fastest growing privately held business in the UK, while continuing to win the trust of more leading sports franchises.

We are delighted to join this £145m growth financing round alongside our friends at Raine and Hanaco Ventures as Castore continues on their journey to scale globally, and deliver innovation in both products and experiences. Welcome to Felix, Castore!