Home / News / Canadian startup Stoko to expand with $6 million seed funds

Canadian startup Stoko to expand with $6 million seed funds

May '21
Pic: Stoko
Pic: Stoko
Stoko, a Vancouver-based startup that has created a new category of professional knee brace support called supportive apparel, has generated $6 million in seed funding from multiple sources, including some of Canada’s top industry investors. The funding will help the company expand. Stoko has changed the way athletes prevent and recover from injuries.

Created by athletes for athletes, Stoko’s first product, the K1 is a beautifully designed compression tight with integrated joint support that mimics the body’s natural structures to give the support of a traditional knee brace with unparalleled comfort.

“This funding will fuel our expansion efforts as we carve out a new category in retail, focused on supporting athletes in returning to play after an injury or preventing one altogether,” said Zack Eberwien, CEO of Stoko. “Our product is revolutionary in that it gives athletes the confidence to do the sports and activities they love in comfortable apparel that’s as effective as a medical-grade knee brace.”

Eberwein, a mechanical engineer by training, co-founded the startup in 2017 after experiencing an acute knee injury from an extreme hike challenge. On a whim he decided to leave his rigid knee brace behind; this life-altering decision propelled him to find a better way to support athletes through injuries.

Stoko’s leadership team includes some of Canada’s top-level athletes like Olympian gymnast Scott Morgan, a co-founder, and Olympian skier Allison Forsyth who heads up brand and community. The high performance team is competing against an outdated, 50-year-old brace industry and some of Canada’s top angel investors are betting on their future.

“Stoko’s proprietary technology addresses a real need that exists and disrupts the competition that has long been stagnant,” said John Currie, the former CFO of Lululemon and investor in Stoko. “They are focused on building a company with the foundation and capabilities to efficiently scale the opportunity they have created.”

In addition to Currie, notable investors include Norm Francis, CEO of Boardwalk Ventures, Greg Malpass, CEO of Traction on Demand, Darrell Kopke, CEO of Adelhard (formerly Kit and Ace and Lululemon) and Paul Geyer, CEO of Discovery Parks and Nimbus Synergies.

Stoko has both a strong direct-to-consumer and business-to-business model. The K1 is eligible for medical coverage by some healthcare providers and in addition to its e-commerce platform, it is available for purchase at specialty stores.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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