Mark Adair

Ex-rugby international seeks £1m investment to tackle expansion for wellness brand

One of the UK’s fastest-growing wellness brands, which is backed by international rugby stars including British and Irish Lion Finn Russell, has launched a £1m crowdfunding campaign as it targets expansion in retail and overseas markets.

Puresport has grown into one of the UK’s leaders in brain function-boosting nootropics since it was founded in Scotland by former international rugby player Grayson Hart in 2018, with online sales passing £3.5m this year.

The £12m-valued firm began as a producer of natural, fully WADA compliant, CBD pain relief for drug tested athletes, and has since expanded into new markets selling more than 100,000 products across an expanded range catering for wellness needs including sleep, stress, and fitness. Puresport turned over £2m before tax in 2021, with revenues on course to grow to £2.8m this year.

Earlier this year Puresport became one of the first CBD producers to gain approval for legal sale in the UK following the introduction of tough new regulation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). More than 1,000 people have already pre-registered to join the investment round on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

Puresport was initially a side hustle for scrum-half Grayson, who represented New Zealand U20s; Scotland in 7s and full internationals; and the Barbarians during a successful professional rugby career but is now a full focus in retirement for the athlete who also enjoyed stints at clubs in New Zealand and the UK.

The 33-year-old wellness entrepreneur looked to natural products after realising the negative effects of relying on opioid-based painkillers to cope with the rigours of professional rugby. Now, waking others up to the power of natural products to support long-term health is his mission and thousands are joining him.

The London-based start-up has grown quickly by creating an authentic and expanding community around the brand, already attracting almost 50,000 followers across social media. The model has been driven by collaborations with similar-minded fitness and wellness brands including £1bn valued ‘unicorn’ Gymshark.

The company has also circumvented restrictions on advertising CBD products online through its fervent community of advocates, with more than 11,000 people attending the Puresport run clubs, yoga classes, fitness summits, and a host of other brand events in the first half of 2022 alone.

Grayson said: “Natural ingredients are the future. People increasingly distrust big pharma and are looking for long term solutions to health and happiness. We want people to be well, now and forever, and we want more people to join us on our journey. Our products help every area of wellbeing; from pain and recovery to sleep, focus, mood, stress, and balance. Our products are changing lives.

Grayson added: “We want everyone to benefit from our products, which means being in places like Selfridges and Harrods. We’re already experiencing sales from abroad and have had organic iterations of our run clubs in Dublin and Australia. We’ve seen how we’ve grown in the UK by starting a real movement, and we’ll do the same in new territories.”

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