Legal Name: Krak, Inc
Location: Los Angeles, California
INDUSTRY: Global Skateboard Industry
Size: $156M in 2016 (Source: MarketWatch)
Future: $178M in 2021 (Source: MarketWatch)
For those passionate about skateboarding, Krak offers a membership plan called the Krak Skate Club. This features a social network for skateboarders, a monthly subscription box and a skateboarding-centric e-zine.
The startup seeks to ensure that skateboarding enthusiasts have access to exclusive skateboarding gear and intel created for and by skateboarders.
With its mission to make the world ‘a huge playground’, the startup’s mobile app (KrakApp) allows skateboarders to share multimedia and locations with others via the KrakApp community. Users can leverage this social media platform to show-off their skills, share details of new skateboarding spots, and also how to get there. Thus, this service offers a means to bridge the gap between online communities and real-life sporting hangouts.
The community is not limited to skateboarding, but also welcomes and encourages enthusiasts of rock climbing and other extreme sports to deepen their connection with their sport of choice.
Meanwhile, the subscription service, called KrakBox, delivers a surprise bundle of skateboarding gear and apparel to the member’s doorstep every two months.
The Krak Skate Club’ quarterly membership costs $99 and offers Krak merchandise such as tee-shirts and classic Krak skateboards, access to the ‘krakens only’ social network, and their e-digest. And all the Krak merchandise is shipped to members for free.
What’s more, for every new member who joins, the startup donates $10 to a non-profit organization called Skateistan.
Krak is also looking to create a small chip/sensor that can be attached to the skateboard. This hardware is being programmed to sync with the app and recognize skateboarding tricks and usage patterns, powered by an algorithm. And thus, it is hoped that this ‘Fitbit for skateboarders’ can help users improve their style and technique.
Origin and Founding Team
According to his LinkedIn profile, Co-founder Kevin Straszburger is an EDHEC Business School grad and lifelong skater. No wonder, he calls himself the ‘Chief skateboarder’ at Krak. “Skateboarding is the world we come from: I started skateboarding in 2000, I spent all my teenager nights playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater,” this Frenchman told BuiltinLA.
According to Wired, in 2013, Straszburger and his team underwent a successful stint in Paris with accelerator Le Camping and in London with Seedcamp. But even before starting work on their idea, they moved to Los Angeles, and spoke with a lot of active skateboarders to understand what they really wanted. Then, in 2014, they set up headquarters in LA.
“Our ultimate goal is to make all skateboarders happy,” Straszburger added in his interview to BuiltinLA. “We wanna enhance the skateboarding experience, helping everyone to progress faster and enjoy more of life as a rider.”
Most recently, the startup also got the opportunity to be a part of Techstars Boulder Class of ’18.
Performance and Trends
So far, Krak has secured a total funding of $144.6K. According to PitchBook, it started with seed capital raised from NUMA and Seedcamp in February 2014, followed by a $70K seed fund from Lean FUND in September 2014. Then in October 2016, the startup raised an undisclosed amount from Project Flying Elephant and WestTech Ventures.
Soon after, in December 2016, it received $100K from Hot DesQ. Then, in February 2018, Krak got accepted into Techstars Boulder 2018. And most recently, in September 2018, it raised $40K from individual investor Reshma Sohoni.
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