Puresport founder Grayson Hart

Puresport founder Grayson Hart at the brand’s pop-up shop in Oxford Circus

A CBD start-up founded by a former Scotland rugby player has beaten a £1.3m crowdfunding goal to help bring it range of wellness products to the retail market.

Professional rugby union player Grayson Hart founded Puresport in 2018 to offer drug-tested athletes a natural alternative to opioid-based painkillers.

The brand has since expanded in the mainstream wellness category and makes a range of nootropic and adaptogenic supplements alongside CBD oils, balms and capsules.

More than 430 backers on the Seedrs platform have so far invested £1.5m in the campaign, which is continuing to overfund, with the business valued at £12.3m.

Investors included Scotland rugby internationals Jonny Gray, Greig Laidlaw and Finn Russell, who put in a combined total of more than £80,000.

Puresport will use the money to press ahead with plans to expand into the US and Australian ecommerce markets in the coming months, having launched in New Zealand earlier this month.

It also recently opened a pop-up shop for two days on London’s Oxford Street to raise awareness of the brand as it gets set to focus on the retail channel.

Hart said the brand was initially targeting upmarket department stores such as Selfridges and Harrods, alongside the likes of Amazon.

“This investment will help us on our road to achieving our retail ambitions,” he added. “We are also ready to replicate the success we’ve enjoyed in ecommerce in the UK overseas – starting with the US, Australia, and New Zealand where the audience is ready and target growth potential huge.”

Puresport, which has been approved for the UK by the Food Standards Agency, has generated £3.5m in online sales on its DTC store since launching four years ago, with turnover reaching £2m in 2021.

“If you’d told me in 2018, we’d be in a position to raise more than £1m in under a day I’d have laughed at you, but the people involved in the business and the progress we’ve made since has filled me with the belief Puresport can become as big as we want it to.”