After finding success in Australia and Asia, Europe is next on the agenda for Sydney startup Disrupt
Disrupt, which was part of the most recent muru-D class two intake, creates 100% unique customised sports equipment that performs better for users and also has a unique look. Being keen surfers themselves, the founders Gary Elphick and Jason Rogers chose surfboards as the first product line to launch and test, hence the first iteration of their brand prior to muru-D, Disrupt Surfing.
What sits behind this is a platform that uses data to help users develop the unique shape and size of the equipment – on a surfboard that would be features like the size and volume of the board. On other equipment, like a cricket bat (which Disrupt will be beginning to offer soon), a user’s arm length would be vital data allowing a customer to see how good their trajectory will be in hitting the ball based on the bat they have created.
Everything about the design and artwork of Disrupt equipment is customisable; users are able to upload their own images or they can collaborate with one of the local artists the startup works with.
Yesterday, Disrupt announced that it had officially launched into the European market after finding success in Australia and within the Asian region. It had already created 1,500 surfboards for customers in Australia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.
Disrupt is setting up its European headquarters in the United Kingdom and has already signed marketing partnerships with popular outdoor sports brands like WaveLength and Animal. Distribution agreements with three retailers have also been formed; and Disrupt is currently setting up partnerships with several of the major British University surf teams including Bournemouth, Plymouth, Exeter and Oxford.
“The UK has a strong surfing scene and we’re very excited to launch here to expand across Europe,” said Elphick.
“Jason and I are both surf enthusiasts who found there wasn’t a means of expressing our individuality on our surfboards, without it costing a small fortune. That was the inspiration to set up Disrupt and it’s gone from strength to strength. For us the benefits are three-fold: it’s about educating people about how sports equipment is made and designed, innovating in a sector that badly needs it and celebrating peoples’ expression of creativity.”
Prior to entering the muru-D accelerator programme, Disrupt had some very early customers and revenue coming through the door. Elphick previously told Startup Daily that this allowed the team to make mistakes early on, which in turn allowed them to learn a lot quicker than if they were starting from a zero customer base. This is because as soon as someone pays for something, they are a lot more vocal about what they think, and the feedback certainly came in handy.
This speed to market enabled Disrupt to bring in north of $600,000 in revenue and execute its expansion into international markets a lot quicker.
According to the founders, it is the only company that allows users to directly upload a particular design or photos from Instagram, and work with local artists on the platform to create customised equipment.
However, at the moment there are at least two other players operating in the same space such as CiSurfboards and BoardLams. To be fair though, the technology and design boundaries are completely sup par to what Disrupt is offering to its users.
The vision around the technology powering Disrupt is a big one. Right now, the platform uses a mix of technology and manual input to feed data into its system. Eventually, the plan will be to have a platform that is able to read people and their metrics in 3D as well as tap into other data, in a Internet-of-Things type play.
Recently the company launched Smart Surf, the world’s first socially integrated surfboard, which has embedded microchips providing information about the lifecycle of each board.
The company is currently in the process of rolling out a full eCommerce platform for different types of sports equipment. It will introduce customisable snow sports gear over the next 12 months, and is working on 160 other lines including cricket, rugby and yoga.