In 2010, both quit their Wall Street jobs — Rishi at Goldman Sachs and Tapasya at Credit Suisse — to start a company to bring them back to their yoga roots.
Their yoga apparel and lifestyle company, YogaSmoga, has now closed its $6.5 million Series B round, valuing the company at $74 million.
Eighteen months ago, YogaSmoga was valued at $12 million, Rishi Bali, the company’s CEO, tells Business Insider. The new round of funding was led by former Goldman Sachs partner Ravi Singh, who is also on YogaSmoga’s board of directors.
The New York-based company has retail locations in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Los Angeles as well as research-and-development locations in Massachusetts and California. Bali tells Business Insider that the company is growing quickly. YogaSmoga has grown to 40 employees from two in 18 months, and it has plans to double its employee count this year.
To stand out from the competition, YogaSmoga positions itself as a more authentic yoga brand. Both its founders were raised in and understand the culture of yoga and the lifestyle around it.
“While other companies use Yoga as a marketing tool, we are yoga company that makes things for life, and this difference in philosophy makes us operate at a much higher level than any of our competition and have a deeper connection with our customer,” Bali tells Business Insider. “Our authentic connection to yoga helps us understand the needs of our customers and make a very luxurious product that stands up to the demands of the consumer.”
YogaSmoga’s prices are similar to its competitors: a pair of YogaSmoga Ballerina leggings retails for $98, the same price as Lululemon’s Devi yoga pants. YogaSmoga, however, has developed new fabric technology to create pill-resistant, moisture-wicking products, and it makes its products in the US.
“We have a commitment to how we dye our products,” Bali says. “We don’t use harmful formaldehyde based pigments that are harmful to the environment. We use superior dyes that don’t fade, don’t bleed — everything is done in super eco-friendly labs in California.”
In line with its commitment to the authenticity of yoga, Rishi tells Business Insider that the company also doesn’t retouch any of the pictures on its website.
“Our goal for YogaSmoga is to grow to be a leader in this category,” Bali tells Business Insider. “Both our products and ethos resonate with our consumer base, and we are growing at a very rapid pace. We expect to be at 100 retail outlets in the US by 2018 and be close to our where our consumer is.”