Bulletin: Stoko raises $6 million to build 'supportive apparel' industry

Multiple high-profile executives among a slate of local seed investors.

Vancouver’s Stoko raised $6 million in seed funding from multiple sources including John Currie, the former CFO of lululemon, Norm Francis, CEO of Boardwalk Ventures, Greg Malpass, CEO of Traction on Demand, Darrell Kopke, CEO of Adelhard (formerly Kit and Ace and lululemon) and Paul Geyer, CEO of Discovery Parks and Nimbus Synergies.

Stoko, which is led by CEO Zack Eberwien, is reportedly first to market in creating a new category of professional knee brace support called supportive apparel.

Eberwein, a mechanical engineer by training, co-founded the startup in 2017 after experiencing an acute knee injury from an extreme hike challenge. He founded the company on a quest to improve on the rigid knee brace he was forced to use.

“This funding will fuel our expansion efforts as we carve out a new category in retail, focused on supporting athletes in returning to play after an injury or preventing one altogether,” Eberwien said in a statement. “Our product is revolutionary in that it gives athletes the confidence to do the sports and activities they love in comfortable apparel that’s as effective as a medical-grade knee brace.” 

Stoko’s leadership team includes some of Canada’s top-level athletes like Olympian gymnast Scott Morgan, a co-founder, and Olympian skier Allison Forsyth who heads up brand and community.