Enda Athletic a Kenyan sports shoe startup acquired by NVH Studios

Enda Athletic, has been acquired by NVH Studios for an undisclosed amount, in a move that will see it broaden its market reach as well as innovate. Enda Athletic is a Kenyan sports shoe startup manufacturing shoes for sports and lifestyle.

Enda Athletic indicated that its dedication to quality will only be strengthened under the wings of NVH Studios. The firm also stated that it will remain committed to delivering top-notch, ethically-made footwear and the acquisition opens doors to exciting possibilities with new designs, enhanced product offerings, and an elevated experience.

Co-founded by Weldon Kennedy and Navalayo Osembo, Enda Athletic, Inc, trading as Enda, creates original men’s and women’s running footwear and apparel for its global customers. The made-in-Kenya running shoe, where world-class runners come from gives Enda a unique brand and selling point against established global players like Nike, Addidas, Puma, Reebox among others. With athletics in Iten town, a training ground for world-class runners, Enda understands what shoe the runner needs.

The acquisition will see Enda Athletic bring onboard world-class shoe designers, developers, and Kenyan athletes to create performance running shoes that capture the skills and experience of Kenyan athletes and take it for the global market. Before starting Enda Athletic Inc., Navalayo started a sports academy in Bungoma, Kenya to help kids from poor backgrounds get much-needed professional training, these inspired her to create Enda Athletic Inc., to help this kids through sports and create jobs for the local community. Enda’s ultimate goal is to be one of the top three running shoe brands globally, and to become Africa’s cultural shoe brand.

In 2021, Enda Athletic was one of the ten winners of Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) 2021 obtaining US$1.5 million in grant funding. The Top 10 finalists come from seven African countries, with 80 percent of the finalists operating in rural areas and half of the finalists being women. Navalayo Osembo-Ombati – Co-founder and CEO, Enda Athletic (Kenya) who won US$150,000 after taking the 3rd position while Khadija Mohamed Elbedweihy – Founder, PraxiLabs (Egypt) 1st winning US$300,000 followed by Nigeria’s Ikenna Nzewi – Co-founder and CEO, Releaf who came 2nd and went home with US$250,000.

In early 2021, Navalayo, a US-trained lawyer and accountant, turned to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter where she raised over Ksh13 million ($120,000) then later in the year raised over Ksh.113.1 million ($1 million) in Series A funding round led by US VC firm Talanton to boost its product development and distribution efforts and grow its brand globally.

Last year, Kenya Breweries Ltd partnered with Enda Athletic to make Tusker Mwanzo, a shoe available for purchase from local sportswear stores and available through Tusker’s Cheer our Champions national consumer promotion. The partnership was aimed at producing a locally manufactured running shoe whilst supporting local businesses in the shoe production value chain to realize their full potential throughout the process.

Weldon Kennedy co-founder Enda Athletic said, ” We are pleased to announce that Enda Athletic, Inc. has been acquired by NVH Studios, a global fashion, and lifestyle holding company of brands with deep cultural heritage and unique products that are focused on high-quality craftsmanship and designed for a discerning customer base with a focus on luxury and sustainability.”