New York-based Yoga Smoga Inc. has filed a Chapter 11 petition seeking bankruptcy court protection.
The voluntary filing occurred Monday in a Manhattan bankruptcy court, but Yoga Smoga was actually hauled into bankruptcy court last month. On Nov. 14, six of the company’s creditors, including its largest investor, filed an involuntary Chapter 7 petition against the company.
Yoga Smoga estimated the number of creditors between 50 to 99, and estimated assets and liabilities each at between $1 million to $10 million. The company’s founders are siblings Rishi and Tapasya Bali. Both left jobs in banking — Rishi at Goldman Sachs and Tapasya at Credit Suisse — to found the company in 2013.
Yoga Smoga was billed as a high-end yoga apparel company, whose authenticity was on par with Lululemon Athletica Inc. The brand partnered with Invista to create proprietary fabrics such as Aurum, which uses nanotechnology to embed moisture-wicking and antimicrobial treatments into the pores of the fabric, rather than applying it topically on the fibers. Average price points are in the range of $99, compared with Lululemon’s at $89.
The company opened two stores in 2014, and 10 more this year, including its first Manhattan location.
In a September 2015 interview with WWD, Rishi Bali said e-commerce sales accounted for 25 to 30 percent of total revenues. He also said at the time that the company could potentially partner with “unique retail establishments such as the Four Seasons or premium yoga studios like Yogaworks.”
The Chapter 7 involuntary bankruptcy petition filed last month was by Durga Capital LLC, The Ravi Singh 2015 Family Trust, Jon Thomas Moore, Ryan James Moore, Jeffrey Stevens Moore and Lori Lynne Walsh, all holding an aggregate claim for unsecured debt totaling $3.2 million. Of the petitioners, Durga Capital holds the largest unsecured debt claim of $2.5 million. Ravi Singh, managing member of Durga Capital, also has an unsecured claim of $200,000 through the 2015 family trust.
In his declaration in the involuntary Chapter 7 filing, Singh said he was “in my personal capacity one of the largest shareholders of the debtor, in addition to being a creditor.” Singh was from Aug. 30, 2013 through Nov. 14, 2016, a member of Yoga Smoga’s three-member board. The other members were the Bali siblings. The court document said he personally funded payroll expenses of $89,473 due to his personal liability as director and shareholder.
In the Chapter 11 list of Yoga Smoga’s 25 largest unsecured claims, both Durga Capital’s claim and that of the Ravi Singh family trust were listed as disputed claims. The other Chapter 7 petitioners were also listed as disputed claims. Another individual, Sean Gallagher holding a $500,000 unsecured claim, was listed as disputed. Other creditors on the list were mostly landlords holding claims for unpaid rent for the stores.
Yoga Smoga last year raised $6.5 million in a Series B round, giving it a $74 million valuation in March 2015.