With $2M Investment, ATL-based PCKL Launches To Capture The Pickleball Craze

The courts may be small, but its influence is growing. With upwards of 5 million players in the US, pickleball is the country’s fastest-growing sport. Players are from all ages and walks of life, drawn to the game for its fast-paced, social nature. 

A group of Atlanta-based entrepreneurs is looking to seize on that growth with the launch of its own line of paddles, balls, and gear for pickleball enthusiasts. 

Aptly named PCKL, the brand officially launched today and is ready to make its mark on the growing pickleball community. 

“Once we identified how large, quickly-growing and deeply passionate the pickleball audience was, and how much we ourselves love the game, we knew it was ripe for a team like ours to jump in and make a splash,” said Michael Gottfried, Co-Founder and CEO. “There’s tons of room for innovation, community-building and a fresh perspective, and we have the experience and know-how to execute.”



PCKL offers a variety of products designed specifically to match each person’s skill level. The goal is not to cater exclusively to hard-core athletes, but rather to the fast-growing community of casual players. The paddles range in design from the Launch Series (for newbies) to its Pro Series (for those looking to add more precision to their game). The price points are designed to match a customer’s own playing frequency. 

The company also has a duo-toned training ball, the first-of-its-kind to help newbies learn the intricacies of the game. 

Beyond just providing quality gear for pickleball players, the brand is focused on building a stronger community around the sport. PCKL said it will be donating a portion of profits to community racket sports organizations and will be focused on building up new partnerships to grow the sport of pickleball. 


Making A Racket In Atlanta 

PCKL is launching with a $2 million seed investment from Atlanta-based BLH Ventures, making it the first venture-backed D2C pickleball gear brand. 

Ashish Mistry, managing partner at BLH, said his past experience with the core PCKL team helped him recognize that it was the right time to invest in the company.  “Once I saw the team and plan they wanted to execute, the investment decision was easy,” Mistry added in a statement following the launch of the company. 

The e-commerce team is located in Atlanta with its home base in Midtown. 

While pickleball has become a global phenomenon (Bill Gates, Drew Brees, and Leonardo DiCaprio are all known to enjoy the game), building PCKL in Atlanta is strategic for the team given the city’s strong racket sports community.

Atlanta is home to ALTA, the world’s largest city tennis organization, which alone boasts over 80,000 members. Pickleball – described as a cross between tennis, ping pong, and badminton – is starting to gain more traction in the Metro Atlanta area. 

Atlanta has been the home to competitive casual racquet sports, with more social and competitive tennis players than virtually anywhere on earth. Pickleball has borrowed the best aspects of tennis and tennis enthusiasts are picking up pickleball faster than we’ve ever seen in a sport’s growth curve,” added Gottfried. “Atlanta still lags behind many cities in its pickleball infrastructure, both public and private, but not for long. There are a number of new public parks introducing pickleball courts in the near future, as well as new pickleball facilities and entertainment concepts. We hope to ride this wave and play a large part in the growth of the game in our racquet-sports-crazed metropolitan area.” 

Those looking to start playing pickleball might want to check out PCKL’s blog for tips or hit the courts out of Sandy Springs Tennis Center, Peachtree Hills Park, Bitsy Grant Tennis Center, and Shady Valley.