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​​​ UK Fashion VCs: The Harmonic Hotlist

10th January 2019


Searching for Investment in your Fashion business? You need to read this list…

 

Working with fashion brands every day is a dream come true. Helping growing businesses to find the finance professionals they need to help them scale is rewarding enough – but here at Harmonic we like to go the extra mile. Following on from our run-down of Food & Beverage VCs, I went away and did some research of my own… Your investor might be in the list below!

 

 

L Catteron

 

Consumer brand investment giants L Catteron have poured more than $15 billion into ‘middle market companies and emerging high-growth enterprises’. Making them the largest consumer-focused PE group in the world. Impressive stuff.

 

2018 saw a raft of fashion-based investments from the group: from Korean eyewear (Gentle Monster) to Columbian beachwear (Maaji). With LMVH among their shareholders, it’s not hard to see why fashion features so strongly among their portfolio.

 

Portfolio

 

Gann, Rhone, Maaji, Hanna Andersson, Gentle Monster

 

 

 

 

The Carlyle Group

 

Another global juggernaut, with over $212 billion assets under management, The Carlyle Group place high on our list. Operating across 339 investment vehicles in 90 countries, their investments extend far beyond the world of fashion. The brands they do have on their roster, however, are some of the world’s most profitable…

 

Their name was thrust into the limelight amongst the skateboarding community last year (no, really…) when they invested big in streetwear brand, Supreme. A brand that hit the news headlines in 2018 for selling house bricks for over $100 – a product for which fans queued around the block.

 

Portfolio

 

Supreme, Moncler, Golden Goose, Nixon, Twinset

 

 


 

Balderton Capital

 

Those in the know might be surprised to see Balderton on this list, after all, they’re renowned investors in tech (one of Europe’s largest, in fact…). As the worlds of fashion and tech more regularly collide, however, Balderton Capital have been increasingly investing in this niche.

 

This is evidenced in their Depop investment. Depop combines Instagram-style images and endless scrolling with peer-to-peer selling. As the vintage market booms and huge profits can be made reselling limited-run products from streetwear brands (such as the aforementioned Supreme), the app continues to go from strength to strength.

 

Portfolio

 

Thread, Depop, Gemvara

 

 

  

 

Beringea

 

Beringea are focused on transatlantic investment. In fact, their name is taken from the landmass that connected Europe and North America during the last ice age (save that nugget of wisdom for your next pub quiz…). With over 30 years’ investing in both the UK and US markets, they have a wealth of experience to draw from.

 

Investments in everything from Digital Sports to Music Education, Beringea aren’t fashion-focused but their roster includes some rather interesting brands. Including luxury jewellers Monica Vinader (the company that ‘reinvented jewellery design’) and the world’s leading waterproof accessories brand, Sealskinz.

 

 

Portfolio

 

My 1st Years, Sealskinz, Monica Vinader, Watchfinder

 

 

 

 

Forward Partners

 

Forward are interested in fast-growth startups and are proud to not be like ‘typical VCs’. In it for the long haul, they focus on enjoying the growth journey, with social events and a focus on psychological safety – the mental wellbeing of their clients – a priority. Their investors prefer to be known as startup partners. All round good eggs, it seems.

 

Given their approach to investing, it’s no surprise that young, dynamic startups make up their fashion family.

 

Portfolio

 

Wool and the Gang, Spoke, Thread

 


 


Hargreave Hale AIM VCT

 

Many firms on this list can boast about history and experience, but none to the extent of Hargreave Hale – who can trace their roots back to 1897, when a stockbroking firm was founded in Blackpool by one Marsan W Hargreave. Impressive.

 

In 122 years, it’s hard to invest in just one industry. Hargreave Hale have fingers in many pies, but they’re no stranger to fashion investment. With that wealth of experience, they’d make a great partner for any brand.

 

Portfolio

 

My 1st Years, VisionDirect

  

If you’re ready to search for investment in your fashion brand and need the finance colleagues to get you over the line, drop me a message on here or email me any time at: alex.sharp@harmonicfinance.com