Popular British outdoor brand Alpkit opened itself up to public investment via crowdfunding for the first time this week on the back of a massive 500 percent upturn in sales during the lockdown period.
Known for high quality yet reasonably priced outdoor and cycling kit, as well as its highly regarded Sonder bike brand, Alpkit has become a brand leader in the outdoor market and is one of the go-to brands for many a bikepacker and cyclist.
Alpkit has served 191,000 customers in total, and 103,000 in the last 12 months. It is still co-ounded by its founder, David Hanney. Alpkit has seen more than a 20 percent like-for-like online sales increase and EBITDA (profit before expenses, taxes etc) growth during the Covid lockdown.
The company launched its investment campaign on Monday via popular investment site Crowdcube with the aim to raise £750,000 of public investment in order for the company to achieve four areas of improvement and growth, it listed these as:
- Improve our web to grow sales worldwide
- Invest in our team and continue to design great quality products that matter
- Open 2 Alpkit stores a year until we have 12
- Achieve a world-class sustainability record using the B Corp framework
The £750,000 would have equated to an approximate shareholding of 6.3 percent of the company based on current valuation. After reaching this target within a staggering eight minutes of opening up the campaign the decision was made to double the target, opening up a 12.6 percent collective stake in the company.
The funds were raised in record time and the campaign closed to further potential investment within an hour. In total 1,380 investors raised £1,493,088 with the single largest investment being £169,996. Alpkit's co-founders together invested £400,000 between them.
CEO and Co-Founder, David Hanney, said, “This is an exciting time for Alpkit and we’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support from our customers.
“For a long time, they've been asking us whether it would be possible to invest in Alpkit and we've always wanted to extend our ownership and deepen our relationship with our customers.
“So when we looked to add financial strength to our growth plans, we wanted to involve them ahead of other financial institutions.
“The response has been incredible and we know we wouldn’t be in this position today without their loyal support."
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James Bracey's career has seen him move from geography teacher, to MBR writer, to Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and video presenter. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of bicycle mechanics, as well as bike fit and coaching qualifications. Bracey enjoys all manner of cycling, from road to gravel and mountain biking.
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