Puma Private Equity saddles-up £2.35m investment in British cycling brand, Le Col
Puma Private Equity has completed an investment of £2.35 million into the fast-growing British cycling brand Le Col. Founded in 2011 by ex-professional cyclist Yanto Barker, Le Col has its DNA in the pro peloton, and brings high-performance kit to consumers with a quality formerly reserved for professionals.
The company’s partnerships with Eurosport, Strava and Sigma Sports have created thousands of new fans – including Sir Bradley Wiggins. In 2018, he worked with Le Col to create his own range with the brand, Le Col by Wiggins, and also moved his Team Wiggins kit from Rapha to Le Col.
Partnering for growth
Tommy O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Puma Private Equity, led the investment, which has an option to increase to £3.5 million. Speaking on the deal, he said:
“Guided by Yanto’s performance insight, design expertise and drive for perfection, Le Col is becoming the go-to brand for cyclists looking for the best kit. Our investment will support the team to leverage the explosive growth it has achieved over the last 12 months, ensuring Le Col continues on its exciting journey.”
Le Col’s growth was exponential in 2018. Having raised £1 million from crowdfunding in 2017, its overall revenues more than doubled, while eCommerce sales increased sixfold.
Le Col’s CEO, Yanto Barker, said of the investment:
Yanto Barker, Founder of Le Col
“Le Col has always been agile and fleet of foot – constantly exploring new ways of doing things. This is a key business strength and one that has allowed us to accelerate our growth in recent times. It is clear from what we are seeing across our core markets that the economic climate has taken a remarkable turn with pressure coming from general inflation, interest rate increases and high energy prices.
“We need to ensure our business is in a strong position to enable us to weather such changes. Our most recent investment by Puma Funds enables us to transition to a more efficient operational model: one that will help to solidify our position and enable us to act nimbly in what is fast becoming a volatile operating market. It will also enable us to continue making strategic investments that support our growth plan.”
About Puma Private Equity
Puma Private Equity is a leading provider of growth capital to small and medium-sized businesses across all sectors and regions of the UK, delivering investments between £2-10 million and partnering with management teams to accelerate growth and help businesses achieve their potential.