Nottingham-based outdoor brand Alpkit, which besides its ranges of cycle clothing and bikepacking bags also owns the Sonder bike brand, has raised £1.5 million in funding on Crowdcube in less than an hour. The company had initially aimed to raise £750,000, achieving that target within just eight minutes, and it took another 44 minutes for investment to be doubled.
The company, which specialises in gear to run, hike, climb, camp, swim and bike, launched its campaign on the crowdfunded investment website on Monday, which came after it saw 500 per cent like-for-like sales growth in the past 12 weeks, with turnover hitting £2.3 million.
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."
In all, 1,380 people signed up to the crowdfunding round, their collective shareholding in the company being 12.6 per cent.
The original goal of £750,000 would have equated to 6.3 per cent but was raised when Alpkit realised the strength of demand from its customers to invest in the business.
Of the £1.5 million raised, £400,000 came from the founders of Alpkit, which were biggest single investments.
The company also raised £1.1 million from 1,370 of its customers and staff, with an average investment of £800. The smallest investment was £10, and the biggest investment, £25,000.
According to the Crowdcube pitch, the new investment will be used to:
• 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.
Other businesses within the cycling sector that have turned to CrowdCube to raise funds include the bike brand Tresca, the electric cargo bike delivery and taxi service Pedal Me, and clothing brands including Le Col.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.