Le Col secures £2.35 million investment - BikeBiz
British cycling brand secures money from Puma Private Equity

Le Col has secured £2.35 million from Puma Private Equity to fuel further growth, with the opportunity to increase investment to £3.5 million.

The British cycling brand was founded by ex-professional cyclist Yanto Barker in 2011, is based in London but manufactures all kit in its own factory in Treviso, Italy.

Part of Puma Investments, UK-based Puma Private Equity delivers funding to SMEs in all sectors around the country, partnering with management teams to accelerate business growth.

This year, it has completed £15 million of investment in companies including NRG Gym, Sunlight Education Nucleus, Somerton and Capital Karts.

Yanto Barker, Le Col founder, said: “We are delighted to welcome Puma Private Equity on board, their support will be key in facilitating the next phase of Le Col’s growth.

“The gains we’ve made in 2018 have been exceptional and this investment will be instrumental in taking our market leading product to a global cycling audience.”

Le Col hired ex-Sky marketing director Simon Creasey in 2017 and has seen exponential growth in the last year with an increased focus on marketing and e-commerce.

In 2018 e-commerce sales increased seven-fold year-on-year.

Tommy O’Sullivan, managing director at Puma Private Equity, who will join the board of Le Col, added: “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.”

Sir Bradley Wiggins recently partnered with Le Col to create his own range with the brand, ‘Le Col by Wiggins’, as well as moving his Team Wiggins kit from Rapha to Le Col in 2018.

The company will use the funds to expand, creating a global brand and accelerating its growth strategy.

The funding comes after the brand raised £1 million from crowdfunding in 2017.

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