High-end cycle apparel brand Vulpine collapsed in 2017 after blowing through more than £1 million in crowdfunding from 588 shareholders. Nick Hussey’s business was subsequently acquired by Mango Bikes. Mango ceased trading in October 2017, but not before Vulpine was take over by Mango’s CEO Barry Dunn who created a new limited company – Wilchap 564 – to continue with Vulpine alone. This company relocated to Sheffield.
BikeBiz has learned that Wilchap 564 is now in the administration process, and a new buyer for the Vulpine business could be announced on 17th September following an open-for-sale process open to all bidders, including those interested in the stock alone.
Hussey incorporated Vulpine in 2010; the company started to trade in 2012.
In 2017, Vulpine had sales of £1.175 million. From January to July of this year sales have been £246,000. Hussey employed nine people; the post-Mango Vulpine was run by three people. Wilchap 564 company inherited Vulpine’s 55,000 email list.
“Vulpine customers are incredible,” Dunn told BikeBiz in October last year. “We get 52,000 opened emails soon after we send them out, and immediately see orders pouring in.”
Toby Baxendale ceased to be a director of Wilchap 564 at the end of June. Baxendale, a “bike mad” triathlete, told a podcast that “24th June was one of the greatest days of my life,” referring to the 2016 vote that started Britain’s exit from the European Union. Baxendale is the lead trustee of the Legatum Institute – he signs the institute’s financial statements to the Charity Commission. (Baxendale was also one of two directors of Leadsom4Leader, the campaign to elect Andrea Leadsom as leader of the Conservative party.)
Designer Jamie Burrow resigned as a director in January 2018 – he moved to join the product development team at Ribble Cycles.