Growth Partner has taken a minority stake in Acai to help the company accelerate its growth plans in the UK and overseas. Acai’s previous investors, DSW Ventures will be exiting, having supported the business since October 2019.
Acai was founded in 2016 by fashion designer and entrepreneur Kasia Bromley and her husband Joe. The couple say they have experienced “exceptional growth” with Acai, doubling revenue each year since inception and growing the staff base from four to 25 over the last three years.
Bromley said: “My mission is to inspire more women to get outdoors to enjoy nature for their mental and physical wellbeing. Women deserve outdoor clothing which makes them feel great and performs to enhance their confidence. This investment will support Acai to reach many more women. Joe and I are delighted to be partnering with Richard, James and the Growth Partner team to accelerate ACAI’s growth.”
The investment will support the acceleration of strategic opportunities for the business, to grow internationally, launch new products and expand from the direct-to-consumer channel. With Growth Partner’s investment and Richard Harpin’s strategic insight, expertise in international expansion and scaling multi-channel consumer businesses, Acai will embark on its next stage of growth. Growth Partner investment director, James Worrall, led the deal for Growth Partner and joins the board as non-executive director.
“Acai operates in the outdoorwear market which has experienced significant growth but is yet to be disrupted by a direct-to-consumer, female-first challenger brand,” he said. “Acai has successfully created a community of highly engaged brand ambassadors where Acai is more than a product, it is a brand that is empowering women to be active outdoors. We’re extremely excited to be partnering with Kasia, Joe and the team to support them as they introduce the brand to more customers across international markets and via new sales channels.”
Investment into the management team this year has seen Joe step down as CEO and the recruitment of Richard Leedham (ex-Berghaus CEO and Pentland Group executive board member) into the role to lead the next phase of growth.
Priding themselves on an evergreen, sustainable ethos, Acai styles are designed to last whilst having technical characteristics such as being water resistant and thermal. Led by hero product the Skinny Outdoor trouser the brand has expanded to include outdoor leggings, tops, accessories and recently launched their first jacket, hoodies and mid-layers.