Private equity firm Growthdeck to lead funding round for high fashion eyewear
High fashion eyewear brand Kirk & Kirk is looking to raise new capital to launch a premium sunglasses range through Growthdeck, the private equity firm.
The company has seen 40% revenue growth in the last 12 months despite the pandemic. Kirk & Kirk believes revenues could grow at a compound annual rate of 50% over the next five years.
While some fashion brands have struggled with the effects of the pandemic and trading issues caused by Brexit, Kirk & Kirk has managed to expand and looks set to continue to do so, says Growthdeck.
Globally the eyewear market continues to develop, with its value amounting to US$147.6bn in 2020. It is forecast to continue growing at a rate of around 8.5% to 2028.
Kirk & Kirk produces striking luxury glasses and is now looking to move into the sunglasses market. chief designer Karen Kirk’s designs have been worn by Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L. Jackson, Danny DeVito and Prue Leith as well as musicians from Oasis and U2.
This is Kirk & Kirk’s second fundraise with Growthdeck, which invested £1m in 2019 and is continuing to support Kirk & Kirk’s progression into new markets as they look to raise an additional £300,000.
One of the primary goals of the fundraise will be to facilitate the brand’s expansion into the sunglasses market. The brand’s newly designed sunglasses range, launching in early 2022, will be marketed to wholesale clients via a specialist fashion distributor with access to luxury stores. The company currently has more than 400 independent stockists worldwide.
The new sunglasses range will also be available direct to consumers from the Kirk & Kirk website – with the brand seeing particular growth in online sales in the last 12 months. Their newly redesigned online store has seen website traffic double through the pandemic with the site now registering around 15,000 unique visitors monthly.
The new sunglasses range is expected to lead to an increase in higher-margin online sales, says Growthdeck.
The brand is looking to further its online offering, by giving customers’ access to a cutting edge ‘Virtual Try On’ option, allowing users to seamlessly try out different styles from their own home.
Ian Zant-Boer, CEO of Growthdeck, comments “Since our initial investment in 2019 we’ve been impressed by Kirk & Kirk’s growth and look forward to participating in even further expansion. The brand has built a real following and we are excited by the opportunities presented by its move into the sunglasses market.”
“The company has continued to develop its offering in the UK, across Europe and the US. Their new sunglasses range is an excellent opportunity for further growth of its customer base.”
Growthdeck’s investment in Kirk & Kirk qualifies for tax reliefs under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). EIS is an investment scheme which allows eligible private investors to make tax savings by investing in growth businesses. The EIS allows investors to:
- Invest up to £1m per annum
- Reclaim 30% of the cost of investment against their income tax bill
- To not pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any gains realised after three years
- Claim further income tax relief should an investment result in any form of loss
- Defer capital gains tax due on the sale of another asset by re-investing the gain in an EIS-qualifying company
- Save inheritance tax on any EIS-qualifying shares held for over two years