LONDON — Guinness Asset Management’s EIS fund has handed 4.5 million pounds to the British online marketplace and retailer Wolf & Badger. The latter said late Sunday the capital will be used to “cement its position as a retail destination for independent designer brands” and ethical designer labels.
“The investment from Guinness Asset Management EIS Fund will help further the ambitious growth plans driven by cofounder brothers George and Henry Graham,” the company said.
George Graham, Wolf & Badger’s chief executive officer, said the plan is to “make it even easier for our loyal and ever-expanding customer base to discover and shop through our platform and enable more independent, ethical designer brands to reach customers.”
The company said the new capital will be put toward building the retailer’s team and technology, optimizing the customer experience, scaling further in the core markets of the U.K. and the U.S. and internationally, and continuing the development of new product verticals, including home wares and beauty.
The company, which launched in 2010, operates worldwide and works with more than 700 independent designers, focusing on men’s wear, women’s wear, jewelry, accessories, beauty, grooming and home wares.
It has recently opened a 12,000-square-foot multipurpose department store and events space in the new Coal Drops Yard development in Kings Cross, London and in 2017 opened its first U.S. outpost in SoHo, New York City.
WH Ireland acted as the exclusive financial adviser and broker, the retailer said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Wolf & Badger specializes in introducing consumers to emerging brands on a three-month rotating basis. The company doesn’t buy on a traditional wholesale model, but takes a commission of anything it sells either on the online platform or at the store. Brands pay a small monthly membership fee to be part of Wolf & Badger, which goes toward marketing the brands. Wolf & Badger pays the stores’ rent and hires the staff.
The store rotates 20 to 25 percent of the merchandise every three months. Brands stay on the online platform for a longer period. In order to familiarize the customer with the designers, Wolf & Badger hosts Meet the Maker events where it invites the designer to meet and get to know the customers, and vice versa.