LONDON – Sequoia Capital China has agreed to acquire a majority stake in South Korean brand We11done, the in-house brand of Korean concept store Rare Market.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two founders, Jessica Jung and Dami Kwon, who is South Korean singer G-Dragon’s sister, will retain a significant stake in the company and will continue to lead the brand’s artistic direction.
Private equity fund Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation, launched by fifth-generation Chanel heir David Wertheimer, will become a minority shareholder in the brand.
Michel Dyens & Co. served as the financial adviser in the transaction.
With Sequoia Capital China’s support, We11done plans to accelerate its direct-to-consumer business in China, Europe, and the U.S.
Due to the popularity of K-pop, the brand has been a fashion boutique favorite alongside the likes of Jacquemus, Off-White, and Vetements in China, but it has not yet established an official presence on major e-commerce channels, such as Tmall or JD.com.
According to people familiar with the matter, the deal also includes Rare Inc., the operator of Rare Market, that comes under one holding.
Pulse News Korea, citing fashion and investment bank sources, reported that Sequoia purchased 60 percent stake and management rights for about 100 billion won, or $84 million. Kwon and Jung will own the rest stake of over 30 percent in the company.
Angelica Cheung, venture partner at Sequoia Capital China and founding editor of Vogue China, said that following the firm’s investments in Ami and Ssense, the partnership with We11done “demonstrates our commitment to supporting visionary founders in fashion internationally with a unique attitude that speaks to youth everywhere around the world.”
“Under the leadership of Jessica and Dami, We11done excels in combining subtle Asian aesthetics with vibrant international expressions, which has made them a leading fashion player, part of the surge of Korean creativity that is capturing a global audience,” she added.
Jung and Kwon said that they are confident that “this partnership will strengthen our voice in expressing We11done’s passion and uncanny sense of fashion to the wider world.”
An affiliate of the sprawling California-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Sequoia Capital China focuses on the technology, media, and telecom sector, consumer products and health care. Over the past 16 years, it has partnered with about 600 companies in China and made investments in the likes of Alibaba, Tencent, Sina, Bytedance, and JD.com.
Since last year, it has also been doubling down on fashion and lifestyle investments since Cheung joined from Vogue China in Feb 2021, one month after Sequoia Capital China took a controlling stake in Ami.
At the time, Cheung said she will focus on the fashion, lifestyle and entertainment sectors, supporting “the new generation of Chinese innovation and international brands expanding into China, but with a much wider scope.”