Leap, a company that operates physical stores for brands seeking to get into brick-and-mortar, has secured $50 million in Series B financing.
The round was led by BAM Elevate with participation from new and existing investors including Harbor Spring Capital, Northern Trust, Simon, Costanoa Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners and Equal Ventures. The funds will be used to accelerate growth through investments in the company’s platform and store location network.
In 2021, the number of stores operated by Leap quadrupled to more than 50 in eight markets and the company now works with more than 30 brands including Naadam, Something Navy, Goodlife, ThirdLove, Lunya, Ring Concierge and Mack Weldon. The stores are located in New York City; Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Florida, and Texas, and its reach has expanded beyond apparel and footwear to accessories, jewelry, intimates and home goods.
“Modern brands require omnichannel solutions to connect with customers meaningfully and consistently across channels. Our platform enables brands to activate retail locations with speed and data-driven decisions, which minimizes risk, upfront costs and lease liabilities,” said Amish Tolia, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Leap. “It’s such an exciting time for retail. More than 500 brands have registered with us, and we have barely scratched the surface. This new capital will enable us to make significant investments into our technology for enabling omnichannel and to scale even more rapidly.”
Ben O’Connor, partner at BAM Elevate, added: “As brands look to overcome increasing costs in their supply chain and digital marketing channels, we believe Leap is uniquely positioned to transform the retail landscape.”
“Our customers are our greatest asset,” added Heidi Zak, co-founder and CEO of ThirdLove. “By scaling our physical retail channel on Leap, we’re able to maintain our focus on designing and creating the best-fitting undergarments and activewear for our customers while Leap delivers a premier in-store experience that seamlessly connects with our website and shopping channels. We’re really excited to continue to grow our brand and better connect with our customers with the opening of our first four stores in California over the next few months and look forward to opening many more with Leap.”
Brian Berger, founder and CEO of Mack Weldon, said: “Leap allows us to showcase the range of Mack Weldon products in a way that complements our digital experience. The in-store experience results in greater customer loyalty and insights.”
Leap was created in 2018 by entrepreneurs Tolia and Jared Golden with $3 million in seed money from Costanoa Ventures, Equal Ventures and Brand Foundry Ventures. Right before the pandemic shutdown, it secured another $15 million in Series A funding from Costanoa, Equal Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners and Lightbank that it used to develop its technology, beef up its team and add brands and stores to its footprint.
Leap’s operating model is that it works with digital brands seeking to open brick-and-mortar stores but lack the expertise and funding to do it alone. It opened its first store for Koio, an upscale sneaker brand, at the end of 2018.