LONDON — China’s largest footwear retailer, Belle International, is expanding its portfolio by investing in China’s rising athleisure player Maia Active.
Founded by Lisa Ou and Mia Wang in 2016, the Shanghai-based Maia Active announced on Tuesday that it has raised around $15.7 million in a Series C round of financing, led by Belle International.
The brand said it will use the fresh capital injection to continue to develop products, expand offline channels, improve operational efficiencies such as warehousing and logistics, and for brand promotion.
Sequoia Capital, China Media Capital and China Growth Capital have funneled 150 million renminbi into the young company in previous rounds.
Guangxian Zhu, vice president of Belle International, said Maia Active thrives on adapting the global trend of athleisure to Asian women.
“Maia Active has grown rapidly along with the rapid development with our time, especially in a highly competitive market like China, and has established unique consumer mind share and brand loyalty,” he added.
The brand is expected to reach 300 million renminbi, or $47.1 million, in revenue in 2021, a 166 percent increase year-over-year.
Maia Active now runs 18 stores in eight cities, and it plans to open 50 stores across China, including its first flagship next year.
The Shenzhen-based Belle operates around 20,000 points of sale. It has more than a dozen in-house brands, including Staccato, Joy & Piece and Mirabell, and also serves as a distributor for Nike and Adidas in China.