Gear Up: VC Investment in Apparel and Accessories Industry on the Rise
November 13, 2013
From the time we’re little kids, we use what we wear to express ourselves. It starts with Spider Man t-shirts and princess dresses, and quickly moves into regrettable teenage attire and "stages." Eventually, we find the style that fits us best—with a little added sophistication, of course—and express ourselves to the world every time we step out of the house. What we wear says a lot about us, so choosing the right clothes and accessories can be pretty important. The companies providing us with these all-important choices have been becoming popular investment targets in the VC world recently.
Since the beginning of 2008, VC investors have funded 80 U.S.-headquartered apparel and accessories companies, according to the PitchBook Platform. From 2008 to 2010, deal flow in the space was noticeably consistent, each year seeing 9 to 10 deals; however, the number of deals completed more than doubled from 2010 (10) to 2011 (22), and then nearly doubled again from 2011 to 2012 (39). Since 2009, capital invested each year has increased, with the largest jump being from 2010 ($26.3 million invested) to 2011 ($86.3 million). 2013 has already reached the highest capital invested total for any single year in the timeframe ($105 million), due in part to CustomInk’s recent $40 million financing round. Additional large financings in the space have included PixelOptics ($45 million in 2011) and Rent the Runway ($24.4 million this past March).