Vuori Lands $400 Million Investment from SoftBank
Editor’s note: In August, SES had an informative video interview with Vuori CEO Joe Kudla about the brand’s growth plans. See the video here.
SES Executive Edition members can read a transcript of the interview here.
ENCINITAS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Southern California-inspired activewear brand Vuori announces a $400 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 at a valuation of $4 billion USD, marking one of the largest investments in a private apparel company. The investment underscores excitement in the surging brand, known for its performance clothing that is built to move in yet styled for everyday life, as it sets sights on the international market.
Since Founder and CEO Joe Kudla launched the brand in 2015, Vuori has established itself as a frontrunner in the crowded activewear market for offering a differentiated, versatile perspective on performance apparel. After garnering widespread attention and loyalty from consumers in the United States, the brand will begin its international expansion next year, launching an omnichannel business in key markets throughout Western Europe and Asia Pacific and an innovation center in Taiwan. While growing its global distribution, Vuori will double down on retail expansion in the U.S. with more than 100 store openings slated for the next five years.
“SoftBank has a long track record of identifying market-leading companies and supporting entrepreneurs with bold visions,” said Joe Kudla, Founder and CEO of Vuori. “We are grateful to have their partnership as we move into an exciting new period of growth and evolution as a company.”
As Vuori embarks upon its next phase of growth, the company will continue to expand its product offering, make key investments in infrastructure and people, and expand its sustainability efforts. Currently, and through partnerships with organizations such as Climate Neutral and CleanHub, the brand is offsetting its carbon and plastic footprints while taking steps to eliminate 80% of plastics from its shipping and supply chain by 2022. With a strong ecommerce business, thriving brick and mortar stores, and a network of best-in-class wholesale partners, Vuori, unlike many other digitally-native brands, has been profitable since 2017.
“With its strong consumer engagement, sustainability focus, and sheer growth, we believe Vuori is a leading brand in the attractive activewear market,” said Nagraj Kashyap, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We are delighted to partner with Joe and the Vuori team as they introduce new products to consumers and expand globally.”
SoftBank Vision Fund 2 is the second institutional investor to back Vuori, following Norwest Venture Partners who invested in the company in 2019.
Launched in 2015, Vuori merges technical clothing with a West Coast aesthetic that looks and feels great. When creating Vuori, Founder Joe Kudla didn’t have to look far for inspiration; headquartered in the aspirational beach community of Encinitas, CA, the brand is a natural extension of its home environment where active, conscious and creative people inspire those around them every day. In addition to a thriving ecommerce business and physical stores in Encinitas, Boulder, Del Mar, Bridgehampton, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Newport Beach, San Francisco, San Jose and Venice Beach, Vuori is sold in most Nordstrom and REI stores. Please visit www.vuoriclothing.com for more information.