Shape

BGF backs menswear brand SPOKE

Investment news
29.10.2019.

SPOKE, the fast-growing direct to consumer menswear brand, has raised £8.5m of new equity capital. The Series B round was led by BGF and supported by existing shareholders Forward Partners, Oxford Capital, and 24 Haymarket.

The new funds will be used to accelerate growth in four core areas: technology, product innovation, brand building and international expansion.

An early adopter of the direct to consumer model, Spoke has applied machine learning tools and an agile approach to inventory to create and sell ‘legendary legwear’.

“We believe that fit matters most” explains founder and CEO, Ben Farren. “Mr. Average doesn’t exist – and you shouldn’t be wearing his trousers. We cut ours in over 200 sizes and hand-finish every pair for a fit that’s virtually bespoke.”

The SPOKE size range is 10 times bigger than the average trouser brand, featuring 1 inch increments on the waist and leg – and for every inch of waist, there are three different ‘builds’ to choose from. Once you have found your fit, it is available in over 8 styles – from denim to formal wool trousers – flawlessly fitting legwear, from beach to boardroom.

Spoke’s proprietary ‘Fit Finder’ tool finds your perfect size in 60 seconds or less – and will receive further investment to refine and personalise predictions.

Launching initially in the UK, Spoke piloted a US trial in 2018. With minimal investment and marketing spend, demand has been strong and growing, with international markets now generating 15% of revenues. Spoke will invest in building out the US proposition and entering new geographies.

Commenting on the announcement, Ben Farren said: “I am delighted to announce our largest fund raising to date and welcome new investors BGF on board. We now have the funds to power the next phase of growth.

We believe great legwear is the foundation of a great wardrobe. Get it right and you’ve got a spring in your step. Get it wrong, and it literally puts you off your stride. We look forward to bringing the greatest legwear on the planet to customers around the world”

Tim Rea, who led the investment for BGF said: “There are currently seismic shifts in retail and the menswear market – and Spoke is a clear emerging leader in the space. We were very impressed with Ben and the management team, the quality of the product and the strength of the brand that has been created in such a short period of time. This was most evident in brand loyalty, with an astonishing repeat purchase rate, and early success in the US.

“Spoke has strong, solid foundations, trading momentum and a large market opportunity. We look forward to supporting them on the next stage of their growth.”

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