Millennial brand Lulus taps $120m investment
Millennial brand Lulus is getting a $120 million investment from IVP, a premier later-stage venture capital and growth equity firm, and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), a global investment management firm. Founded in 1996 by Colleen Winter and Debra Cannon, Lulus is a rapidly growing lifestyle, fashion brand.
Headquartered in Chico, California, Lulus offers affordable luxury, as part of the Lulus label offerings for younger women, as well as a selection of designers and brands. The fashion business transitioned to an online platform in 2005 and became purely an e-tailer in 2008.
The company also utilises a data driven approach to be able to deliver to meet customer needs, and also leverage scarcity and urgency of sale. By using this differentiated merchandising strategy, Lulus looks to foster a highly-engaged and loyal millennial customer base.
"My mother and I started Lulus together and are extremely proud of how the company has been able to delight millions of women over the last 20 years," said Colleen Winter, co-founder and CEO of Lulus.
"We took our first outside investment from HIG Growth Partners four years ago, and they have been valuable partners as we've grown the company significantly. As we look to the next phase of our journey, we are excited to work alongside visionaries like IVP and CPPIB to help strategically guide us through this next wave of growth."
IVP has a 38-year history of backing innovative consumer companies such as Glossier, HomeAway, the Honest Company, MasterClass, Snap, Supercell, and Twitter. As part of the company's investment, Eric Liaw, general partner at IVP will join the Lulus board of directors.
"What Colleen, Debra, and the Lulus team have been able to accomplish over the years is nothing short of incredible. From humble beginnings in Chico, today they serve customers worldwide," said Eric Liaw, general partner at IVP. "We are honoured to join them to help expand the company in the years ahead."
The company completed an earlier round of financing in 2004 with H.I.G. Growth Partners, which remains an investor.
John Kim, managing director at H.I.G., said, “Since our initial investment in 2014, Lulus has continued to demonstrate spectacular growth, and is now one of the leading digitally native brands in the United States.”
Poul Winslow, managing director and head of thematic investing and external portfolio management at CPPIB, said, “Lulus’ business is exposed to a number of long-term drivers that align with CPPIB’s thematic investing strategy. Lulus’ proven track record as a successful retailer targeted to Millennial women and as an early participant in the e-commerce space demonstrates their ability to thrive in the rapidly changing retail segment where customers are increasingly shopping online."
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