First external funding round will accelerate the outdoor brand’s mission of The New Outdoor™
DENVER, March 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Topo Designs, a Colorado-based outdoor brand offering sustainable, durable apparel and accessories, today announces a significant equity investment from Gart Capital Partners, a family investment company with storied outdoor roots headquartered in Colorado. This investment marks the first time that the brand has taken on outside funding since its founding in 2008. The undisclosed sum will be used to build brand awareness and expand customer acquisition programs under the brand’s mission of The New Outdoor™, inspiring more people to get outside by integrating the outdoors seamlessly into life.
“Topo Designs was founded with the fundamental belief that everyone experiences the outdoors differently. We call it ‘The New Outdoor’ and we want to get everyone outside without feeling encumbered by the traditional notions that hold them back,” said Jedd Rose, co-founder at Topo Designs. “Our brand is rooted in mountain culture, but we also love exploring cities and world travel. We celebrate these radical differences by offering products that help people get confidently outside on their own terms, regardless of location. This investment will help us connect more people to our mission.”
The New Outdoor platform has seen growing relevance with Topo Designs’ core audience, largely comprised of young Millennials and a growing Gen Z set. The brand’s target customers are values-driven and seek out products that avoid limits to function, individuality, creativity and style. These customers carefully consider their closet space and environmental footprint, investing in quality pieces built from durable, sustainable materials. They also value aesthetics and are drawn to Topo Designs for the brand’s fusion of modern design and classic silhouettes that results in approachable, utilitarian apparel and accessories fit for the outdoors, travel and daily routines.
“In Topo Designs, we saw a unique opportunity to invest in a differentiated outdoor brand with unmatched authenticity and credibility, as well as a strong mission dedicated to helping all people explore and enjoy the outdoors, however it is that they define it,” said Alex Gart, a partner at Gart Capital. “The company is led by true visionaries, Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen, who, along with their team, are redefining an industry to connect with a growing segment of diverse outdoor enthusiasts. We look forward to partnering with them to accelerate Topo Design’s next growth phase.”
With this funding, Topo Designs will focus heavily on customer acquisition across direct-to-consumer channels in the U.S. market. The brand plans to leverage Gart Capital’s strengths and extensive expertise in outdoor retail to expand its proprietary brick-and-mortar retail footprint across key domestic cities, as well as to further penetrate the wholesale channel. As the investment is allocated, the brand expects to announce additional plans to expand retail programs, sustainable product innovations, and nonprofit and community-based partnerships.
This capital infusion comes as Topo Designs sets sight on a revised five-year growth strategy. In 2022, the company’s total revenue grew over 30 percent, and the brand is projecting strong double-digit growth in 2023. To drive this aggressive growth plan, the brand spent recent years investing in key leadership hires, including Matt Williams, who joined as chief operating officer from Exxel Outdoors; Rachelle Thurik, director of marketing, formerly from Nike Inc.; Sean Han, who joined as director of sales from Spyder; and Christy Bailey, director of product overseeing sustainable design innovation, formerly with Pact Apparel.
Since 2008, Topo Designs has grown from a vision of two founders, Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen, into a talented 70-person team. The brand is expected to add around 50 roles at its Denver headquarters during the next three years, increasing total headcount by over 50 percent. Consumers can find Topo Designs products sold in over 30 countries across six continents with wholesale distribution to 1,200 stores, including specialty outdoor and independent lifestyle shops, as well as leading retailers, like REI, Backcountry, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Moosejaw, Bespoke and Zappos, among others.
About Topo Designs
Topo Designs is a Colorado-based outdoor brand. Since 2008, we’ve been charting a new path, to inspire people to continuously redefine what the outdoors means to them, how they integrate it into their life, and be an inspiration for others to do the same. We see a New Outdoor, one that expands the very definition of being outside. It’s an inclusive place that allows us, regardless of who we are, to be both the outsider and the insider, the novice and the pro. We’re rooted in durability which allows us to do more with less, blurring the boundaries between life and outdoor. Ready to be repurposed and never retired, we design for longevity and timeless utility. Meet us in The New Outdoor™ at topodesigns.com. | @topodesigns #TheNewOutdoor
About Gart Capital Partners
Gart Capital Partners (GCP) is a private equity investment partnership located in Denver, Colorado. GCP is focused on lower middle market consumer and service-oriented investment opportunities. The firm is a division of The Gart Companies, a family investment office with diversified holdings. Since inception, The Gart Companies have executed over 100 site-level acquisitions and have opened over 200 new store locations across eight platforms, including Gart Brothers Sporting Goods Company, Specialty Sports Ventures, Running Specialty Group, Bag N Baggage, GolfTEC and Work World. For more information, please visit https://www.gartcompanies.com/gart-capital-partners.
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SOURCE Topo Designs