The FGB Digest brings you the latest news on the world’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer and challenger brands. In today’s edition: Gymshark is valued at over £1bn; Indian retailers file an antitrust case against Amazon; Juni Learning raises USD$10.5m in Series A.
Gymshark valued at over £1bn
Founded in the Midlands of the UK by an ex-Pizza Hut delivery boy, Gymshark is the latest DTC company to receive a large valuation. On 14 August 2020, American fund manager, General Atlantic bought a 21% stake in the company, giving it the current valuation.
Founded by Ben Francis in his parent’s garage in 2012, this latest valuation highlights the evolution of gym culture and sportswear, not just for sporting enthusiasts, but also as a fashion statement. The fast-growing athleisure wear market was valued at USD$155.2bn (£113.5bn) in 2018 and is expected to grow to USD$257.1bn (£188.1bn) by 2026.
Indian retailers file antitrust case against Amazon
An Indian trade group, representing online vendors, has filed an antitrust case against Amazon, claiming it is offering preferential treatment to some retailers and brands with steep discounts, that are driving independent retailers out of business. The case has been filed by the All India Online Vendors Association with the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The crux of the case is that these online vendors are alleging Amazon is using its wholesale unit to buy large quantities of goods from manufacturers, selling them at a loss to vendors, who then sell the items at a heavily discounted rate. Two of the vendors in question, Cloudtail India and Appario, are partially owned by Amazon. They are allegedly being used to circumvent India’s laws preventing Amazon from directly selling to customers, meaning Amazon can only operate as a marketplace in the country.
Juni Learning raised USD$10.5m Series A
Digital education platform, Juni learning, has raised USD$10.5m (£7.68m) in a Series A funding round. One would be forgiven for thinking this fresh funding round has come in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the need for digital education and distance learning through the roof. Yet the funding was actually secured pre-pandemic, with the round, led by Forerunner ventures, helping Juni Learning introduce new Maths and English curriculums, as well as hire new instructors.
Founded in 2017 by Vivian Shen and Rubi Lee, and headquartered in San Francisco, Juni Learning teaches STEM and English courses to children, aged 8-18.