Hamburg's first "unicorn": About You
Heartland A/S, a holding company of Bestseller A/S, is investing USD 300 million in About You based on a company valuation of over USD 1 billion and pending the approval of competition authorities, according to a press release Thursday (July 19, 2018) by About You. The capital increase makes the Otto Group’s fashion start-up Hamburg’s first “unicorn” i.e. an unlisted digital start-up valued at over USD 1 billion. Bestseller, one of Europe’s largest fashion retail groups, is an international, family-owned fashion company with over 20 individual fashion brands including Jack Jones and Vera Moda.
Capital to fund expansion
The financing round of USD 300 million is based mainly based on an investment by Heartland A/S, which is acquiring a double-digit share in About You. Former shareholders German Media Pool and Seven Ventures as well as the three managing directors of About You Tarek Müller, Sebastian Betz and Hannes Wiese are taking part in the capital rise. Benjamin Otto, Managing Partner and member of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group, and his sister remain minority shareholders with their Gesellschaft für Handelsbeteiligungen mbH (GfH). Although the Otto Group remains the largest shareholder in About You, it will manage the company as an associated company. About You will put the additional capital towards expansion.
Workforce in Hamburg to double
Müller, Co-founder and Co-managing director of About You GmbH, remarked: “We are delighted that Heartland A/S has come on board and at the confidence they have shown in us. This investment gives us a unique opportunity to accelerate our efforts to grow our customer base, to gain greater market share and to enter new markets even more rapidly than before. At the same time, we plan to double our current workforce of 450 here in Hamburg over the next three years.” The company expects sales to increase from EUR 283 million EUR to 450 to 480 million in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. Lise Kaae, CEO Heartland A/S: “We have followed ABOUT YOU closely over the past few years, and we see a company with sound leadership and solid potential. The current management team has done a great job, and we enter into the investment with confidence that they can develop the company even further.”