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Fly53’s £1m cash injection signals renewed confidence in branded sector

Young fashion brand Fly53 has received a cash injection of £1m from venture capitalist firm Key Capital Partners (KCP), signalling that there are still pockets of growth and confidence in the branded sector.

KCP, which took a 35% stake in Fly53 at a cost of £3.6m last year, has ploughed in the extra cash to help Fly53 keep up with strong demand for its stock. Autumn 10 sales to date are ahead 28% and the brand’s order books remain open.

Fly53 founder and creative director Will Rigg told Drapers that the cash injection signalled a change in attitude to the branded market from investors. He said: “Over the past few years there’s been very little investment but this year some brands have reported growth, which will encourage investors.”

Similarly, last month Roger Wade, founder of young fashion brand Boxfresh, and former Bench chief executive Kevin Vidler told Drapers that they and a series of investors had developed renewed confidence in the wholesale market.

Rigg said the cash would also be used to drive retail expansion and that he hoped to expand Fly53’s concession business within House of Fraser, where it already has seven concessions. It is also scouting out locations to open two standalone stores this autumn.

Rigg said Fly53, which was founded in 1994, had experienced strong growth due to it focusing on delivering value for money.

“We try to create a product that’s a bit different to what else is in the market. Our products offer value but also quality,” he said.

The Worcester-based brand said it would also use the cash injection to drive international sales and further develop its transactional website. Some of the cash received from KCP’s initial investment last year was used to develop its ecommerce site, which has seen online sales revenues soar 200%.

Fly53 has about 290 stockists in the UK.

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