Cologne, 10 March 2021 - Kapten & Son - a leading European accessories DTC brand - onboards new partner Ardian Growth as minority shareholder to support the growth of the company.

Kapten & Son, founded in 2014 by at that time three students Fabian Deventer, Johannes Theobald and Artjem Weissbeck at the campus of the University of Münster, successfully grew its revenues to over €50m in 2020. Now, the Managing Directors Alexander Glörfeld and Marian Paul plan to strengthen the company’s European position beyond German speaking countries together with Ardian Growth.

Fabian Deventer said: "The story of Kapten & Son started in 2014 when three friends came together to develop a watch that combines aspirational design and superior quality for a consumer-friendly price. Coupling this product philosophy with an innovative and profitable marketing strategy allowed us to successfully grow Kapten & Son from day one." Johannes Theobald continues, "Today, we equip more than one million customers with a variety of more than 500 daily companions such as watches, glasses, sunglasses, backpacks and suitcases. Our goal is to make our lifestyle products available to even more customers on a wider European level."

"Together we will significantly advance the Europeanization of Kapten & Son!" 

With the new shareholder Ardian Growth, Kapten & Son plans to drive growth outside German-speaking countries, as Artjem Weissbeck explains: "For over six years we have chosen to finance our growth ourselves, while investors have been knocking on our doors. Now, however, we found an ideal partner in Ardian Growth, who has already proven high ambition and long-term perspective with other consumer companies. They know the European market and the e-commerce landscape down to the smallest detail in a very data-driven way. Together we will significantly advance the Europeanization of Kapten & Son!"

Ardian Growth is the growth equity investment arm of Ardian, a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$110bn and targets profitable fast-growing companies in continental Europe that are benefiting from digital transformation and disrupting the traditional value chain in their sector. The investment in Kapten & Son marks Ardian Growth's first investment in Germany as Laurent Foata, Managing Director and Head of Ardian Growth outlines: "Ardian is an established investor in Europe across its different investment activities. As such, our Ardian Growth funds have already invested in more than 100 fast-growing companies in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and in Benelux. The German growth market represents a segment in which we wish to continue investing via our Ardian Growth funds. We are pleased to take this first step with a company like Kapten & Son." Romain Chiudini, Director at Ardian Growth, continues: "We recognized in Kapten & Son, and moreover in the management team, all the qualities we search in fast growing companies in the digital market. Their value of entrepreneurship, innovation and ambition are similar to ours. Kapten & Son is now sized to build its position as a leading player in the new e-commerce generation, which is considered to be a particularly buoyant sector." 

How Kapten & Son tackles the market

From the very beginning, Kapten & Son has focused on diversification. This can be seen when looking at the brand's product portfolio, but also when taking a closer look at the brand’s sales channels. Back in 2014, Kapten & Son started with a watch and an online shop. Since then, new hero categories have been onboarded and new sales channels have been opened. Today, in addition to watches, Kapten & Son sells backpacks, glasses, sunglasses and suitcases primarily still online, but also in the brand's retail flagship stores and at wholesale boutique partners. Alexander Glörfeld, CEO of Kapten & Son, explains, "We have taken a very customer-centric approach to diversification. Our successful product diversification allows us to provide our customers with ongoing product innovations and by opening new sales channels, we allow our customers to experience our brand in different places, online and offline. With this approach, we have been able to drive customer satisfaction and create various pillars of growth in the last years. But we have only just started. We have a highly motivated team of over 150 employees who are keeping a close eye on market trends to break new ground."

About Ardian

Ardian is a world-leading private investment house with assets of US$110bn managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia. The company is majority-owned by its employees. It keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and focuses on delivering excellent investment performance to its global investor base.

Holding close its core values of excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship, Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 700 employees working from fifteen offices across Europe (Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Zurich), the Americas (New York, San Francisco and Santiago) and Asia (Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul). It manages funds on behalf of more than 1,000 clients through five pillars of investment expertise: Fund of Funds, Direct Funds, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Private Debt.

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About Kapten & Son

Kapten & Son was founded in 2014 and is today one of the fastest growing fashion and accessories companies in Europe. Thanks to high-quality products, a strong DTC approach and bundled marketing expertise, Kapten & Son has developed into an expanding company at a rapid pace.

Today, the product portfolio includes accessories, suitcases, backpacks, glasses, sunglasses and watches, which are sold in over 30 countries via the Kapten & Son online store, as well as six Kapten & Son retail flagship stores and exclusive boutique partners. More than 150 employees work at the headquarters in Cologne and in the retail stores on the further expansion of the company.

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