Derby based HUUB, leaders in the £60 million UK triathlon apparel and accessories market, today announced the launch of their Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign as they look to raise a minimum of £250,000 to accelerate growth into new territories, and through category expansion and extension.
Olympic medallist triathletes and long-term HUUB athletes, brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, have kickstarted the raise which will enable HUUB to continue to scale it’s direct-to consumer offering, expand the product range in its fast growing cycling category, cater for the increasing number of women taking up endurance sports, and grow its presence in international markets, most notably the US and Germany.
Originating in the innovation-led swimwear and triathlon categories, but now embracing all endurance sports, HUUB’s product range is focused on performance and innovation, incorporating scientific research, continuous athlete feedback and cutting-edge technologies. In 2019, HUUB turned over £4.8m and from 2015 to 2019 has achieved average sales growth of 32% year-on-year.
Despite the triathlon competition schedule being wiped out during 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, HUUB’s 2020 turnover is on a par with last year’s as endurance sport take-up has soared during lockdown. The business has experienced a huge increase of 681% in cycling apparel sales, as well as a significant diversification in audience demographic for their products across the board. Specifically, women’s wetsuit sales are up 68% and there has also been a shift in the average customer age.
HUUB founder, Dean Jackson, who started the business in 2011 by designing a wetsuit on his kitchen table, says; “We are at a really exciting stage of our growth, with new categories performing incredibly strongly and our product range across the board continuing to appeal to professional and amateur athletes alike. Our average order value is up significantly – up 63% in the last six months – and our direct to consumer business is growing rapidly too.”
He adds; “Our Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign is designed to help accelerate the growth we are experiencing on so many fronts and, I believe, offers a really exciting opportunity for those in the endurance sport community and beyond to invest in a brand that is on a steep upwards trajectory. And with both the Brownlee brothers already onboard, investors know they will be in the good company of two of Britain’s most successful Olympic athletes. Alistair also happens to have a master’s degree in Financial Economics, so he knows his way around a P&L statement and a good investment opportunity when he sees one!”
As well as the partnership with the Brownlee brothers, HUUB also have relationships with the likes of current female world triathlon champion Georgia Taylor-Brown, world triathlon series medallist Jess Learmonth and cycling world cup winner Dan Bigham, the latter of which is HUUB’s in house aerodynamicist.
Dean founded the business after losing his job in sport sales back in 2011. At the time he was himself an amateur athlete and, having worked with other sportswear companies that made claims that were not backed by any in-depth research, he wanted better. He therefore set about creating his own wetsuit which fitted his criteria of a performance enhancing suit that was backed up by research. When a fellow competitor heard Dean’s story, he put him in touch with a group of 12 private investors which lead to him being given an initial investment of £25,000. The key to unlocking further investment, however, was to secure £200,000 of orders and find an Olympian to wear his suit.