The Ruroc range – which includes its signature full-face helmet with detachable face mask and the world’s first fully ventilated magnetic lens goggles – is gaining rapid traction across the globe as the go-to brand for action sports protective gear. Over the past 8 years Ruroc’s high-quality, high-specification designs have had a constant presence in the pit lanes of the Formula 1, NASCAR, Aussie V8 and MotoGP competitions.
Ruroc in Gloucestershire currently exports to more than 80 countries, with only 10% of revenue coming from the UK. During the past 12 months, it has experienced strong growth in Asia in response to the Winter Olympics, online sales grew by 310 percent in South Korea and 205 percent in China.
With over one million followers on social media, Ruroc is part of a wave of new companies driven by a younger demographic using a range of online platforms – including detailed YouTube videos and tutorials – to reach global audiences and increase brand awareness. According to recent figures released by Marketing Week, a third of Instagram’s 500 million users have bought an item of clothing they have seen on the network.
Ruroc’s management team will use BGF’s investment to support the launch of its new ATLAS motorcycle helmet, open a new office in China and to continue to invest in product development and sales and marketing. The company also intends to expand its team, which has grown from seven to 35 employees – including designers, developers and digital specialists – in just 16 months.
The deal was led for BGF by Alex Garfitt and Dan Tapson, who will both work with the company going forward.
Dan Rees, CEO, Ruroc says: “The past two years have been phenomenal, and we want to leverage this momentum to reach even more Ruroc riders globally. Our direct-to-consumer model has helped us focus on product design and quality manufacturing and buck the trend for the action sports industry which relies heavily on large distribution chains.
“We’re planning to pursue a number of immediate opportunities with BGF’s investment, but we’re also focused on Ruroc’s longer-term potential. What attracted us to BGF was their patient approach to investing, giving us the headroom and headspace to focus on the business, the team and our riders.”
Dan Tapson, Investor at BGF said: “Building a global online platform for direct-to-consumer retail can be incredibly complex, and not for the faint hearted. But Ruroc’s products and brand positioning resonate with people all over the world. The business is dynamic, modern and led by a focused management team. We’re delighted to be supporting them as they continue on their impressive growth journey.”
The advisers involved in the transaction were:
For Ruroc: HCR (Richard Wilkey) and Bishop Fleming (Rob Pearce)