Sequoia Capital China acquires majority stake in We11done

Contemporary South Korean brand Buzzy We11done is Sequoia Capital China’s latest fashion bet, following investments in Ami and Ssense last year.

The China-based investment firm that counts Vogue Former Chinese editor Angelica Cheung, among her partners, announced Thursday that she will acquire the brand for an undisclosed amount. Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation, a European private equity fund, will become the minority shareholder of the company.

The deal will allow We11done, co-founded in 2015 by Jessica (Hyejin) Jung and Dami Kwon, to accelerate the growth of its direct-to-consumer business in China, Europe and the United States, by leveraging local networks and worldwide from Sequoia Capital China. and its expertise in technology and retail.

“Sequoia China’s investment is not just an investment. This means that you can use great resources and communities in a number of ways. We are confident that this partnership and investment will lead to significant brand growth, ”We11done COO Sang Mo Kim told BoF.

The investment is part of Sequoia Capital China’s ambition to strengthen its fashion portfolio. Cheung joined the company in February 2021, a month after taking a majority stake in French fashion brand Ami. In June, the company took a minority stake in Ssense, a deal that valued the Canadian e-commerce platform at $ 4.1 billion.

“This partnership [with We11done], as a result of our investments in Ami and Ssense, demonstrates our commitment to supporting visionary fashion founders internationally with a unique attitude that reaches out to young people around the world, ”said Cheung, Sequoia Partner Capital China, highlighting “the brand’s subtle Asian aesthetic with international expressions.

We11done’s Jung and Kwon form the duo behind Seoul’s Rare Market concept store, a magnet for wealthy cool-hunters Gen-Z and Millennial since opening in 2014. The pair will remain involved in the We11done business.

“The structure of our team will not change at all. We, as the founders, will retain a significant stake in the business and continue to lead the artistic direction of the brand, ”said Kwon.

Jung added that “Sequoia China has a completely different area of ​​expertise than us. [so] we are waiting [their] role of being in professional fields that we do not have [already got] covered.”

One of those areas will be the Chinese market, where We11done has followers among Gen Z consumers, and some wholesale accounts, but not its own retail network or official store on major platforms like Tmall d. ‘Alibaba, for example.

“It is a very important market but it is also a market that must be understood with precision,” Sang Mo Kim said, adding that the capital of the new agreement will be used, in part, to build a network of leaders. opinion polls (KOL, as influencers are known in China) for We11done and the improvement of its digital channels.

We11done, best known for their fresh contemporary styles and youthful take on unisex design, has attracted an international celebrity who would include Billie Eilish, Yang Mi and Angelababy. The brand has a presence at leading retailers around the world, including Net-A-Porter, Browns and Luisa Via Roma.

Tamison O’Connor contributed to this article.

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