SoftBank, a Japanese holding company, has made a massive, $400 million investment in Vuori Activewear. The California-based company is now valued at $4 billion and will have the opportunity to expand to markets outside of the United States.
Why this matters: SoftBank’s investment into Vuori is the largest-ever featuring a private apparel company, and it marks a departure for the company. SoftBank has a reputation for investing in tech companies, but now the company will help Vuori compete with WIT and other massive brands in the fitness space.
- WHOOP received $200 million in funding in August, an effort led by SoftBank. The fitness wearable company gained the ability to acquire new technology companies, such as PUSH.
- SoftBank invested $325 million in Fanatics later in August, continuing the major moves. One month later, the holding company led a $680 million round in soccer NFT company Sorare.
One of the more intriguing moves by SoftBank took place in April. The company invested more than $100 million in fitness startup Tempo, a two-year-old company that incorporates a touchscreen with barbells and dumbbells.
Vuori Activewear has flourished since Joseph Kudla founded it in 2014. The company has sponsored podcasts, such as “Talking Elite Fitness,” and has reached an endorsement deal with the most followed student-athlete on social media, according to Forbes. LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne announced her first exclusive brand partnership with Vuori on September 14.
- Vuori already has nine brick-and-mortar locations that account for roughly 10% of the total sales. This number will increase with the latest investment as Vuori plans to open around 100 stores in the next five years.