On Wednesday, U.S. functional sportswear brand Vuori announced a $400 million investment from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a fund of SoftBank, bringing Vuori’s total valuation to $4 billion. The closing of the new round of funding comes as Vuori prepares for global expansion.
Based in Encinitas, California, and founded in 2015 by hardcore sports enthusiast Joe Kudla, Vuori is known for its high-end sportswear that blends high-performance technology with West Coast chic for both a wearable experience and a sense of style.
Vuori has built a loyal customer base in the U.S. and plans to launch an international expansion plan next year to establish an omnichannel presence in key markets in Western Europe and the Asia Pacific, as well as an innovation center in Taiwan Province of China.
In the U.S. domestic market, Vuori currently operates 10 brick-and-mortar retail stores in addition to its e-commerce site, and it plans to open more than 100 new stores in the next five years.
Vuori also intends to continue to expand its product offerings, make key investments in infrastructure and employees, and drive its sustainability efforts. Vuori is currently working with environmental organizations such as Climate Neutral and CleanHub in an effort to offset its carbon and plastic footprint, with the goal of eliminating 80 percent of plastic from its transportation and supply chain by 2022.
Nagraj Kashyap, the managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said, “We believe Vuori is the leading brand in the attractive sportswear market with strong customer stickiness, its focus on sustainability and good growth momentum.”
Joe Kudla, Vuori founder, and CEO added, “SoftBank has a long history of identifying leading companies and supporting innovative entrepreneurs. It’s great to partner with them as we enter an exciting new phase of growth.”
SoftBank is Vuori’s second investor, and U.S. venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners made its first capital injection into Vuori in 2019, when Vuori was valued at approximately $200 million.