London-based Kick Game, a luxury sneaker and apparel retailer, is on track to grow revenues to £50m in 2022 following a £3.5m injection of capital from VGC Partners.
Founded by sneakerhead brothers Rob and David Franks in 2013, Kick Game is a destination-retailer to shop exclusive, rare and sold-out sneakers and streetwear from brands such as Air Jordan, Nike, Yeezy, Off-White, Trapstar, Fear of God Essentials and Supreme.
The business continues to capitalise on the phenomenal demand for limited edition sneakers and the rise of streetwear culture across the globe. Such demand has been fuelled by high-profile collaborations with celebrities such as Travis Scott, Kanye West and Serena Williams, these “hype” editions have become collectables, akin to art. The Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype, worn by Kanye West to the 2008 Grammys, recently sold at auction for $1.8m at Sotheby’s.
Since VGC Partners’ initial £2.5m investment in May 2020, the luxury retailer has experienced phenomenal growth. Revenues have jumped from £4.8m in FY20 to a projected £20m in the 12 months to 30 November 2021. Based on current performance the business is targeting sales of £50m by FY22. In that time Kick Game has also grown from a team of seven to 55, with 25 employees based across three new stores in Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, Covent Garden and Birmingham’s Bullring.
Other new additions include a finance director and a content and marketing team, which has facilitated the creation of Kick Game’s YouTube channel. With nearly 50,000 subscribers, the channel regularly hosts well-known sneakerheads from the world of music and fashion with supermodel Jourdan Dunn and Apple music presenter Charlie Sloth as recent guests.
Most recently the brand announced a multi-million-pound partnership with chart-topping rapper Fredo, who will co-host events and album launches at Kick Game stores across the UK for fans and sneaker fanatics to enjoy.
After pausing its European operations this January due to the impact of import duty on its customers, Kick Game has opened a warehouse in the Netherlands to allow further expansion across Europe, particularly into the Scandinavian market which is its biggest outside of the UK.
The additional £3.5m investment from VGC will be used to accelerate Kick Game’s online and retail expansion with additional stores planned for the UK and abroad over next the two years. The business also has plans to launch a consignment platform to allow customers to resell authenticated in-demand sneakers.
VGC Partners typically invests between £2m and £5m in high growth consumer, media and technology companies. It taps into its global network and knowledge of next generation technology to enable growth for founders and management teams.
Robert Franks, co-founder and COO of Kick Game, said: “The sneaker market is one of the fastest-growing unregulated markets in the world and we intend to match its pace. Since VGC’s initial investment we’ve demonstrated our commitment to and belief in the UK high street, by opening three new experiential stores. We’ve also significantly grown our team and have expanded our warehousing capabilities overseas – and this is just the beginning.
“It’s not just the funding that we’re grateful to VGC for, but the support. Parminder and the team at VGC are not your typical VCs – they provide ongoing guidance, have great contacts and get stuck in to ensure we continue to grow in the right way.”
Parminder Basran, managing partner at VGC Partners and non-executive director at KickGame, said: “It is clear to see the luxury resale market is dominating and continues to attract more interest from consumers and investors alike, with the sneaker resale market predicted to reach $30bn by 2030.
“Rob and David have created a strong model both in the UK and internationally that they continually evolve in line with what their customers want to see. With the most in-demand drops, the best collaborations and bespoke on-trend content there’s no doubt the business is on track to become the market leader.”