After setting up business six years ago on a budget of £600, The Cambridge Satchel Company founder Julie Deane has raised $21 million of venture capital investment for her business.
The firm’s handmade leather satchels have been successful in securing celebrity endorsements over the last few years and have been involved in collaborations with Vivienne Westwood.
The investment from Index Ventures, which counts fashion brands Net-a-Porter and Nasty Gal as portfolio companies, will go towards expanding into new markets such as China as well as consolidating and growing in the US.
Bags from The Cambridge Satchel Company are renowned for their bright colours
Commenting on why she decided to pick Index Ventures as the company’s backer, Deane says that with digital ‘at the heart of everything we do’ – partnering with a firm which has ‘no equals’ in the digital space is exciting.
‘Their work with inspirational companies like Moleskine, ASOS, Net-a-Porter and Nasty Gal, shows why they are the best-placed investors by far to help us navigate this fast-moving and ever-changing space, as we take The Cambridge Satchel Company into new markets and expand our global digital presence.’
Deane will also be investing in strengthening her management team, she says, alongside recruiting specialist digital talent to help with international online growth.
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Having initially set up a factory in Leicester back in 2011, the business moved to a new site four times as big in 2013 and now employs 100 people. Appearances on television have also helped growth after featuring in shows including Gossip Girl and The Good Wife.
Giuseppe Zocco, co-founder and partner at Index Ventures, believes that that The Cambridge Satchel Company is one of Europe’s most exciting entrepreneurial stories.
‘With vision and determination, Julie turned a boot-strapped company, born without resources or support, into one that is so fearlessly taking on the world,’ he adds.
‘At Index, we have no doubt that she has the ambition to continue to develop The Cambridge Satchel Company as a world-renowned brand.’