Business: Highsnobiety Secures $8.5 Million Investment
Above image: Highsnobiety’s New York Office
GERMANY — Sneaker blog turned influential streetwear and men’s online lifestyle website, Highsnobiety has secured an $8.5 million dollar investment in a funding round led by Felix Capital.
Felix Capital, which largely focuses on digital lifestyle businesses has stakes in Farfetch and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, as well as The Business of Fashion.
“We are delighted to partner with an influential media brand like Highsnobiety, whose fast-growing, global community represents the next generation of trend setters and early adopters,” said Frederic Court, founder and managing partner of Felix Capital. “Their platform has become a critical hub for emerging trends in art, fashion and culture, and through their content production arm, they’re helping brands connect with today’s youth in ways that drive culture forward. This partnership is a great illustration of our investment thesis; to back founders who are building digital brands that have the potential to impact the world.”
“We started working with Felix Capital about eight months ago and right away we had a good feeling about their team,” said Highsnobiety founder and publisher, David Fischer, who launched the online publication in 2005 as a sneaker and streetwear blog. The company, which has offices in Berlin, New York and London, has been profitable since its inception, with revenue growing 100 percent year-on-year for the past three years.
“We’ve been independent and self-funded for the past 13 years,” said Fischer. “Seeing the possibilities that we have as a brand today, we felt that if we could get a strong partner on board now, we could continue growing at this pace for the next couple of years, which as an independent business, we probably wouldn’t have been able to do.”
“Highsnobiety’s fast growing, global community represents the next generation of trend setters and early adopters,” said Court. “[Highsnobiety] is helping brands connect with today’s youth in ways that drive culture forward.”
With over nine million unique monthly visitors (of which 80 percent visit the website daily), Highsnobiety has become one of the world’s top destinations for daily curated content on fashion, music, the arts and culture. Title Media, Highsnobiety’s parent company — also founded by Fischer — expanded its focus on the Highsnobiety brand in 2010 with the launch of a bi-annual print magazine that today has a circulation of 50,000. What Drops Now, an editorialized shopping experience that attracts 500,000 visitors a month, followed shortly after.
In 2015, Fischer launched in-house creative agency Highsnobiety Plus to capitalize on growing demand for brand partnerships. Today, its list of partners range from sportswear giants like Nike, Adidas and Vans to luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme and Givenchy. Brands beyond fashion — such as eBay, Cadillac and Bang & Olufsen — have also been attracted to Highsnobiety’s largely Millennial audience. The title’s creative agency accounts for “the majority of Highsnobiety’s business today,” according to Fischer.
Highsnobiety plans to boost its branded content division, with a particular emphasis on long-form video content. “The proceeds of this funding round allow us to do more with our brand partners and a big focus will be on expanding our content production arm: Highsnobiety Plus,” explained Jeff Carvalho, Highsnobiety’s managing director of North America.
The company also plans to grow its events business.
The new funding will also enable Highsnobiety to grow its e-commerce business. Currently, over 40 percent of readers have bought a product from Highsnobiety‘s website. “We’re looking at how a platform like ours can differentiate from your regular online shopping that’s out there,” said Fischer. “People come to us already to be told what to shop, so what if we can find innovative ways to reinvent shopping as a media brand?”
Photos Credit: Thomas Welch