Topo Designs reported a significant equity investment from Gart Capital Partners, a family investment company headquartered in Colorado, marking the first time the brand has taken outside funding since its founding in 2008.
The undisclosed sum will build brand awareness and expand customer acquisition programs under the company’s mission of “The New Outdoor, inspiring more people to get outside by integrating the outdoors seamlessly into life.”
“Topo Designs was founded with the fundamental belief that everyone experiences the outdoors differently. We call it ‘The New Outdoor,’ and we want to get everyone outside without feeling encumbered by the traditional notions that hold them back,” said Jedd Rose, co-founder at Topo Designs. “Our brand is rooted in mountain culture, but we also love exploring cities and world travel. We celebrate these radical differences by offering products that help people get confidently outside on their own terms, regardless of location. This investment will help us connect more people to our mission.”
Gart Capital’s investments and ventures have included Gart Bros., Specialty Sports Ventures, Run.com, Beaucoup, Colorado Bag’n Baggage, Swoozie’s, Golftec, and Trelora. Investments include Work World, Firstwestern Trust, and Powderhorn Mountain Resort.
“In Topo Designs, we saw a unique opportunity to invest in a differentiated outdoor brand with unmatched authenticity and credibility, as well as a strong mission dedicated to helping all people explore and enjoy the outdoors; however, it is that they define it,” said Alex Gart, a partner at Gart Capital. “The company is led by true visionaries, Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen, who, along with their team, are redefining an industry to connect with a growing segment of diverse outdoor enthusiasts. We look forward to partnering with them to accelerate Topo Design’s next growth phase.”
With this funding, Topo Designs will focus heavily on customer acquisition across DTCC channels in the U.S. market. The brand plans to leverage Gart Capital’s strengths and expertise in outdoor retail to expand its brick-and-mortar retail footprint across key domestic cities and further penetrate the wholesale channel. The brand expects to announce additional plans to expand retail programs, sustainable product innovations and nonprofit and community-based partnerships as the investment is allocated.
This capital infusion comes as Topo Designs sets sight on a revised five-year growth strategy. In 2022, the company’s total revenue “grew over 30 percent,” and the brand is projecting “double-digit growth” in 2023. To drive its growth plan, the company spent recent years investing in key leadership hires, including Matt Williams, who joined as chief operating officer from Exxel Outdoors; Rachelle Thurik, director of marketing, formerly from Nike, Inc.; Sean Han, who joined as director of sales from Spyder; and Christy Bailey, director of product overseeing sustainable design innovation, formerly with Pact Apparel.