Gimv invests in fast-growing premium pushchair brand Joolz

28/04/2016 - 07:00 | Portfolio

Gimv announced that it is acquiring a 40%-stake in the Amsterdam-based company Joolz, next to the founder Emile Kuenen and the managing director Stan Vermeulen. Joolz is a unique fast growing premium pushchair brand with leading positions in various markets. Gimv is looking forward to support the company’s further geographical expansion, both in Europe and abroad, as well as the launch of new products.

The fast-growing Dutch Joolz (www.my-joolz.com), founded in 2004, designs and manufactures award-winning premium pushchairs. Joolz differentiates itself through the quality of its products and ergonomic design, as well as its unique modern brand and culture. Their stylish and distinctive pushchairs are designed to positively accommodate both child and parent. Last year, the company won the Reddot design award - best of best 2015 with the Joolz Geo. Joolz goal is to inspire young families to enjoy a positive life, i.e. a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. This aim is reflected in their ergonomic products, re-usable packaging, the Joolz Birth Forest, the partners with whom they work and the steps they take in sustainability.

The use of re-usable packaging illustrates that sustainability reflected in the company’s DNA. Every box – from the pushchair as well as every accessory – can be recycled into practical and beautiful products for children to play with or for decoration in the children’s room (e.g. a lampshade, a bird house or a chair). Another example of this commitment to sustainability is the Joolz Birth Forest. For every Joolz baby, a tree is being planted in the Joolz Birth Forest in Columbia, which also helps to fight deforestation and climate change.

The company employs about 70 people and realized a turnover of over EUR 23 million in 2015. Today the company sells its products through retailers (i.e. specialty chains, boutiques) in 25 countries and already has leading positions in the Netherlands, Belgium, the DACH-countries, the UK, Ireland, as well as Australia.

Joolz is ready to become a global top 3 competitor driven by the quality of its products and design, and brand positioning. Moreover, the growth in the worldwide niche of premium pushchairs is supported by multiple societal trends. The company will roll out its core offering in both existing and new geographic markets, next to the launch of new products. Thereby it aims to triple its turnover over the next 5 years.

“Emile Kuenen and Stan Vermeulen of Joolz. “To help support the growth of our company, we decided to look for a financial partner. We did an extensive international search and spoke with many potential candidates, both in Europe and in the US. We are very happy to have met Gimv during this process and are confident Gimv is the right partner to help fulfill our ambition to become a global, premium and meaningful pushchair brand in the baby industry."

Arie Hooimeijer, Principal at Gimv’s Connected Consumer platform, states: “We are proud that Gimv will partner with Joolz’s founders in order to further grow the company. Joolz is a distinctive and unique brand levering its strong company culture, design, and quality products, which are perfectly embedded in long term market trends like for example urbanisation. Moreover, the high-end infant and kids market is a niche where we can boast on the expertise we built in other portfolio companies such as Melijoe.com. We believe Joolz is ready to become a world-wide leader in premium pushchairs and are looking forward to work with the highly experienced and motivated management team.”

The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions.

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