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Breaking a Sweat: How Gymshark Used Internal and External Finance to Fuel its Rapid Growth

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Gymshark is a fitness apparel and accessories brand based in the United Kingdom that has grown in popularity in recent years. Ben Francis founded the company in 2012, and it is now worth more than £1 billion. In this blog post, we will look at how Gymshark used both internal and external funding to expand its business.

Learn more by watching the video and reading the blog post below:

The early days

Ben Francis, the founder of Gymshark, initially self-funded the company. He started the company in his garage, and all profits were reinvested back into it. This enabled Gymshark to rapidly scale up and expand its product offering without relying on outside funding.

As Gymshark starts to grow

As the company expanded, Francis sold a portion of his stock to angel investors to raise additional funds. This enabled Gymshark to expand without diluting Francis' ownership too much.

Gymshark raised £200 million in a funding round led by General Atlantic in 2019. This was Gymshark's first external investment, and it marked a significant milestone for the company. The funds were used to increase marketing efforts, expand the company's product line, and open new international offices. Gymshark was also able to bring on new talent, including new executives and designers, as a result of the funding round.

Gymshark received a £50 million revolving credit facility from Allied Irish Banks in 2020. The credit facility was used to fund the company's day-to-day operations as well as its expansion plans. Gymshark was able to access funds as needed thanks to the credit facility, which was especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused significant disruption to the business.

Gymshark's success has been driven by a combination of internal and external funding sources. Reinvesting profits and utilising equity financing enabled the company to scale up quickly in its early days. As the company grew, it turned to outside sources of funding, such as venture capital and debt financing, to support its expansion plans. Gymshark was able to achieve rapid growth by combining internal and external sources of finance, without incurring excessive debt or diluting the founder's equity.


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