a.k.a. Brands Announces Acquisition of Culture Kings.
Adds Premium Streetwear Brand to Portfolio of High-Growth Fashion Brands.
Plans to Expedite the Expansion of the Australian Streetwear Brand into the U.S.
SAN FRANCISCO (March 31, 2021) – a.k.a. Brands (the “Company”; “a.k.a.”), a global platform that is pioneering a new approach to driving growth in digitally-native fashion brands, today announced the acquisition of Culture Kings, a premium, high-growth Australian streetwear brand at the intersection of music, culture and fashion. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 2008 by Tah-nee and Simon Beard in Brisbane, Australia, Culture Kings is at the forefront of streetwear fashion, known for its extensive and curated collection of over 100 leading global brands as well as its coveted world-exclusive pieces. Through its immersive online experience and renowned retail locations, Culture Kings has established its place as a leader of the worldwide streetwear phenomenon. Each store is hosted by a rotation of DJs and equipped with interactive games that create an exciting shopping environment. The brand’s fast-growing and highly loyal following includes world-famous artists and athletes, including Australia-born NBA superstar Ben Simmons, who invested in a.k.a. in conjunction with the Culture Kings transaction.
Culture Kings will have the benefit of a.k.a.’s unique platform, designed to accelerate profitable growth in direct-to-consumer brands by leveraging collective scale and operational support within an asset-light, data-driven playbook of best practices.
“Culture Kings is a leading digital and retail destination and exactly the kind of hyper-innovative brand that a.k.a. is designed to support. Through their unique and immersive approach, Tah-nee and Simon have built a compelling business with a highly loyal and extensive customer base,” said Jill Ramsey, CEO of a.k.a. Brands. “As one of the most sought after streetwear retailers today, we see significant growth opportunities as we work with Tah-nee and Simon to introduce and expand the Culture Kings experience in existing and new geographies. Through this partnership, we will provide Culture Kings the support and expertise on the business end, allowing them to focus on the art of fashion and the brand vision that customers have come to know and love. We are thrilled to have them join our portfolio of high-growth brands.”
“Culture Kings was built on our passion for music and fashion from different cultures and communities around the world,” said Tah-nee and Simon Beard, Co-Founders of Culture Kings. “As we looked to bring our love of the streetwear lifestyle to new consumers and further deepen our connection with our fans, a.k.a. provides us with the ability to focus on our strengths of creating and curating great product and delivering it in a unique and entertaining way. Our vision has always been to create the next global retail phenomenon where culture and style collide. We couldn’t have found a better partner than a.k.a. to help us continue to scale our business and realize our dream of being the number one destination for streetwear across the globe.”
“We built a.k.a. Brands to provide the operational and financial resources to brands with strong margins, marketability and global potential,” said John Gonneville, Vice President of Strategy and M&A at a.k.a. Brands. “In Culture Kings, we found a brand with a deeply loyal customer following and unique market proposition poised for growth that exceeded all of our criteria that we look for in the brands for our portfolio. We are excited to bring our resources and expertise to bear to help Tah-nee and Simon continue to grow and scale the business.”
In addition to Culture Kings, a.k.a. Brands’ digital portfolio includes Princess Polly, Petal & Pup, and Rebdolls, each catering to a unique customer with a curated assortment of on-trend, affordable fashion. With the backing of Summit Partners, a.k.a. Brands is focused on becoming a global leader in digitally-native, direct-to-consumer fashion. a.k.a. partners with and acquires digital fashion brands that hold strong growth potential, a proven track record in target markets and the ability to expand and perform in new markets.
About Culture Kings
Culture Kings stands at the forefront of a worldwide streetwear phenomenon, offering a unique blend of music, sport and fashion apparel footwear and accessories found across the globe online and in its eight retail locations in Australia. Established as a premium streetwear brand with exclusivity and superiority across a wide range of genres, styles and cultures, and curated with an extensive selection of over 100 leading brands from around the world. These core foundations represent the pillars from which Culture King is built, bringing to the international stage an unforgettable atmosphere and exclusive buying experience. To learn more about Culture Kings visit www.culturekings.com.
About a.k.a. Brands
Established in 2018, a.k.a. Brands is a global platform that is pioneering a new approach to direct-to-consumer fashion. Comprised of four digitally-native fashion brands that are culturally rooted and maintain their founder-led authenticity, each brand offers a curated assortment of on-trend, affordably-priced fashion apparel and accessories. The Company’s unique approach infuses science into the art of fashion to help emerging brands grow and achieve their full potential by leveraging scale, and deploying an asset-light, data driven playbook of best practices across their brand portfolio. The a.k.a. portfolio includes four compelling yet distinct brands, Culture Kings, Princess Polly, Petal & Pup, and Rebdolls. Each brand serves their customers in a different way with a product assortment that empowers self-expression and unique style. To learn more about a.k.a. Brands visit www.aka-brands.com.
About Summit Partners
Founded in 1984, Summit Partners is a global alternative investment firm that is currently managing more than $23 billion in capital dedicated to growth equity, fixed income and public equity opportunities. Summit invests across growth sectors of the economy and has invested in more than 500 companies in technology, healthcare and other growth industries. Summit maintains offices in North America and Europe and invests in companies around the world. For more information, please see www.summitpartners.com or follow on LinkedIn.
Alecia Pulman / Stephanie Palumbo