09/08/2017

Outdoor clothing company Jöttnar set for growth following seven-figure investment from Finance Wales and Venrex

Cardiff-headquartered technical outdoor clothing company Jöttnar is set for growth following a seven-figure funding round from Finance Wales and London-based investment fund Venrex.

Jöttnar was founded in 2013 by former Royal Marine commandos Steve Howarth and Tommy Kelly who specialised in mountain and extreme cold weather warfare. They were serving together in the Norwegian mountains during a fierce Arctic winter when inspiration took hold: the development of technical outdoor clothing that would protect against the most extreme weather whilst capturing the purity and elegance of the Scandinavian landscape.
 
“We’d both finished careers in the military, were both committed climbers and skiers, and so decided that the best way of achieving real professional and personal satisfaction would be to build a business around the things that we loved” Tommy explains.

“So we took a couple of years setting things up - finding suppliers and manufacturing partners, prototyping, trialling - and then commenced trading in October 2013 with our launch range of just six items.

“At a time when many larger outdoor brands are chasing the casual high street consumer, we exclusively design and produce gear for the most brutal of conditions and for the most exacting of users.  Climbing a mountain, or skiing back down it, doesn’t demand a kaleidoscope of clothing products, but it does demand that they be totally fit for purpose.”

Jöttnar will move into its fifth year of trading in October with the launch of its new winter collection.  Comprising waterproof shell, insulation, mid and base layers the range has now evolved into a complete layering system of 23 pieces, all featuring the customary attention to detail, technical sophistication and high production values that Jöttnar has become known for.
 
“Tommy and Steve have created a high quality product and a brand which is gaining a reputation for superiority in the technical clothing market,” said Deputy Fund Manager Bethan Cousins. “We’re delighted to be able to support them as they grow their business.”

Funding for the deal came from the Wales Business Fund, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

“This investment is going to support our expansion over the next few years as we grow our product range and promote the Jöttnar brand,” Steve adds. “We’ve been really happy with the support offered by the investor syndicate and their ability to offer a flexible funding solution for us.”

“The Jöttnar team not only have a great product range but also have a solid business plan for growth. We’ve been able to structure an equity deal to fund their growth as well as offering support at an executive board level,” explained Senior Portfolio Executive Leanna Davies. “Venrex have a strong track record in backing branded clothing businesses and we are delighted to work together on Jöttnar.”