Heartland A/S: USD 300 million round for fashion tech start-up ABOUT YOU
Hamburg — The Danish Heartland A/S, holding company of one of the largest European clothing companies, Bestseller A/S, joins ABOUT YOU as a new investor. The investment is being made as part of a capital increase of around 300 million US dollars and on the basis of a company valuation of ABOUT YOU of over one billion US dollars. This makes the fast-growing fashion tech start-up of the Otto Group the first so-called unicorn from Hamburg.
The financing round of around 300 million US dollars is largely based on the investment by Heartland A/S, which is acquiring a double-digit share in ABOUT YOU. The previous shareholders German Media Pool and Seven Ventures as well as the three ABOUT YOU managing directors Tarek Müller, Sebastian Betz and Hannes Wiese (photo from right: obs/About You GmbH/Johannes Arlt) are also participating in the capital increase. Benjamin Otto, formative partner and member of the Supervisory Board of the Otto Group, and his sister remain minority shareholders with their Gesellschaft für Handelsbeteiligungen mbH (GfH). Although the Otto Group remains the largest shareholder in ABOUT YOU, it will manage the fashion tech company as an investment company in the future. ABOUT YOU now intends to use the additional capital for the further expansion of the company.
International business law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has advised the Otto Group on Heartland A/S ’ investment in ABOUT YOU, the Otto Group’s fashion tech start-up.
ABOUT YOU is considered one of the fastest growing fashion tech start-ups in Europe. For fiscal 2018/2019, the company expects sales to increase from 283 million euros to 450 to 480 million euros. ABOUT YOU intends to use the additional capital for further expansion.
The planned participation of Heartland A/S in ABOUT YOU is subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities.
The Milbank team led by Norbert Rieger and Sebastian Heim provided comprehensive advice to the Otto Group on corporate, tax, antitrust and financial aspects of the transaction.
About ABOUT YOU
ABOUT YOU digitizes the classic shopping trip and creates a personalized shopping experience on the smartphone. By adapting to each customer’s individual style, the online store creates a store that is unique to all customers, displaying only relevant products and outfit suggestions. At ABOUT YOU, the focus is on the customer and through this, an infinite number of different personalities who find their expression through fashion and are supported by ABOUT YOU. Women and men between 20 and 49 years of age will find on aboutyou.de, in addition to the versatile inspiration, an assortment with more than 150,000 articles from over 1,000 brands. With more than 10 million monthly active customers, ABOUT YOU is one of the largest fashion and lifestyle platforms in Europe. The fashion tech company generated sales of €283 million in 2017/18, and sales of €450–480 million are expected for the current fiscal year, representing an annual transaction volume of more than €1.6 billion. ABOUT YOU GmbH was founded in 2014 as a subsidiary of the Otto Group and is now part of the Group portfolio. The management team includes multiple founders and digital experts Tarek Müller (29, Marketing & Brands) and Sebastian Betz (27, Tech & Product) as well as former Roland Berger strategist Hannes Wiese (37, Operations & Finance).
About Otto Group
Founded in Germany in 1949, the Otto Group is now a global trading and services group with around 51,800 employees. The Group is present with 123 major companies in more than 30 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Its business activities cover the three segments of multichannel retailing, financial services, and service. In the financial year 2017/18 (February 28), the Otto Group generated revenues of 13.7 billion euros. With online sales of around 7.9 billion euros, it is one of the world’s largest online retailers. E‑commerce, catalog business and over-the-counter retailing form the three pillars of the Otto Group’s multichannel retailing. Worldwide Group activities and a large number of strategic partnerships and joint ventures provide the Otto Group with excellent conditions for know-how transfer and the exploitation of synergy potential. At the same time, a high degree of autonomy on the part of the Group companies guarantees flexibility and customer proximity as well as an optimum target group approach in the respective countries.
Advisor Otto Group: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Dr. Norbert Rieger, Dr. Sebastian Heim (joint lead, both Corporate/M&A, Munich), Dr. Rolf Füger (Tax, Munich), Dr. Alexander Rinne (Antitrust, Munich), Dr. Ulrike Friese-Dormann (Corporate/M&A, Munich), Pascal Härdtner (Corporate/M&A, Munich), Dr. Karen Frehmel-Kück (Corporate/M&A, Frankfurt), Dr. Moritz Lichtenegger (Antitrust, Munich), Dr. Nikolas Koutsós, Dr. Thomas Moeller (both Finance, Frankfurt), Dr. Moritz Philipp (Tax, Munich), Dr. Fritz Schuchmann (Corporate/M&A).