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Swedish Sneaker Brand Axel Arigato Lands $66M Investment

Global investment firm Eurazeo invested in premium sneaker brand Axel Arigato alongside founders Max Svärdh and Albin Johansson.

The 56 million euro ($66.1 million) funding through affiliate Eurazeo Brands makes it the majority shareholder and marks an inaugural foray in Europe for the the global investment firm, which has 18.5 billon euros ($21.68 billion) in assets under management.

Eurazeo Brands CEO Jill Granoff said the company is responding to the “premiumization and casualization trends” gripping the consumer consciousness, and described Axel Arigato as an “innovative and high potential brand” in the “high-end sneaker market.”

“We are delighted to partner with Max and Albin, and we look forward to working with the company to accelerate its international growth, strengthen its digital platform and expand in retail—bringing this impressive brand to new customers worldwide,” Granoff added.

Six years after Svärdh and Johansson founded the digitally native brand in Gothenburg, Sweden, Axel Arigato has risen into the ranks of the European premium sneaker market’s most covetable labels. Its minimalist and modern design, coupled with first-rate quality and a sustainable approach, have helped the brand nearly triple revenues since 2016, Eurazeo Brands said.

“Axel Arigato has established a strong presence in the premium sneaker market and a strong connection with our customers, driven by our unique value proposition, diverse range of products and successful direct-to-consumer strategy,” the founders said. “Choosing the best partner for Axel Arigato was critical to continuing our momentum—Eurazeo’s deep brand-building experience and international network are key to accelerating our growth.”

Axel Arigato founders Max Svärdh, left, and Albin Johansson, right.
Axel Arigato founders Max Svärdh, left, and Albin Johansson, right. Fairchild Archive

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The brand operates on a multi-channel distribution strategy, with a strong direct-to-consumer foundation. It uses an event-driven marketing strategy, a “drop of the week” model plus unique online content that keeps its large consumer base highly engaged with the brand. Along with six Axel Arigato retail stores and an e-commerce site, the products are also distributed in major online market platforms including Farfetch, MyTheresa and Ssense, as well as Le Bon Marché, Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue and select other department stores.

Eurazeo said it will partner with the brand to support its growth, particularly in Europe, through investments in digital capabilities and the development of Axel Arigato’s retail footprint across major European cities. The investor will also help the sneaker company foster an international distribution network throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S.

The global investment firm has 18.5 billon euros ($21.68 billion) in assets under management. Last week, Eurazeo‘s affiliate Eurazeo Growth divested its investment in Farfetch, netting proceeds of 90.4 million euros ($105.9 million), giving it a 38 percent profitability rate.