April 24th, 2017 – ZOOT, the leading Czech online fashion store, has made it to number 43 on the prestige FT1000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies. At the beginning of April, the English daily newspaper the Financial Times compiled a list of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe, called the FT 1000. It lists companies in Europe that achieved the highest percentage growth in revenues between 2012 and 2015. And ZOOT can already add extra points for 2016 as, last year, its total revenue (from its Czech, Slovak and Romanian market) reached a record CZK 706 million excluding VAT (€26 million). ZOOT’s revenue in 2015 was, in fact, CZK 450 million excluding VAT (€16,5 million).
The largest share of ZOOT’s turnover (81%) comes from the Czech market. The remaining 19% is divided between Slovakia and Romania. EBITDA in the Czech part reached CZK 2.9 million (107 500 euros).
“The company is growing on all three of its markets and is, as such, able to consolidate its position. The current size of our company means we can hardly expect the revenue to continue the doubling rate of growth it had in its first few years of existence. Therefore, we consider last year’s growth of 56%, as satisfactory, and would like to keep up this pace in 2017 as well. At present we’re aiming for a growth rate of around 50%,” said Petr Ladžov, ZOOT’s co-founder and CFO.
ZOOT Secures €4.5 Million for New Investments
At the end of the first quarter of 2017, ZOOT completed a Series B financing investment round and raised €4.5 million from investors 3TS Capital Partners and BHS Private Equity Fund to further its company’s expansion.
“We plan to mainly use this extra capital to strengthen our logistic and IT segments. And we’ll also use it to build more of our customer-friendly Try&Buy stores that allow our customers to try on online ordered items and pay for only the ones that fit best,” explained ZOOT’s co-founder and CEO, Ladislav Trpák.
“We’ve been following the company’s activities since it began. We admire its marketing skills, its operational excellence, and its exceptional customer-friendly approach. All these strategies have turned ZOOT into a dynamically growing company both at home and in the EEC region abroad,” said Luděk Palata, BHS Private Equity Fund partner and the managing director of the €2.5 million transaction.
“ZOOT has been in our portfolio since 3TS’s initial investment in 2014. We are very happy with the dramatic growth that ZOOT has undergone since then. We continue to see the huge potential of fashion retail markets moving to online retail spaces in Central and East European countries, and we believe ZOOT is ready to take on this opportunity in the next few years,” said Jiří Beneš, a 3TS Capital Partners partner, who led the investment round of €2 million.
New Brands Online
At present, ZOOT has 300 different brands to its portfolio. In spring 2016, it launched a new high-end premium labels section and a kids section as well. “In 2016 alone, we enlisted over 50 new fashion brands, including renowned names such as Miss Selfridge, Superdry and Tally Weijl. An interesting development is the expansion of our high-end fashion which now totals a number of 31premium brands. Among the most popular of these are Tommy Hilfiger and French Connection. And we were the very first store to launch the French designer brand Karl Lagerfeld online here in the Czech Republic,” explained the Buyers Department Manager Ondřej Halama. Among the company’s top ten bestselling brands is also its own private label, ZOOT Originál, which, with its fun and witty slogan t-shirts, is an all-time favourite.
ZOOT is the largest online fashion store in the Czech Republic and, with its Try&Buy stores, it combines the best of the online and offline worlds, launching fresh collections on a daily basis. Since its 2012 existence, it has grown and gained around 25% of the Czech e-commerce new fashion market.
ZOOT’s aim is to become the leading fashion online store within the CEE region. Apart from the Czech Republic, ZOOT also operates in Slovakia and, since November 2015, in Romania too.
Its unique omni-channel concept of “Order online, try offline, and pay only for what you really want,” means customers can try on their online ordered items in one of ZOOT’s 39 Try&Buy stores: 20 are located in the Czech Republic, 10 in Slovakia, and 9 in Romania.
ZOOT has its own private labels, OJJU and ZOOT Originál, and it also has its own charity DOBRO (GOOD cause) project that aims to help non-profit organisations – www.zoot.cz/dobro.
At the 3rd annual E-Commerce Awards 2016, ZOOT.cz was honoured for being the most innovative and most original Czech e-commerce player in 2016. In 2017 ZOOT will represent the Czech Republic at the Global E-commerce Summit in Barcelona.
Slovak ZOOT.sk won the prestige Shoproku (Shop of the Year) 2016 Contest and gained the Heureka Award, which declared it as the most innovative e-shop of 2016.
About BHS Private Equity Fund
Founded in 2015 by BH Securities, BHS Private Equity Fund specialises in investment funds for small and medium sized businesses in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In particular, the fund aims to provide growth capital for the businesses, wherein its further objectives in the investments are funds for MBO´s (management buyout), MBI´s (management buy-ins), and others. In the first quarter of 2017, BHS Private Equity Fund secured two transactions totalling CZK 94.5 million (€3,5 million).
About 3TS Capital Partners
3TS Capital Partners is one of the leading European technology focused private equity and venture capital firms. 3TS provides expansion capital and buyout funding for small and medium-sized businesses in growth sectors including Technology & Internet, Media & Communications and Technology-Enabled Services. Investors in the current and past 3TS funds totalling over €300 million include EIF, EBRD, Cisco, OTP, Sitra, 3i and KfW among others. For more information see www.3tscapital.com.
Try & Buy Store in Prague