Quadrant is Australia’s newest private equity firm, and in the last month, it’s made some big decisions. Three, well-known female-led ventures have been invested in by the firm, despite an all-male team of directors and partners.
Love to Dream
Love To Dream, a company founded by Hana-Lia Krawchuk creates and distributes globally award-winning swaddles for infants.
It became the second investment from the Quadrant Growth Fund, which in early September, entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the company. Love to Dream has $7 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, and a turnover above $30 million.
Krawchuk, who was manager and designer at About Apparel for 7 years before her entrepreneurial leap, studied a Bachelor of Fashion and Textile Design at UTS in Sydney. Her first product idea came when she altered the design of the swaddles she was using with her child.
Her innovative designs enable babies to sleep with their hands with the products marketed in 45 countries.
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Today, the company has recorded average annual growth of 27 percent in the 2016 to 2019 financial years, and has sold 3 million swaddles. In 2017, Krawchuk was a mentor in the Businesses of Tomorrow program launched by Westpac as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations and last year, she won the NSW Women in International Business winner for Love to Dream.
Quadrant’s third acquisition in 2 months became the innovative, women’s period-proof underwear company, Modibodi.
CEO Kristy Chong’s patented Modifier Technology also extends to tops, singlets, maternity and swimwear. Currently, the business has close to 200,000 active customers, spread across New Zealand, Canada, the US, UK and Australia. Chong aims to expand the products into Europe and Asia.
“Partnering with Quadrant will allow us to deliver our innovative, protective and supportive apparel to more customers globally, while at the same time strengthening our business,” Chong told Australian Financial Review.
The company is estimated to be making about $50 million in annual sales, and revenue has grown 200% a year from 2017 to 2019. Chong spent more than a decade in senior management PR roles for companies including McDonald’s and Edelman PR. Last year, she was was named as a finalist in the start-up category of the World Retail Congress Awards and was awarded the NSW Business Woman of the Year by the NSW Government.
Quadrant Growth Fund managing partner Justin Ryan said: “We were attracted to Modibodi’s innovative products, its strong brand and its rapid global growth through a scalable ecommerce platform.”
Chong affirms her brand-story: “It’s about empowering women and we empower our women from our customers and women in need and empowering women to make better choices for them and the world around them. I think women are fed up and even if some other brands use curvy women, they’re still photoshopping them so they’re still representing them in this perfect light. We don’t do that. I think it’s important for young girls to see what other girls look like.”
On Monday, 16th September, Kate Morris from Adore Beauty announced she was likewise selling a 60 percent stake of her business to Quadrant. The online beauty retailer, which currently has a run rate of more than $100 million, sells more than 220 brands online. Its success is attributed to a diverse range of products, as well as it’s unusual combination of integrated commerce and content strategy, including shoppable blog posts and makeup tutorials.
Justin Ryan, who joined Quadrant in 2011, told Inside Retail, “It’s really exciting and liberating stuff. What they’ve done there in terms of engagement with the customer is fabulous and differentiating. At the same time there’s a great platform that’s been built over 20 years and a great foundation to put the foot down and accelerate. We are about growth.”
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AFR lists Quadrant Growth Fund’s “quick and proprietary-style dealmaking” as key to its winning streak in investments so far this year. They have also built a strong position in the tourism sector, acquiring Journey Beyond earlier this year. JB own big names such as The Ghan, Indian Pacific, Great Southern, The Rottnest Express in Perth and Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne.
First established in 1996, Quadrant remains the leading Sydney-based mid-market private equity firm investing in companies in Australia and New Zealand.