From Birmingham garage to £700M in stock market debut, 29-year-old Gymshark founder in talks for IPO

British sportswear model Gymshark that had its humble starting in a modest Birmingham garage 9 years in the past is in talks with banks and buyers over a possible IPO. The firm is reportedly about to money in greater than £700 million. And curiously, the startup’s founder has not even turned 30.
It comes proper a yr after the model simply turned the second British firm since 2001 to obtain a valuation of over £1 billion with none prior funding after Francis bought a 21% stake in the corporate to the US non-public fairness agency General Atlantic in August 2020.
He and his non-public fairness backers are in preliminary talks with institutional buyers and funding banks a couple of flotation, as was reported by Sky New this week.
From garage to stock market debut
While juggling college with a £5 an hour job at Pizza Hut, Francis began the corporate with faculty buddy Lewis Morgan from his dad and mom’ home whereas he was all of 19. Originating from his personal frustrations with discovering fitness center garments, all of the concepts for the designs of the fitness center put on had been sketched proper from his bed room.
Together with co-founder Lewis, the duo began attending physique constructing exhibitions to assist elevate their profile. Using social media influencers, they teamed up with YouTube physique builders Nikki Blackketter and Lex Griffin to enhance publicity and this labored in their favour. In 2013, Francis exhibited the corporate’s merchandise on the BodyPower health commerce present in Birmingham and there was no trying again since then. After the commerce present ended, a tracksuit went viral on Facebook, producing a whopping £30,000 in gross sales inside half-hour.
Fortune value £700million
The enterprise is now based mostly in Solihull and employs over 550 individuals. As the corporate pitches to buyers as a part of a serious London stock market itemizing, Francis – the largest shareholder of Gymshark – might land with a fortune value as a lot as £700million.
A spokesman for Gymshark mentioned: “We frequently converse to monetary establishments to guarantee we’re related to the enterprise world and we proceed to study. Any current conversations we’ve got had have been about introducing these organisations to Gymshark and our journey up to now.”
“We are working with Ben and the workforce to construct Gymshark into the worldwide chief we all know it may be,” the spokesman for General Atlantic added.
The social media increase
Fuelled by influencer advertising and marketing and burgeoning shopper demand for health attire and athleisure, the startup now has a social media following of greater than 15 million with Francis alone having 300,000 Instagram followers.
It now operates in greater than 180 international locations with an viewers of over 16 million on social media. The model opened its first US distribution centre in California this July, which will probably be adopted by two East Coast centres later in the yr. The enterprise now plans to tackle Australia with a brand new distribution centre this yr as nicely.


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