True hits GBP275m hard cap for Fund III
Europe’s leading retail & consumer investment and innovation firm True has held the close of its latest fund – Fund III – dedicated to backing the retail and consumer businesses, at the forefront of consumer behavioural change.
Following a virtual fundraising process True has exceeded its target of GBP250 million with support from both new and existing institutional investors. The fund was oversubscribed and in total True now has over GBP600 million (USD850 million) AUM – just five years after Fund I closed.
True takes majority and minority positions in future-fit, digital-first businesses that are capitalising on the shift in consumer behaviour – the core component at the centre of True’s investment strategy. Alongside this, True considers the social and environmental impact of all its business decisions, including every investment it makes and every investor it onboards – backing this up with its recent B Corporation certification.
True’s portfolio businesses, that include fashion ecommerce business hush, immersive online fitness platform Zwift and cycling D2C brand Ribble, benefit from the firm’s unique sector-specific ecosystem. The businesses benefit from the 360-degree view True’s team has of the sector, including the sector’s emerging technologies, through access to True’s £30m Early Stage seed fund and annual innovation flow of over 3,500 businesses.
True’s founders, Matt Truman and Paul Cocker, set up True with the aim to be more helpful investors, given that they had been through the process themselves of growing an online retail business. With this unique experience they knew there was a gap for the unique business model they have now established – they had seen first-hand the disconnect between innovative tech startups, new, growing and established businesses in the retail and consumer sector, which ultimately hindered the flow of insight, best practice and growth for all.
Today, True adds value to its portfolio brands and partners through its unique sector-specific ‘Live Network’. Their portfolio benefits immeasurably from the 360-degree view they’ve built of the sector. It enables their Early Stage seed fund, which includes brands such as men’s make-up brand War Paint, female sexual wellness brand maude and workplace mental health platform Unmind to readily connect with both their PE portfolio brands and companies such as 7-Eleven, Johnson & Johnson, TJX and Marks & Spencer through True’s roster of international retail and consumer Partners. The result of this has accelerated growth and business transformation for all, in a time when others have struggled.
With the ongoing seismic shifts in consumer behaviour disrupting the retail and consumer industry, True’s portfolio of future-fit businesses has been perfectly positioned to take advantage of the ever-changing retail landscape, gaining an average of 42% revenue YoY growth.
Matt Truman, CEO of True, comments: “The support of new stakeholders from across the retail, consumer, and financial sectors, as well as the significant and continued backing of our existing institutional investors for our new fund, is humbling, but demonstrates collective belief that our investment strategy and unique model – where we can connect the growing disruptors in our industry, such as workplace mental health platform Unmind, to the big industry veterans, such as John Lewis & Partners – works. I’d like to thank the ongoing support of our investors and to our team for making the ambition of raising three funds to get to over GBP600 million AUM in just over five years a reality.”
True was advised by Jones Day, a leading global law firm.