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Carlsquare advised Snocks, a socks and underwear label, on an investment by Cathay Capital

Mannheim-based start-up Snocks is bringing the private equity firm Cathay Capital on board to drive the international expansion of its socks and underwear label. Cathay Capital is investing a significant amount in the young D2C brand, which was founded in 2016 by cousins Johannes Kliesch and Felix Bauer. The founding duo will retain a clear majority stake in the company and will continue to run the business as before.

Snocks, which until now has always grown from its own cash flow, is taking this step in order to be able to move forward with its own growth and internationalisation plans. Johannes Kliesch explains: “We want to expand our business to France this year and open an office in Paris. We plan to be able to generate a turnover of around one million euros there within a year – considerably more is also conceivable.” France will serve as a proof of concept to subsequently continue the expansion in other Western European countries such as Spain, Italy and the Nordic countries.

In addition, the online pure player will invest more in brand building in the future, not only online but also in the form of events, for example, in order to expand its own community more. “We know that our basic products are highly relevant in almost all target groups and we therefore still see a lot of potential for our core market, but also for foreign markets. In order to be well prepared for this, we will also invest heavily in our stock in order to always be able to deliver,” Johannes Kliesch explains further. In addition, the two founders can also imagine putting some of the capital into expanding the Snocks range, filling niches, e.g. through acquisitions or investments in other companies.

Cathay Capital is a global investment platform focusing on various sectors such as consumer, business transformation and healthcare. The private equity firm has a strong track record of helping consumer brands such as Juliette Has a Gun and Moose Knuckles expand internationally. Cathay Capital has been active in Germany since 2015 with a local team and has already invested in various sectors. Snocks will be their first e-commerce investment in Germany.

“Ultimately, the experience and access to a global ecosystem convinced us that Cathay Capital is the right partner for our next growth phase,” explains Felix Bauer. An important aspect here for the founders: Cathay Capital has a global presence, deep-rooted local expertise in Europe, Asia and North America, and this investment platform debuted in France in 2007 – i.e. the country Snocks plans to expand into in the next few months as the first step in its internationalisation strategy.

Fabien Wesse, Managing Partner at Cathay Capital, said, “We are delighted to support the Snocks team to expand internationally and continue its impressive organic growth. The company has a differentiated business model and a strong team that has demonstrated its world-class online expertise and excellent marketing know-how over the past few years. We believe our experience in scaling consumer brands internationally will make us a strong partner for Snocks to continue its impressive track record.”

Carlsquare acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Snocks.

Cathay Capital
Michael Moritz
Michael Moritz LinkedIn
Managing Partner