A company that operates brick-and-mortar stores for brands that want to expand in the physical space is looking to grow its store network.
Leap has secured $50 million in Series B financing. The round was led by BAM Elevate, with participation from new and existing investors, including Harbor Spring Capital, Northern Trust, Simon, Costanoa Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners and Equal Ventures. The new capital will be used to accelerate growth through investments in the company’s platform and store location network.
In 2021, the number of stores operated by Leap quadrupled to more than 50 across eight markets.30 The company currently works with some 30 brands, including Birdies, Mack Weldon, Naadam, Something Navy, Lunya and Third Love, which will open its four stores in California during the next few months with Leap. In December, maternity apparel retailer A Pea in the Pod returned to brick-and-mortar retailing via a partnership with Leap.
Leap said its platform enables brands to rapidly open stores that work in concert with e-commerce and at significantly reduced cost and risk. Using the platform, brands can open stores equipped with sales teams and omnichannel technology in a fraction of the time versus the conventional approach–doing it all in-house, the company added. Ideal store locations, operations and merchandising are determined by leveraging Leap’s millions of data points and proprietary algorithms.
“Our platform enables brands to activate retail locations with speed and data-driven decisions which minimizes risk, upfront costs and lease liabilities,” said Amish Tolia, co-founder and co-CEO at Leap. “More than 500 brands have registered with us, and we have barely scratched the surface. This new capital will enable us to make significant investments into our technology for enabling omnichannel and to scale even more rapidly.”
Brian Berger, founder and CEO of men’s retailer Mack Weldon, said, that Leap allows the company showcase its full range products in a way that complements its digital experience.
“The in-store experience results in greater customer loyalty and insights,” Weldon said.
“Our customers are our greatest asset,” added Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-CEO of ThirdLove.
“By scaling our physical retail channel on Leap, we’re able to maintain our focus on designing and creating the best fitting undergarments and activewear for our customers while Leap delivers a premier in-store experience that seamlessly connects with our website and shopping channels. We’re really excited to continue to grow our brand and better connect with our customers with the opening of our first four stores in California over the next few months and look forward to opening many more with Leap.”
In addition to brands, Leap works with retail landlords, developers, and brokers to build up high-performing retail markets, from local neighborhoods to shopping centers. By deploying stores in clusters Leap creates cost efficiencies and sales synergies, as well as mitigates risk for its brand customers and landlord partners alike.