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Oakley Capital chips in for Vice Golf

Oakley Capital Investments Limited (OCI) has announced that the Oakley Capital Origin Fund is investing in Vice Sporting Goods GmbH (Vice Golf), which OCI describes as the leading digitally native golf brand. OCI’s indirect contribution via the Origin Fund will be around £11m and its liquid resources available for future deployment (including this transaction) are estimated to be around £129m. OCI’s announcement highlights the following elements of Vice Golf’s strategy:

  • Premium golf balls sold direct-to-consumer offers competitive pricing advantage
  • Innovative design and focus on social media provide marketing edge
  • Large, stable golf market benefitting from a shift to healthy living and flexible working

About Vice Sporting Goods GmbH

Founded in 2012 in Munich by entrepreneurs Ingo Düllmann and Rainer Stöckl, Vice Golf has a track record of profitable growth with >40% top-line CAGR between FY18 and FY21 at ~20% EBITDA margin. OCI says that Vice Golf has successfully disrupted the golf ball market by offering premium golf balls at significantly lower price points than comparable products through its direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model and social media marketing.

OCI says that Vice Golf has developed an enthusiastic following and established itself as the largest digital-first player in the global golf ball market thanks to its product proposition and novel designs. The Company principally sells golf balls as well as accessories such as caps and gloves to golfers of all ages and skill levels across the US and Europe. Following customer demand, Vice Golf recently entered the apparel segment via collaborations with top brands such as Adidas and Beastin.

Oakley’s partnership with Vice Golf builds on the firm’s deep expertise supporting DTC businesses such as Gymondo (part of 7NXT), Germany’s leading online fitness and nutrition platform, and Wishcard, one of Europe’s leading digital gift card companies. OCI says that the investment in Vice Golf is an example of its manager’s ability to leverage its wider network and reputation to form long-lasting partnerships with successful entrepreneurs. Oakley’s investment will help the business to accelerate its growth, product diversification strategy and internationalisation.

Comments from Peter Dubens, Oakley Capital Founder and Managing Partner

“Vice Golf has seen impressive growth thanks to its innovative approach of offering passionate golfers leading product quality at a highly competitive price. We look forward to working with Ingo and Rainer and help the Vice Golf team to build a globally leading multi-product brand in the golf world.”

Comments from Vice Co-Founders, Ingo Düllmann and Rainer Stöckl

“We were attracted to Oakley’s successful record of partnering with disruptive brands and founders. And as business founders, Oakley’s entrepreneurial heritage particularly appealed to us. With their support, we are confident that we can further accelerate our ambitious growth strategy for Vice Golf.”

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