Vulpine Performance on route to administration

Mon, 15 May 2017 | ADMINISTRATION

Cycling clothing retailer Vulpine Performance is heading for administration, with the appointment of RSM anticipated.

Vulpine was established by former film maker Nick Hussey in 2010, with the aim of creating a brand for casual cyclists. It raised over £1 million on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube in October 2015, and collaborated with Olympic gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy.

Troubles were brewing when Mr Hussey spent large sums of cash on marketing, with the company tending to purchase stock in bulk then resorting to discount it heavily to sell it, damaging the brand’s appeal to consumers. Late deliveries from Chinese factories was a further issue.

Further money raising efforts saw Vulpine use the cash too quickly, and it missed its sales targets. Last month it attempted to raise another £750,000, at a £7.5 million valuation, but was unsuccessful, and called in the administrators.

One of its funders, Simon Hulme, an investor in start-ups said: “Vulpine had failed abysmally to deliver what it had promised investors in the first round. To me, crowdfunding looks like a ticking timebomb.”

There are concerns, now, that around 600 shareholders are at risk of losing their investment.

Hussey said in a statement to shareholders the latest crowdfunding effort had been abandoned to seek a buyer. Saying: “Whilst there was strong recognition of the brand, and initial verbal interest, none have produced offers or ongoing due diligence, and communication has stopped. It is highly possible that, having seen our precarious financial position and the complications of doing a fast enough deal, they are waiting to pick the business up in administration instead, if any deal is to be done."

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