When David Fannin and Shaun Moore appeared on Dragons’ Den seven years ago, to ask the business brains to invest £150,000 for a 15% stake in their Colapz range, they were turned down, not because their funky collapsible outdoor and camping products didn’t attract the admiration of the Dragons, but because a previous equity partner temporarily retained the Colapz Intellectual Property Rights, as part of a buy-out settlement deal.
Taking this onboard, Colapz obtained IP protection and four years later, launched on Amazon. With the ever-increasing success of the brand and increased demand for camping equipment, global sales figures increased from £60,000 in 2018 to over £1.3m in 2021, as Colapz began to expand in the EU, US and Asia.
Property Rights are a fundamental aspect of a business and having secured the rights the business has now attracted the attention of FBA acquirers Olsam, who have added the category leading UK-based camping and outdoor brand to their portfolio.
The acquisition is a key step for Olsam, which recently raised $165m, into the camping and outdoor market. Colapz’s team of product designers will also be joining Olsam as part of the deal. Olsam’s expertise as a UK based acquirer will help expand the Colapz brand globally, notably into Amazon US, EU, as well as Asia.
Globally in 2020, the camping and caravanning market was valued at over £32bn and is expected to be valued at £42bn by 2025 with a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% as staycations and environmental consciousness become a more definitive factor when choosing a holiday. The millennial population has been a recent driving force in the camping and caravanning market as the pace of innovation in outdoor products has increased along with the upward trend in the market for sustainable holidays.
Olsam found that the unique product design is essential for the success of the brand. Thanks to their inhouse team of product designers, who will also be joining Olsam as part of the deal, Colapz has engineered a broad offering of essential camping and outdoor accessories that offer a more compact alternative to its competition. Its products also have a positive environmental impact, taking up less room at home, in the shops and in transit, creating a smaller carbon footprint. Colapz has a number of successful products, including the portable shower, the 2-in-1 watering can and the 2-in1 water carrier proving popular in Asia as Colapz continues to reach a global audience.
At Colapz, the idea has always been to supply the camping and outdoor community with practical, unique, aesthetically pleasing inventions that solve problems in a system. The Dragons may have chosen not to invest, but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.We took their advice on board and over the last six years we have created an industry leading brand. Testament to this was the overwhelming interest of buyers in Colapz. We chose Olsam because they are a highly competent team whose personability was always one step ahead compared to the competition. I’m certain that the Olsam and Colapz teams will work well together and help grow the business across the globeDavid Fannin, Colapz
The Colapz product range is truly unique in the market and highly defensible thanks to its IP protection and unique designs ; the growth opportunities within this market are massive and we see the expansion to Amazon US, EU, wholesale in the Far East, as well as D2C, as the main growth levers. We also loved this opportunity because we recognised the skillset the Colapz team have, specifically in new product development and the use of CAD design software, used to create their product range – we’re very excited for them to join the Olsam team and to bring the best of British design to campsites, homes and gardens around the worldSam Horbye, Co-founder of Olsam
To find out more about how to grow a business and add value, download our eBook ‘Growing a business with a purpose‘ written in partnership with Olsam.