Pembroke VCT has today invested £1.5 million into accessible womenswear brand Ro&Zo to drive its direct to consumer offering and expand the business. The deal was managed by strategic advisory firm finnCap.
Ro&Zo is a female-founded brand made by women, for women. Established by co-founders Rosie Bowden and Zoe de Abreu in the aftermath of the pandemic to fill a gap in the market left by the closures of a series of major high street brands, with CEO Rachel Heather joining to head up the business. Already stocked by major retailers including Next and John Lewis, Ro&Zo create responsible, trend-led pieces for women spanning many age groups and sizes (6/20), leveraging decades of manufacturing experience with a strong focus on quality.
Ro&Zo’s approach is unique in that it draws on its significant experience as a supplier and buyer for major high street brands, transitioning from manufacturer to brand rather than vice versa. This gives the business a detailed understanding of garments, the high street and what customers want. Ro&Zo’s full oversight of the manufacturing process allows it to retain strong quality control from end to end – from print design, to buying the fabrics to creating the products – and the business is much more resilient to market fluctuations and current supply chain challenges as a result.
This round of investment will help Ro&Zo drive its direct to consumer business by raising awareness of its brand, develop its operations capability and scale the business in the UK. As part of this Ro&Zo is looking to launch its first high street store to provide an experience-driven, high-quality omnichannel experience and is using data to find the best location suited to its customer profile.
Andrew Wolfson, CEO, Pembroke Investment Managers LLP commented: “In these extraordinary retailing times we are living in, it was going to take an extraordinary fashion brand for Pembroke VCT to invest in this sector. When we met Rosie, Zoe and Rachel we realised they had done something unique – they had turned their wealth of experience in supply chain and eye for design into a new omnichannel fashion player. The business has performed strongly in major retail stores and we look forward to working with the team to drive its DTC offer and launch their first physical store.”
Rosie Bowden, co-founder of Ro&Zo added: “Today there is a strong demand in the market for accessible, quality fashion that can be versatile while still being stylish. Ro&Zo’s styling is about attitude not age and we are proud of supporting and we believe in supporting the next generation of business women, from day to night. We have established a strong understanding of our customer and are excited to gain this funding from Pembroke VCT to grow and better serve their needs.”