International Trade

British bag business Knomo seals £3m investment and big US retail market deals

2 min read

26 October 2016

Former deputy editor

A large scale US retail market expansion is on the table for British bag business Knomo, which has secured deals with Macy’s and Saks, alongside a £3m investment.

Launched back in 2004, Knomo products are designed to mix technology and fashion as the brand sought to capitalise on the generic laptop bags that were around at the time. Now, the business is confident it will able to make its mark on the US retail market.

Private equity firm Rockpool Investment provided the £3m funding round, which will support Knomo’s international agenda. Tackling the US retail market will be supported through its deals with Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Anthropologie, which will begin sales of the bags.

According to Knomo, the deal with the American retailers will significantly advance its global business efforts, as sales in the US retail market are set to rise over 45 per cent in the next month.

Tommy O’Sullivan, investment director at Rockpool, said: “Living and working on the move is becoming a mainstream lifestyle choice, the loyal customer community and innovative approach to design ideally equips the team to develop KNOMO into a truly global brand.”

In addition to the US, Knomo also has plans for its native UK and has secured a Selfridges’ partnership to headline the retailer’s new technology department.

Elsewhere, the bag maker will also launch a community working space in Covent Garden to support “digital nomads” – its target audience – as flexible working on the move continues to increase.

While the funding will take the business forward, Knomo has made key hires with Hummus Bros investor Fred Edwards as COO and Simon Wilkson, formerly of Dr Martens and Charles Tyrwhitt, as digital director.

“KNOMO’s customers are digital nomads working all around the world, so it’s natural for us to take another step towards becoming a truly global brand,” said Knomo CEO and co-founder Howard Harrison.

“Our mission is to empower everyone to follow their passion and work free, so we’ve created this ecosystem that makes managing life and work easy, wherever you are.”