WASHINGTON & TYSONS CORNER, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Revolution Growth fund today announced a $40 million investment in CustomInk, the web-based, market-leading custom shirts company for groups and occasions. The investment will support CustomInk’s rapid expansion and new growth initiatives as it approaches $200 million in annual revenues, with year over year growth of 50 percent. As part of the transaction, Ted Leonsis, co-founder of Revolution Growth, will join CustomInk’s board of directors.
“The company has already experienced tremendous growth, and we look forward to using our own experience building consumer brands to help the company strategically accelerate that growth.”
“CustomInk sits at a sweet spot of community, creativity, social commerce, and technology. They are revolutionizing their category by combining these elements with a deep dedication to the needs of their customers,” said Ted Leonsis, co-founder of Revolution Growth. “The company has already experienced tremendous growth, and we look forward to using our own experience building consumer brands to help the company strategically accelerate that growth.”
CustomInk serves hundreds of thousands of groups and occasions each year in its mission to unite people through the power of custom t-shirts — from companies and charity events to schools and family reunions. With an unparalleled focus on customer care, CustomInk leverages its expansive art and font library, sophisticated fulfillment operations, and consumer-friendly website to give its customers a fun and easy way to design top quality products quickly, on-time, and to their exact specifications.
With a proven track record of innovation, CustomInk is well-positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities, including the recent launch of Booster, a new platform designed to help people raise money and rally support for their causes, loved ones, groups and projects through the online sale of custom t-shirts. The company also sees a promising opportunity for a media business and is developing a sponsorship platform, called Pear (www.PearUp.com), to enable brand sponsorship of groups and occasions on a grassroots level.
“We believe custom t-shirts have the power to bring people together. That’s why we say ‘T-shirts Unite!’ and it’s what inspires us to continue to innovate and offer incredible service to our customers,” said CustomInk co-founder and president, Marc Katz. “The Revolution Growth team has a uniquely strong track record of building groundbreaking companies around the idea of human connection, and their insight, guidance, and capital will be a huge help as we grow and pursue new opportunities. I’m particularly looking forward to having Ted on our board.”
Co-founded in 2000 by Marc and two former Harvard classmates, CustomInk today holds a leading position in the $5 billion custom apparel market, delivering approximately 20 million t-shirts per year, and currently employing more than 800 people. In addition to its customer-centric approach, the company is known for its strong character and commitment to giving back to the community. It has been named to several best places to work lists, including Fortune’s 50 Best Small and Medium Sized Companies to Work For. Its charitable and community relations arm, the Three Hearts Initiative, partners with non-profit organizations and encourages “Inkers” (CustomInk team members) to get involved with causes that matter to them.
“CustomInk is the type of company we like to invest in at Revolution Growth –attacking a significant market with an innovative approach,” said Donn Davis, co-founder of Revolution Growth. “We focus our energy and capital outside of Silicon Valley as we believe great companies can be built everywhere, and CustomInk is a perfect example of that, based here in greater Washington, DC.”
About Revolution Growth
Founded and led by Steve Case, Ted Leonsis, and Donn Davis, Revolution Growth invests in companies that can change the world. Its mission is to build disruptive, innovative businesses that offer consumers more choice, convenience, and control in their lives. By taking a long-term approach and developing a true, hands-on partnership with entrepreneurs and management teams, Revolution Growth brings a unique strategy and passion to investing in and building significant companies. For more information, visit www.revolution.com/growth.
Founded in 2000, CustomInk is the leader in custom apparel for groups & occasions. Customink.com enables people to design and order custom t-shirts and accessories for their clubs, companies, charities, family reunions, and more. Customers enjoy free design support from CustomInk’s acclaimed service representatives, and each custom design is proofed by a professional artist to ensure it turns out perfectly – whether it’s being printed on one t-shirt or thousands. CustomInk’s innovative online Design Lab offers customers a huge selection of art and fonts, including offerings from the renowned design firms of Charles S. Anderson™ and House Industries™, as well as the option to upload their own artwork. Those who wish to make t-shirts for groups can take advantage of the website’s simple group ordering system and online sign-up sheet for ease in coordinating their order with friends, teammates or classmates.
Headquartered in Northern Virginia, with additional offices in Reno, NV and Charlottesville, VA, the company is dynamic and forward-thinking and has been recognized numerous times for rapid growth and workplace excellence. CustomInk strives to treat customers, vendors, and team members as it would want to be treated and has a strong sense of innovation and individual responsibility.
Erin Prosser, 410-367-2700, ext. 112
Lee Prince, 301-787-0576