Company Behind Hunt & Privateer Receives Funding for Expansion

Jul 1, 2022 at 8:58
by Ed Spratt  

The Rider Firm is set to receive seven-figure funding to grow further in the UK, USA and Europe.

The UK-based company is behind brands such as Hunt Bike Wheels and Privateer Bikes. While those brands already offer international sales, the funding package from Santander Bank is set to help the company grow further with a key focus on marketing, social media presence, and the sponsorship of professional cycling teams.

The Rider Firm also plans to hire 20 new staff members and it is working with Santander Universities to add two employees to its Graduate Leadership Scheme, which offers job opportunities to recent graduates. The additional funding is also going to assist one of The Rider Firm's long-term goals of using recycled materials in its products and becoming a B Corp certified company.

bigquotesThe whole team at The Rider Firm have worked hard to serve riders by developing the best available performance cycling products. With Santander UK as our funding partner, we are well positioned to grow our direct-to-consumer led business and serve more riders in our core UK and US markets and expand into Europe. We are very grateful for the tremendous support of both Santander UK and Gambit Corporate Finance in this process. Peter Marchment, Founder, The Rider Firm

bigquotesAs The Rider Firm’s banking partner, we are proud to have supported its growth and evolution over the past six years. Its technical and research and development expertise have driven its growth and excellent reputation among customers. We are pleased to provide it with this latest funding, which will propel its expansion in the UK and overseas. Peter Abel, Growth Capital Director at Santander UK

bigquotesThe Rider Firm is an exciting and dynamic business driven by a passion for cycling and its products are widely recognised and very well-respected. Gambit Corporate Finance is pleased to provide advisory support on this funding with Santander UK and looks forward to seeing the continued success and growth of the business over the years to come. Jason Evans, Partner, Gambit Corporate Finance



115 Comments

  • 234 0
 So privateer got sponsored?
  • 50 0
 The hunt for privateer equity paid off.
  • 10 0
 equity for hunts
  • 40 0
 If your sponsor gives you a bike, then after a short while asks for it back. Plus an extra set of wheels and forks. And if you can't ,they take your house. Then yes.
  • 3 2
 @watchmen Don't take the bike if you can't afford to ride it enough to satisfy your sponsorship contract.
  • 3 8
flag rivercitycycles (Jul 5, 2022 at 19:36) (Below Threshold)
 Sponsorship should aways be based on past results, and how well the rider will represent the brand. No Free Rides Smile
  • 2 0
 @watchmen: true that
  • 2 1
 @warmerdamj: that was a joke about a bank being your sponsor, and then taking more back and foreclosing? and a clever one, at that
  • 2 0
 @yetiguy1: Is that a question.
  • 2 0
 @warmerdamj: That's an excellent reply?
  • 107 1
 I love banks, they’re the real good guys
  • 18 0
 Not all heroes wear capes
  • 27 1
 banks and huge pharmaceutical companies
  • 2 1
 They're not all bad
www.triodos.co.uk
  • 5 0
 B Corps are tight.
  • 8 9
 @savagelake: this, but unironically. Santander here are allowing Privateer to produce more bikes and hire more people. big pharma saves millions of lives by producing covid vaccines.
  • 16 5
 @mattg95: big pharma made billions of pounds off the back of Covid vaccines by selling to the wealthiest countries, which it invests into lobbying (aka bribing) to undermine affordable social healthcare.
  • 60 1
 I love reading about banks, finance, investments, marketing strategies. All that talk of growth and expansion makes me feel really swell.
  • 15 6
 Neoliberal Pornography
  • 8 0
 And they all use Data to make those decisions...........data driven verses feelings based
  • 20 0
 @rivercitycycles: Data. So hot right now.
  • 31 3
 Press release:
Get the 2023 Privatequiteer 141. All the benefits of the 2022 model + a hefty new profit margin to keep the bankers happy.
  • 6 0
 I got the 2022, so I'm in the clear.
  • 26 1
 is Mike Hunt staying on as CEO?
  • 17 0
 Yes and he is hiring Holden Tudix as VP
  • 9 0
 @Frank191:
Kraven Moorehead got let go?
  • 11 0
 Replaced by Wayne Kerr, I heard
  • 9 0
 Replaced by Ben Dover. @initforthedonuts:
  • 6 2
 @initforthedonuts: replaced by Nicolas Cage
  • 10 2
 @Trailfingers: who actually turned out to be John Travolta
  • 4 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: To help implement their international strategy they've headhunted Eini Juan Farabije.
  • 4 0
 And they have just sponsored Hugh Jorgan.
  • 7 0
 Don't forget head of backend data: Lou Sanous
  • 3 0
 Gonna have to add this to my PB User's All Time Greatest Comments of All Time collection
  • 3 0
 Kept in check by CIO Meg Rundle
  • 3 0
 Naaah. Jenny Toll took the job.
  • 20 0
 Excellent. Looking forward to the 181.
  • 3 0
 My name will be the first on their buy list if they dropped a 181.
  • 4 0
 I messaged them some time ago to see if this might be a possibility, as the 161 frameset is clearly burly enough to be adapted for a bit more travel. IIRC they said they had been playing around with linkages and stuff, and not to rule it out. Probably a bit niche though, so I expect we'll see them update the 161 and get their ebike out first.
  • 1 0
 I would definitely be interested in a 181
  • 18 3
 This is awesome. I’ve been using a set of Hunt Wheels for a couple of years and they have been outstanding. Especially considering what I paid for them. Cool to see them pushing into more prominence in the pro world. Stuff doesn’t have to be $$$$$ to be good.
  • 20 2
 Stuff DOES have to be $$$$$ to pay back your banking overlords and "advisory support" firms, tho, so don't get too attached to those prices.. I say that as a Hunt customer myself, unfortunately.
  • 5 1
 @abbottt1: haha let’s just be optimistic and say the bank got behind their budget-minded ethos. We can only hope.
  • 9 6
 I have a set of hung wheels, and I think they suck! The rims are softer than Brie, and the hubs drag more than your dad on a Friday night.
  • 4 3
 @ct0413: Now, that they've got big banking involved, there is literally zero reason to be optimistic.
  • 9 0
 @Muscovir: That's not necessarily true. Just as a theoretical example - as they're a relatively small company and probably only producing relatively small volume, an injection of cash could allow them to up their order quantities which would in turn typically result in a lower cost per item for manufacture. They appear to sell out pretty consistently so there's probably demand for those extra items.

With that reduction in costs, they could theoretically keep RRPs the same as they have been while using the extra margin to pay off whatever their burden is to Santander. At the same time, the increase in sales means that they'll have more money available themselves to do more R&D, speed up other projects (e.g. the 181 and e-Bikes people have mentioned elsewhere in the comments), support more riders, do trail advocacy, etc.

Just to be clear, I don't really have much faith in big banks and the injection of money into some companies can derail what was previously a good thing, but it doesn't have to be the case. That's especially the case for some smaller companies who might otherwise be struggling to make ends meet either just in terms of rising costs, cash-flow issues from needing to pay production facilities much more in advance now than they ordinarily would have to, or whatever else it might be.

Also worth noting that they've been with Santander for the past 6 years, so it's not like they're just getting "big banking involved" now. Doing something like this with a bank you've been with for that length of time is probably safer (from our point of view of not wanting brands like Privateer to go south) than if they'd suddenly got in bed with a random finance company.
  • 3 0
 my hunt xc wide wheels were okay, not great. rims held up well & spoke tension was even. the rear hub went through bearings at an alarming rate & the freehub slipped at least once on every ride. i've got a 5year old dt 240 thats never slipped, on original bearings. eventually last year I gave up on the hunts & went for dt 350 & havent had bearing issue since.
  • 1 0
 @ct0413: Hunt sells wheels at a specific price for a specific audience. (I have a 161 with hunt wheels) You can't just increase price and expect customers to follow, especially when customers have comparable options. It's also super hard to go up market (VW). Much easier to go downmarket (Tesla).

Congrats to The Rider Firm! Growing a business is hard work. For everyone who hates on banks, it's more than likely that your job was the result of your company being able to secure financing to grow. Not saying banks are great or perfect but look in the mirror. How did you buy your car, house and possibly even your bike?!
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: They're hung and they suck, you say?
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: I think you got the amazon knock off's - you should have got hunts
  • 14 3
 Always amazed at the depth of knowledge on all sorts of topics in the PB comments section. Whether it is politics, science or even good old economics we have experts a plenty. Well done Hunt/Privateer on securing the financial backing and I'll just wait and see what that means for your future pricing, product quality and customer service. Given the scale of the investment my bet is the people who built the business will be allowed to continue to run it as they wish. In finance terms seven figure is pocket change and extremely unlikely to change the businesses values in the slightest.
  • 6 3
 Innit. But obviously nobody here works for a company which has ever accessed finance to fund its growth, so we shouldn't be too harsh. Sounds like most of the money is for marketing and team sponsorships, which may well pay dividends. They must already be confident they have product development covered and that they can scale up production as required.
  • 4 1
 @chakaping: more $$ means they can buy more factory capacity.

Sponsorships are pretty cheap. Going to Asia and getting more of your widgets made isn’t.

I’m stoked to see a good company getting the funds they need to grow!!
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: I expected it to be to increase production, but the article says the investment is mainly for new hires relating to marketing and for sponsoring pros.
I'm not gonna pretend I know better than them what it takes to grow their business.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: Also, Hunt must do most of their business in road wheels, where sponsorships won't be so cheap.
  • 2 0
 Couldn’t agree more. Pinkbike comment advisory committee is like Keith Rainere (Nexium)-level wisdom.

Super stoked to hear this. I love my privateer 141 and reading this makes me feel like making great products pays off.
  • 10 2
 Sometimes, companies that make poor products get more investment, then get spec on OEM and infest the cycling community.

This isn't one of those times. Hope Hunt/Privateer keeps their focus on making and selling good, sturdy bikes and parts at a reasonable price!!
  • 12 2
 Aren't their wheels just off the shelf Chinese made stuff that's re-branded?
  • 5 0
 @er043: I think some bits are and some bits aren’t. Either way, I have road and MTB wheels I’m very happy with, and I didn’t get absolutely turned over when paying for them
  • 2 4
 @Sambikes11: yeah my point was that their wheels are OEM and Hunt don't actually make them. Original poster was completely contradicting himself.
  • 4 1
 @er043: they don’t MAKE anything. Aside from Merida and Giant, only a handful of boutique companies make stuff.

But…..they keep the stuff they design/sell reliable, fairly hype-free and reasonably priced.
  • 1 1
 Wheels are awesome
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: that's more true of their MTB stuff. Their road stuff is borderline nothing but hype. They're effectively the same Chinese factory products that Prime (owned by Wiggle, who owns Chain Reaction Cycles) also sells at a lower price. Hunt claims to have "aerodynamic" shallow, alloy rims and their more expensive carbon fiber, deep rims don't hold up to other rims both more expensive and cheaper than Hunt.
  • 1 0
 @conman1395: a couple of years ago on a road sportif, one of the lads in the group managed to warp his prime wheels on a steep descent, my Hunts were fine (both carbon). Pure anecdotal, but just saying
  • 9 0
 Been a huge fan of my Privateer 141 and Hunt wheelsets. Their customer service has also been top notch. Look forward to what they have in store.
  • 2 4
 I will agree with your customer service comment. But their QC needs help. I found 3 items on my 141 that needed attention, that customer service was helpful to fix. But for the money, I want it perfect when it arrives at my door.
  • 6 0
 @AppleJack76: You're always going to be disappointed if your base expectation is perfection.
  • 5 0
 @AppleJack76: I think you need to tailor your expectations to what you're buying, considering Privateer isn't what's considered a luxury brand. Just be happy that their Customer Service actually helps you, unlike Specialized who won't even help you with replacement stickers for the bike.
  • 1 1
 @watchmen: you haven't worked as long as I have. I valve my money more than you do. But, throw your money away. What do I care.
  • 1 1
 @nickfranko: I wouldn't consider any bicycle company a luxury brand. Luxury is a perception, marketing departments create. One of my B.S. is mktg mngt. I know a little from my studies and 20 years in the automotive industry, dealing with "luxury" cars.
  • 1 1
 @AppleJack76: Working at a car wash is not relevant here.
  • 1 0
 @watchmen: At least I don't live in my mom's basement, jerking off to anime porn.
  • 1 0
 @AppleJack76: It took you a month to think of that. And I live in your Moms basement and she jacks off to me porn.
  • 11 1
 Another Hunt wheelset customer here and can confirm the product and service/ care is excellent.
  • 6 0
 I’m on my first set of Hunt wheels and they are as good as any other aluminum wheel I’ve had. The price is great and the delivery time was very quick. At my door in a week. I do hope the additional funding doesn’t mean instant price increase.
  • 1 1
 Let us know how many dings your rims have and how much your freewheel drags after a year of riding please.
  • 2 0
 @unrooted: I take it this has been your experience? Have you found that they ding significantly more than others? Every aluminum rim I’ve had suffers from dings. So far none of them catastrophically, though.
  • 1 1
 @endoguru: they ding a lot easier than Stan’s flow rims I had.
  • 1 0
 @unrooted: restated, one of your aluminum wheel sets was better than the other. huh.
  • 5 2
 For decades, I've been as jaded against MegaCorp, CEO's, COO's, banks & industry - and the handouts ALL of these guys actually get 95% of the time (but blame on the poor). And which PB users out here are pre-ejaculating or excited to read a funding article...WITH mundane closing-quotes as if those are shreddits - and even if it is Hunt & Privateer (which is good stuff)...

But - it's funding like this that gets bikes on PB and into your hands, makes better gear, floats PB in the first place (uh ad revenue from Corps) and makes yr bikes & components even possible. Pretty sure we're all spending money, at least on bikes which I'll say is easily the most expensive sport I've ever done, hands down, not even counting bike racks, tools, clothing, and hospital bills. Without buying new frames or whole bikes I'm spending $2-4K a year on parts, tires, wheel replacements, service, etc...and that's with doing 95% of the mechanics myself.

Its low-hanging fruit to bust on Banker Bob...I do it all the time. Bob's a douche with 11 differen't bikes in his garage that he can't work on & he just wants to make money no matter what the societal or ecological cost or support for totalitarian regimes where most of these bikes & parts are made. Yet here we all are buying all this product from Bob & his kind. Hmmm... maybe we're all dickheads in part too. I don't have to look to far to find a world class hypocrite bitching about banking (etc) b/c it's me that's ultimately supporting it and I'm wagering its you guys too, PB gripes or not.
  • 7 1
 I’m in love with the 141. Hopefully this can bring more bikes stateside
  • 4 0
 I’ve just got mine it’s f**king mint
  • 3 0
 Just received my ltd ed 141. And I love it. Pedals so much better than my last bike but has taken everything I can throw at it.
  • 1 1
 @steveperry: also had my 141 LTD ED since May. She does pedal well, but boy, is she a hefty British gal,
climbing my regular Socal climbs. Ooof.
  • 4 1
 @AppleJack76: I am in SoCal as well and The bike pedals so much better than my Capra did. I haven’t minded the weight as my bikes are typically pigs, but I am loving it. Took it to Snow Valley two weeks ago and I loved it.
  • 1 0
 Sounds like a sick bike!
  • 3 0
 @AppleJack76: While she's hefty, the antisquat and position seem to make it a decent climber. I've put some faster climb times on this bike when compared to my hardtail, or the riot that it replaced.
  • 3 1
 That's great news for The Rider Firm, but I hope the timing is right. The pandemic-fuelled cycling boom is cooling and shipping is starting to get back on a normal schedule, so we're months away from a reversal of the bike and parts drought. More bikes and parts = cheaper bikes and parts. Plus, with a global recession on the horizon, bike sales will fall further. I honestly hope I'm wrong as I really rate what they're doing with Hunt and Privateer.
  • 5 1
 It's not back on normal schedule, it's falling off a cliff. Going to take a couple of years for the correction to work its way through but the factories are inundated with cancellations, all while certain parts are still on 2+ yr lead times. It is a total s*** show out there.
  • 1 0
 @benpinnick: www.bikeradar.com/news/bike-supply-issues-when-will-the-industry-return-to-normal

Long article alert. Certainly mixed opinions, and Brexit makes the UK even further behind, but global shipping is improving according to AP Moller-Maersk. Then you have statements like: “I heard Dominic Langan [CEO of distributor Madison, which brings multiple cycling brands into the country, including Shimano] saying he feels things will be fine by the end of the year. I'm not seeing it."
  • 3 0
 Getting a cash infusion from Privateer Equity Hunts can be a bit of a Gambit, but more often a way to Firm business growth. Well done.
  • 5 0
 say hunty, are we, are the bad guys?
  • 2 1
 It sounds like "funding" is actually a loan, which is not really big news. So the bank gave you more money....who cares? I don't care. Now if you said, "Hunt bucks industry trend of borrowing for growth and re-invests profits in expansion," that would be news worth reading! But borrowing money to grow....fake news!
  • 1 0
 Looking at getting a new bike and the 161 is on my list for sure but I have some questions hopefully people can help with. How are the hayes brakes? i've heard not great things because they are super fiddly to get working perfect. Would opting for the magura ones be better? In the most recent pb review they said this was more of a point and shoot bike with not much grace when it came to technical tracks, how do people agree/disagree with that? They also said it was a rougher ride as the leverage ratio is overall a little lower than some other bikes do people agree with that? Thanks!
  • 8 3
 Banks! Yayyyyyy!
  • 3 1
 agree.... outstanding customer service... just waiting to break my Bontrager wheelset to have a reason to buy an other one from Hunt
  • 3 5
 That may be long
  • 3 0
 @fracasnoxteam: It may be forever, or 2 weeks before Bonty wheels break. Their QC will never be able to tell you either way. Smile
  • 2 0
 I too recently got a business loan from a bank. Looking forward to to making exciting things happen in the agricultural sector. Like growing lots of grain or oil seed.
  • 6 5
 Cooperate financing, sounds like the typical trade off of profit over quality. Unless their numbers people are product savvy, which never happens.
  • 3 0
 Small,works (low overheads)
Large, works (economies of scale)
The bit in between.....notsomuch.
  • 3 1
 Is this financing based on COVID industry numbers? That may not work out so well.
  • 3 0
 Banco Santander has a BMX Background!
  • 3 5
 In 99% of cases, this means a hefty increase in prices for the same product and a decrease in production quality and customer service in the forseeable future. Because they'll need to increase their margins to keep the banks happy.
  • 1 1
 Fingers crossed they dont suffer from the usual curse of PE investment where anything more than about 6 months is deemed long term
  • 2 1
 I buy a Privateer frame and Hunt wheelset, they immediately look to expansion, Coincidence? I think not.
  • 1 0
 looking forward to the 151
  • 1 0
 I love my hunt wheels
  • 1 3
 SOME GOOD NEWS
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