January 19, 2018

Hyperlite Mountain Gear raises $1.1M in early stage venture capital

Courtesy / Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Courtesy / Hyperlite Mountain Gear
Dan St. Pierre, left, co-founder and CFO, and Mike St. Pierre, founder and CEO of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, successfully completed a $1.1 million early series round of financing, which was co-led by CEI Ventures, Telluride Venture Fund and Maine Venture Fund.

About Hyperlite Mountain Gear

Founded in 2010, Hyperlite Mountain Gear is a pioneer in the emerging ultralight outdoors movement, an adventuring technique of carrying only the lightest and most efficient gear possible so a hiker, backpacker or mountaineer can do more in the outdoors in less time and with less stress on the body. The company was born out of CEO Mike St. Pierre's past dissatisfaction with the market availability of high-performing ultralight gear. The company's high-tech material technologies and designs are allowing a wide range of hard-core adventurers to weekend enthusiasts increase their performance, efficiency and enjoyment in the outdoors. The company has been rapidly expanding each year since inception and is located in the Pepperell Mill, a historic Biddeford mill that once employed thousands of textile workers from the mid-1800s through the late 20th century. Hyperlite Mountain Gear sources all materials and hand-crafts its products directly in the United States.

About CEI

Coastal Enterprises Inc. helps to grow good jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity in Maine and in rural regions across the country by integrating financing, business and industry expertise, and policy solutions. CEI envisions a world in which communities are economically and environmentally healthy, enabling all people, especially those with low incomes, to reach their full potential.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear, the Biddeford-based manufacturer of 100% USA-made ultralight outdoor equipment, announced it has completed a $1.1 million early series round of financing.

CEI Ventures co-led the round along with Telluride Venture Fund and Maine Venture Fund.

The investment will enable the 50-plus employee company to expand production and R&D capacity and begin introducing automation to its manufacturing facility in Biddeford.

"We are thrilled to announce this round of investment to further help us grow," Mike St. Pierre, founder and CEO of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, said in a news release. "We look forward to building on our ability to help outdoor adventurers do more with less as we expand our reach and product offering of high-tech, high-quality, high-performance ultralight gear."

With a product line of lightweight, durable and functional backpacks, shelters and accessories, Hyperlite Mountain Gear's base of manufacturing is in Biddeford's historic Pepperell Mill, which was once a national center of textile manufacturing.

Hyperlite Mountain Gear's founders said the company's commitment to producing there is significant in the rebuilding of the local economy with an innovative 21st century textile product — adding that keeping production in-house enables the company to provide the highest quality product for its consumers.

"Hyperlite Mountain Gear's success proves that rural America is home to smart, high-growth companies," said Chandler Jones, principal of CEI Ventures. "We invest in companies that exhibit rapid growth and dynamic transformation that also contribute to building an economy that works for everyone."

Hyperlite is an alumnus of the Telluride Venture Accelerator, a program affiliated with the Telluride Venture Fund. While not in Telluride Venture Fund's typical geographic footprint, Hyperlite Mountain Gear fits its investment sector focus of the outdoors.

"The company has an impressive management team and solid existing product portfolio," said Kurt Dalton of Telluride Venture Fund and chairman of the board at Hyperlite Mountain Gear. "The co-founders Mike and Dan St. Pierre have been a fantastic one-two punch on the creative and operational side — better than we initially expected. We were ready to support the business regardless of the fact that they weren't basing themselves in our geo-region. Their products are certainly used by many in our geo region. This fundraising round solidifies the company's growth plans for the future."

Jayme Okma Lee, investment manager of Maine Venture Fund, characterized Hyperlite Mountain Gear as "an excellent example of how impact focused venture capital funds collaborate to support a well-performing business that is creating jobs and value for its shareholders."


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