• February 5, 2019
  • North America
  • Technology, Media, and Telecom

H.I.G. Growth Partners Leads $30 Million Growth Financing for Cuyana

BOSTON – February 5, 2019 – H.I.G. Growth Partners (“H.I.G.’) is pleased to announce that it has led a $30 million growth financing round for Cuyana, the fast-growing women’s modern luxury lifestyle brand based in San Francisco, California.

Launched in 2013 by Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah, Cuyana was one of the first brands to successfully introduce the concept of modern luxury in the direct-to-consumer marketplace. Cuyana’s “fewer, better” philosophy encourages women to shop less and buy with intention. The brand offers a highly curated selection of premium handbags, small leather goods, accessories and apparel directly to consumers online and through an expanding network of retail stores.

“When we created Cuyana, our mission was to deliver luxurious products to a wider female audience in a more globally responsible way,” said Karla Gallardo, co-founder and CEO. “We achieved this by reinventing the traditional retail supply chain, focusing on profitability as our north star, and making two breakthrough bets: introducing the ‘fewer, better’ philosophy to the American consumer and investing in brick-and-mortar stores when others claimed retail was ‘dead’. We are excited to accept this financing to fuel growth and add partners who believe in our vision as we continue to drive the evolution of the retail industry.”

A digital-first brand, Cuyana also proved a scalable physical retail model and since 2015 has opened five physical retail stores in San Francisco (CA), Venice (CA), New York (NY), Pacific Palisades (CA) and Palo Alto (CA), as well as numerous pop-ups across the U.S. With this new round of funding, Cuyana will accelerate its existing growth plans to drive product and category innovation and growth as well as expand its physical retail footprint in new markets.

“Cuyana has emerged as a premium consumer retail brand leader among its competitors and contemporaries,” said John Kim, Managing Director of H.I.G. Growth Partners. “While most retail companies have succumbed to the pressures of running a business in today’s market, Cuyana has proven that a direct-to- consumer business can be poised for tremendous growth and have the potential to become a billion dollar brand by leaning into metrics that matter, like profitability, gross margin and high revenue growth. We have been impressed with Cuyana’s business model and compelling metrics to date and are thrilled to work with their team to accelerate their existing growth in becoming a global brand.”

Today, Cuyana continues to own every touch point of the customer experience, from design creation to packaging and distribution through its omni-channel platform, and is laser focused on creating timeless collections and high quality essentials for the modern woman. d.Luxury Brands, a consumer retail-focused operating team, worked together with H.I.G. on this transaction.

About Cuyana
Founded by Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah, Cuyana, which means “to love” in Quechua, is a San Francisco-based design house with a love of essential things that carry a story. The brand creates iconic pieces with a focus on quality, clean lines and the subtle details that distinguish them. Each collection is hand-crafted by expert artisans and makers from around the world to offer the modern woman a wardrobe that is carefully curated and luxurious. For more information, visit www.cuyana.com.

About H.I.G. Growth Partners
H.I.G. Growth Partners is the dedicated growth capital investment affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a leading global private equity investment firm with over $30 billion of equity capital under management.* H.I.G. Growth seeks to make both majority and minority investments in strong, growth oriented businesses located throughout North America, Europe and Latin America. H.I.G. Growth Partners considers investments across all industries, but focus on certain high-growth sectors where it has extensive in-house expertise such as technology, healthcare, internet and media, consumer products and technology-enabled financial and business services. H.I.G. Growth strives to work closely with its management teams to serve as an experienced resource, providing broad-based strategic, operational, recruiting, and financial management services from a vast in-house team and a substantial network of third-party relationships. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higgrowth.com.

* Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.


John Kim
Managing Director

H.I.G. Growth Partners
500 Boylston Street
20th Floor
Boston, MA 02116
P: 617.262.8455
F: 617.262.1505