Entrepreneurs

Quadrant might have an all-male team of directors, but its first three investments were in woman-led businesses

Jessie Tu /

Quadrant Modibodi

Modibodi founder and chief executive officer Kristy Chong. Source: supplied.

Quadrant is Australia’s newest private equity firm, and in the last month, it’s made some big decisions.

The firm has invested in three well-known, female-led ventures, despite the fact Quadrant has an all-male team of directors and partners.

Love To Dream

Love To Dream, a company founded by Hana-Lia Krawchuk, creates and globally distributes award-winning swaddles for infants.

It received the second investment from the Quadrant Growth Fund, which in early-September, entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the company. Love to Dream has $7 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, and a turnover above $30 million.

Krawchuk, who was manager and designer at About Apparel for seven years before her entrepreneurial leap, studied a Bachelor of Fashion and Textile Design at UTS in Sydney. Her first product idea came when she altered the design of the swaddles she was using with her child.

Her innovative designs enable babies to sleep with some hand mobility, with the products marketed in 45 countries.

The business recorded annual growth of 27% on average in the 2016 to 2019 financial years, and has sold three million swaddles. In 2017, Krawchuk was a mentor in the Businesses of Tomorrow program launched by Westpac as part of its 200th-anniversary celebrations, and last year she won the NSW Women in International Business award.

Modibodi

Quadrant’s third acquisition in two months was of innovative, women’s period-proof underwear company Modibodi.

Chief executive Kristy Chong’s patented ‘Modifier Technology’ also extends to tops, singlets, maternity and swimwear. Currently, the business has close to 200,000 active customers, spread across New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. Chong aims to expand the products into Europe and Asia too.

“Partnering with Quadrant will allow us to deliver our innovative, protective and supportive apparel to more customers globally, while at the same time strengthening our business,” Chong told the AFR.

The company is estimated to be making about $50 million in annual sales, and revenue has grown 200% year-on-year from 2017 to 2019. Chong spent more than a decade in senior management PR roles for companies including McDonald’s and Edelman PR. Last year, she was was named as a finalist in the startup category of the World Retail Congress Awards and was awarded the NSW Business Woman of the Year by the NSW government.

Quadrant Growth Fund managing partner Justin Ryan said: “We were attracted to Modibodi’s innovative products, its strong brand and its rapid global growth through a scalable e-commerce platform.”

Adore Beauty

On Monday, September 16, Kate Morris from Adore Beauty announced she was selling a 60% stake of her business to Quadrant. The online beauty retailer, which currently has a run rate of more than $100 million, sells more than 220 brands online. Its success is attributed to a diverse range of products, as well as an unusual combination of integrated e-commerce and content strategies, including shoppable blog posts and makeup tutorials. 

Justin Ryan, who joined Quadrant in 2011, told Inside Retail: “It’s really exciting and liberating stuff. What they’ve done there in terms of engagement with the customer is fabulous and differentiating. At the same time, there’s a great platform that’s been built over 20 years and a great foundation to put the foot down and accelerate. We are about growth.” 

This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.

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Jessie Tu

Jessie is a Women's Agenda journalist.

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