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CARAVANA eyes global growth following the backing of Cho Ventures

Lauretta Roberts
02 August 2021

CARAVANA, the Mexican artisanal brand inspired by the ancient Maya culture, is eyeing global growth having received backing from purpose-driven private investment office Cho Ventures.

The brand creates handmade ready-to-wear pieces, accessories, and lifestyle products and was created in 2011 by Jacopo “Jack” Ianniello. It is already available from 55 high-profile stores and e-stores, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter and Farfetch, as well as via its own website and several owned stores.

Following the backing of Tony Cho's Cho Ventures it will launch a new brand, PRAO, created by Jack Ianniello and Marios Schwab, to capture the spirit of modern Greece in collaboration with Noema, a newly opened restaurant and bar in the old town of Mykonos.

2021 has already been a pivotal year for CARAVANA with new stores opened in Miami, Ibiza, St Tropez, and Bodrum. It has also developed the Bazaar retail concept with core partner Scorpios in Mykonos. The Scorpios Bazaar now has a 3,000 sq ft Berber tent that showcases a selection of artisanal brands that share similar core values of ancient craftsmanship and sustainability.

The Mykonos store. Credit: Richard Stow

Some 70% of CARAVANA's employees are Mayan and women make up 70% of its management team. As a partner and lead investor, Cho Ventures will help CARAVANA become a "premier sustainable lifestyle brand", expand into new product categories, verticals, and global markets, and assist with the development of strategic partnerships.

“Our investment goes beyond fuelling CARAVANA’s strategic growth, as our values align with a focus on making a positive impact; celebrating and promoting indigenous cultures, rituals, and women; and emphasizing the importance of sustainability,” said Tony Cho, Founder of Cho Ventures. “I have known CARAVANA’S founder Jack for many years and consider him a visionary. He sets the example our investment strategy aims to amplify, and together we will make CARAVANA a benchmark sustainable lifestyle brand.”

"CARAVANA is a lifestyle brand that caters to those seeking a more mindful approach in creating a future that benefits the individual, the collective, and the planet itself through sustainability and acknowledging culture and artistry,” says, Jack Ianniello, Founder and Creative Director of CARAVANA.

“Cho Ventures understands the necessity of protecting the environment and the importance of cultural connectivity. Their support lends CARAVANA the ability to further grow our community globally and improve the world around us. With Cho Ventures, our efforts continue for a brighter future for the next generation and to inspire them to continue a legacy of sustainable living," he added.

Credit: Richard Stow

As part of this strategic investment, made possible through Cho Ventures Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF), CARAVANA will be locating its US headquarters to Miami’s Little Haiti community. It will join other Cho Ventures portfolio companies in a new, state-of-the-art office location being renovated and slated to open in Q2 2022 within a Qualified Opportunity Zone, an incentive program from the US government aimed at revitalising underserved communities by creating jobs and economic development.

Cho Ventures is the family office arm of Tony and Ximena Cho, focusing on strategic venture capital investments in the areas of sustainable technology, conscious fashion, impact hospitality, health and wellness, and other value aligned investment opportunities

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