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Gap acquires stake in Olympic track athlete Allyson Felix's Saysh brand

Jeremy Lim
17 June 2022

Gap Inc.’s Athleta division have made a ($1 million) investment in Saysh, a community-focused lifestyle brand co-founded by Olympian Allyson Felix, which closed its series A funding with £6.4 million ($8 million).

The Series A round was led by specialist consumer fund Iris Ventures and Athleta, along with Redpoint Ventures and Springbank Collective. As part of the investment brokered by its Strategic Growth Office, Gap Inc. has acquired a 2% equity stake in Saysh, and Athleta has entered into a partnership to sell Saysh footwear on its site.

Felix’s relationship with Athleta extends back to 2019, when she became the brand's first athlete partner after leaving Nike. In 2019, she published a New York Times op-ed that called out the sportswear giant for not being supportive of pregnant women and mothers.

Last year Felix and Athleta also collaborated for the "The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants" initiative, which raised £162,000 ($200,000) to help professional female athletes with children finance their travels for competitions. Felix, who is now the most decorated US Olympic track athlete, wore Athleta apparel and Saysh spikes during those summer games. She previously set a new Olympic record in a custom pair of Saysh track spikes during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In June 2021, Saysh released its debut sneaker, the Saysh One, which was designed specifically for a woman’s foot. The company said it will use the funding to scale up its branded e-commerce, wholesale distribution and community-based retail. The £6.4 million investment will also be used to expand its product range and to launch activity-specific sneaker styles.

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