This brand has come a long way since it was founded in 2012 by Ben Francis, 27, with only a sewing machine in his parents’ garage. Now, the Solihull-based company sells vests, T-shirts and leggings designed to accentuate muscle, and has more than 1.2m customers in 177 countries. Its strong brand recognition has been driven by savvy social media marketing and sponsoring popular YouTubers, bloggers and Instagrammers, such as the model Nikki Blackketter and the bodybuilder Steve Cook. This year sales hit £179.5m, with 80% of these being overseas. The company plans to raise external funding for the first time, and is reportedly seeking more than £100m. It is also building an innovation centre next door to its UK headquarters, which includes a 20,000 sq ft gym.
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