Midlands-based coffee and lifestyle brand Bear has closed an equity investment round, securing funding from Clark Group Investments to expand its store presence.

The investment will enable the business to open new coffee shops as well as further grow its e-commerce platform.

Bear currently operates five locations across Derbyshire, Staffordshire & Cheshire and has previously operated concessions within popular retail locations such as Jack Wills in Soho and Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road.

“We recently invested in Bear to support them and their ambitious growth plans. They have an outstanding management team and an incredible, high quality customer offer which underpins the Bear brand appeal. This will be complemented by the skills of Clark Group as Bear continues to grow its number of locations,” Ed Formstone, CFO, Clark Group said.

Bear co-founder Craig Bunting, said the business saw a significant opportunity to build strong relationships with our guests, moving them from loyalty to advocacy.

“We will do this by creating products they can enjoy everywhere, whether in-store, at the office, on the go or at home, which excites me. High Streets have struggled for a long time, exacerbated by the pandemic,” he said.

“However, I am passionate about investing in our local communities. We will do this by using our online platform to drive footfall onto local High Streets and into our neighbourhood stores through a click & collect service, creating the most hospitable e-commerce brand of the future.”

Bunting said its vision was to become a leading brand within the hospitality and e-commerce sector.