Investment firm Imbiba has invested a seven-figure sum in the family-focussed private members’ club, Purple Dragon.
The investment will fund the group’s second site in Putney as well as a wider rollout. MCA understands the group, which launched in Chelsea in 2011, is eyeing areas such as Notting Hill, Marylebone and Islington as well as working on international targets including New York and Dubai.
The investment represents a new strategy for Imbiba, which is for the first time investing in established businesses. However, the funding for Purple Dragon is not part of the group’s £50m Growth Fund, which is set to launch in the next quarter.
Purple Dragon was founded in 2008 by former fashion entrepreneur Sharai Meyers, and offers facilities for music, dance, art, design, cooking, sport and imaginative play for children up to the age of 12, combined with casual dining and socialising areas for adults.
Meyers said: “We are delighted to have Imbiba as our partners in the business. Its expertise as an operationally focused investor and their capabilities across operational finance, property, marketing and management provides us with an incredibly strong platform for growth. Knowing we have the funding in place to push forward the opportunities we’ve been developing over the last year is really exciting.”
The company plans to roll-out both larger flagship sites and other “little sibling” clubs simultaneously over the next five years, depending on local demographics and footprint.
Imbiba chairman John Connell said: “Purple Dragon is a high-quality business with a strong customer base and great potential for roll-out internationally. Sharai and her team are outstanding operators and the quality of the experience really impressed us. We are delighted to partner with them and help facilitate their growth plans.”
Imbiba said the investment was part of its strategy to develop leisure and hospitality businesses within key growth and emerging market segments.