Hyperlite Mountain Gear, which makes ultralight outdoor clothing and equipment, announced on Thursday that it has raised nearly $1.1 million in venture capital to expand.
The Biddeford-based company raised the funds from 15 equity investors, according to documents it filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The round was co-led by two local venture capital funds—CEI Ventures in Portland and the Maine Venture Fund—and the Telluride Venture Fund, an early-stage investment fund based in Colorado.
The investment will enable Hyperlite, which was founded in 2010 and currently employs more than 50 people, to expand its production and R&D capacity, as well as begin introducing automation, at its manufacturing facility in Biddeford’s historic Pepperell Mill. The company uses high-tech materials to make ultra-lightweight and durable outdoor products, including backpacks, shelters, and jackets.
“We are thrilled to announce this round of investment to further help us grow,” Mike St. Pierre, Hyperlite’s founder and CEO, said in a statement, “and we look forward to building on our ability to help outdoor adventurers do more with less as we expand our reach and product offering of high-tech, high-quality, high-performance ultralight gear.”
This round of financing is the fourth the company has brought in and brings the total raised to roughly $3.2 million, according to SEC documents. St. Pierre raised an initial $100,000 in 2010 from a single investor, followed by rounds of roughly $1 million in 2014 and again in 2015.
Chandler Jones, principal of CEI Ventures in Portland, said Hyperlite’s success “proves that rural America is home to smart, high-growth companies.”
Despite the fact Telluride Venture Fund generally invests in outdoor companies within its geographic region, it made an exception for Hyperlite, which participated in the Telluride Venture Accelerator, a program affiliated with the Telluride Venture Fund.
“The company has an impressive management team and solid existing product portfolio,” said Kurt Dalton of Telluride Venture Fund, who’s also chairman of Hyperlite’s board. “The co-founders Mike and Dan St. Pierre have been a fantastic one-two punch on the creative and operational side—better than we initially expected. We were ready to support the business regardless of the fact that they weren’t basing themselves in our geo-region.”