Sydney founder Kirsty Chong has delivered an impressive exit for Modibodi, the ‘leak-proof’ clothing company she founded less than a decade ago, with Swedish hygiene and health company Essity acquired it for $140 million.
Founded in 2013, the fashion tech venture offers leak-proof clothing for menstruation and incontinence, including underwear, swimwear, activewear and maternity wear. By tackling a major waste problem caused by single-use hygiene products, and embarrassment, Modibodi generated $56.7 million net sales in 2021, with revenue growth of 18%, with an EBITDA margin of 9.8% at 5.6 million.
Chong launched the fashion tech company in 2013 as a mother of two with her own pelvic floor problems, and set the company up from scratch, after more than a decade in PR.
She pitched Modibodi on Shark Tank in 2016, but her moment ended up on the cutting floor and never aired.
Within three years, she had generated over $3 million in sales. In September 2019, Quadrant Private Equity’s $400 million Quadrant Growth Fund became a major mainstay in the company, selling directly to consumers, through retailers and through e-tailers.
In 2019 Modibodi won the Telstra NSW Medium & Making Waves Award and three years later Modibodi now has 45 employees in the Balmain Peninsula in Sydney†
Essity CEO Magnusgroth said:eakproof apparel, the fastest growing product segment in intimate hygiene, including feminine care and incontinence products, growing 20% year on year over the next five years.
The Swedish company already has brands such as Libresse, Bodyform, Saba, TOM Organic and TENA.
“The acquisition of Modibodi strengthens Essity’s position in leak-proof clothing and enables faster growth within better-for-you, better-for-the-planet solutions,” he said.
“Modibodi has the qualities we are looking for with market leading positions, strong brand and sustainability credentials, as well as excellent digital marketing and e-commerce capabilities.”
Chong said she was proud of what they had built over the past nine years.
“As a global leader in hygiene and health, Essity can provide the expertise and capital to drive the brand forward into its next growth phase and achieve an even greater impact,” she said.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2022 in a mix of cash and debt.