Pike Street Invests in Head Rush

Pike Street Capital has made an investment in Head Rush Technologies, a maker of equipment for the climbing and adventure industries. The Pike Street investment will be used to accelerate the growth of the company by expanding its sales channels and developing new products.

Head Rush has experienced strong growth in recent years led by the market success of the company’s TRUBLUE auto belay device. An auto belay takes up the slack in a rope as a climber ascends a climbing wall. When the climber reaches the top, or if they fall, the auto belay catches the climber and slowly lowers them to the ground.

Head Rush was formed in 2012 by climbing industry veterans John McGowan and Steve Holmes. They saw a need for an auto belay device that allowed climbers to train without a partner but did not carry the drawbacks of existing hydraulic and friction-based solutions. The TRUBLUE auto belay was developed based on magnetic braking technology and experienced market success. Additional products were subsequently built on the platform, including equipment for zip lines, aerial adventure courses, and free-fall jumps. Head Rush is headquartered in Boulder, CO (www.headrushtech.com).

We’re very excited about this investment from so many different aspects,” said Ed Whatley, partner at Pike Street Capital. “Head Rush is a recognized innovator in an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds. Their engineering and technology have applications not only within the climbing community but in adventure tourism and the new “adventuretainment” centers that have become a worldwide phenomenon. The growing demand for these types of activities combined with increased industry regulations and the distinct advantage of Head Rush’s proprietary technology puts them in an ideal position to serve these markets.”

In partnership with Pike Street, both Mr. McGowan and Mr. Holmes will be investors in the company. Mr. McGowan will remain as CEO, while Mr. Holmes will transition away from the day-to-day operation of the company.

“We are adventure enthusiasts as well as business operators, and we’ve always brought this dual perspective to Head Rush,” said Mr. McGowan.” Everything we do is designed to create the best possible end-user experience while helping operators improve their businesses. We felt that Pike Street’s approach was aligned with this mission and look forward to growing the company with them as strategic partners. Their deep operational expertise, alongside the financial investment, will benefit both our customers and employees.”

Pike Street makes control equity investments in companies with revenues of $10 million to $100 million and EBITDA of $5 million to $15 million. The firm invests across the business-to-business sector with a common theme of investing in companies that serve professional end-user customers. Pike Street was co-founded by Paul Caragher, Dave Dandel, and Ed Whatley, and is headquartered in Seattle (www.pikestreetcapital.com).

© 2019 Private Equity Professional | May 31, 2019

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