Acumen Brands of Fayetteville Gets $83M Investment

Acumen Brands of Fayetteville has received an $83 million investment from New York firm General Atlantic, according to documents filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Acumen CEO John James confirmed the deal Thursday afternoon and said it had been in the works for months. He referred to the filing when asked about the exact amount of the investment.

Acumen offers branded online storefronts selling goods for a variety of targeted groups, including medical uniforms (ScrubShopper.com), work wear (ToughWeld.com), and western wear (CountryOutfitter.com).

The company operates out of a 50,000-SF warehouse on Gregg Avenue in Fayetteville and employs about 150 people. The company uses about 30 Kiva robots to fill orders in its warehouse.

On Thursday, James said the investment will allow the firm to add 20 to 30 new robots and "dozens" of new employees. The firm will also move to a new, 200,000-SF facility, on Porter Road just north of Wedington Drive in Fayetteville, within the week.

As part of the deal, General Atlantic Managing Director Anton Levy will join the Acumen board.

The funding comes more than a year after Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock on announced a $4 million investment in the e-commerce company, part of a $5 million round that included existing Acumen investors Noro-Moseley Partners, BLH Venture Partners, Gravity Ventures and the Arkansas Risk Capital Matching Fund.

Acumen, an Innovate Arkansas firm, started with four employees and 2,000 SF of space. In 2009, the company moved into a 10,000-SF space on the top floor at Nelson's Crossing in Fayetteville. In the last year, it has grown from 30 employees to its current level.

In 2010, Acumen raised $5 million in investments, including a $3.5 million lead investment from Noro-Moseley, a leading venture capital firm in the Southeast; Gravity Ventures, a venture fund operating in Arkansas and Indiana; and the Arkansas Risk Capital Matching Fund, which is managed by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority.

Thursday's announcement comes two days after another northwest Arkansas company, Collective Bias of Bentonville, announced it had received $10.5 million in funding from Updata Partners of Washington D.C.