Investors dress Ledbury in green

Ledbury founders Paul Watson and Paul Trible. (Photo by Michael Thompson.)

Paul Watson and Paul Trible have raised $4.5 million for their men’s retail brand Ledbury. Photo by Michael Thompson.

Shockoe Bottom shirt maker Ledbury said on Tuesday that it closed on a $4.5 million capital raise from a venture capital firm and other investors.

Paul Trible, Ledbury’s co-founder and CEO, said the money will go toward increasing the company’s inventory, further building its online presence, and possibly expanding its operations into wholesaling and more brick-and-mortar locations.

Ledbury is the second young Richmond firm to announce a big funding bump in August. CarLotz, a 3-year-old used car consignment company, announced last week that it raised $5 million from investors.

Trible said venture capital firm Harbert Venture Partners led the way in Ledbury’s latest raise with a $2 million investment.

Ledbury's only storefront location is on 14th Street.

Ledbury’s only storefront location is on 14th Street.

Harbert, which has an office in Birmingham, Ala. and one in Shockoe Slip, apparently has hands-on experience with the products of its latest investment.

“There are 30 or 40 Ledbury shirts in that office alone,” Trible said.

Tom Roberts, a partner at Harbert, said his firm looks to invest in companies that produce $3 million to $12 million in annual revenue and are doubling their revenue each year. Its core investments are in healthcare and technology.

The bulk of Ledbury’s revenue comes from sales through its website. Its shop at 117 S. 14th St. is the brand’s only permanent storefront.

“We believe e-commerce is changing the landscape for retail,” Roberts said.

The rest of the money in the latest round came from investors in Richmond, New York, Houston, and Atlanta.

Ledbury sold about 40,000 shirts in 2013, the company said. Its shirts can cost between $135 and $165. Revenue has doubled every year since the company launched in 2009, and it now has 22 employees.

It was named one of the fastest-growing companies in Richmond last year.

Ledbury raised $1.65 million in 2012, fueled in part by interest from some of its customers who wanted to invest in the company.

Ledbury has also been donating some of its own money.

In June, Ledbury announced it was giving away $25,000 to an Oakland, Calif.- based nutrition bar startup. The fledgling company won the money through a startup competition Ledbury began this year and plans to do again next year.

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