GoLite successor up and running
boulder» Less than two years after the high-profile demise of Boulder outdoor brand GoLite, the business born from its ashes, My Trail Co., is up and running with a new store and hundreds of thousands of dollars invested.
More than 260 people have invested in the company in exchange for a piece of the My Trail pie and discounts on its gear, repurposed from GoLite product designs that owner and founder Demetri “Coup” Coupounas had the foresight to purchase before the bankruptcy and ultimate liquidation of his first company in March 2015.
“This town is filled with folks who really like GoLite products, and we have the very best of those products — only slightly improved,” Coupounas said. “The only product that hasn’t changed is our umbrella.”
Online sales have been steady since they began in May, Coupounas said. And Chantel Sargent of Erie looks over the apparel at the My Trail store in Boulder last week. GoLite’s redo — My Trail Co. — is up and running with a brick-and-mortar location on the Twenty Ninth Street mall. Cliff Grassmick, Daily Camera last month, a brick-andmortar store opened on the Twenty Ninth Street mall.
My Trail is being bankrolled through a $650,000 direct public offering (DPO) for Colorado investors and equity crowdfunding through website Wefunder.
Equity crowdfunding is a new concept; it became legal under federal law this year. It differs from traditional crowdfunding in that, in addition to investors receiving free or discounted products, backers can also reap financial rewards such as stocks or bonds from the company in which they invest.
My Trail investors receive shares of the company, valued at $5, and a 10 percent annual dividend, in addition to a 20 percent discount on products. The minimum investment on Wefunder is $1,000.
The company has raised $189,675 through Wefunder this year and recently started a second campaign with a $300,000 goal. That’s in addition to $515,000 raised through its DPO. The DPO closes at the end of the year.
Adoption of the equity crowdfunding tool has been modest, according to University of Colorado professor and Fulbright scholar Andrew Schwartz, with $16 million invested in the U.S. in the six months the mechanism has been available.
“It allows for people who don’t have access to capital to get it, and for members of the public to invest in something they know,” Schwartz said.
Coupounas said it made sense to fund My Trail this way because so many people have remained passionate about his products.
“GoLite was a fabled leader” in the outdoor industry, said Buzz Burrell, brand manager for Boulder-based Ultimate Direction. “Coup has shown extraordinary determination and resilience, and I hope My Trail can make a go of it.”