My 1st Years Secures Investment

By George! The firm that made the prince’s dressing gown, My 1st Years, secures £5m funding.

Do you remember the photo of pyjama-clad HRH Prince George shaking hands with Barack Obama at Kensington Palace? Talk about a PR coup for the nightwear firm. The online outfitter My 1st Years that sells personalised clothing, teddy bears, blankets and silver keepsakes, had made Prince George’s gown. Within seven minutes of the image being made public, George’s £27 personalised bathrobe sold out amidst an online frenzy. Talk about a PR dream.

And it only keeps getting better for the firm. This month, My 1st Years has secured £5m in funding from growth investor Beringea, who also recently invested in online retail businesses including male fashion site, Thread and re-seller, Watchfinder. This additional funding for My 1st Years will be spent enhancing its personalisation technology, applying data analysis and expanding into the US. The company currently has a £7m turnover and partners with John Lewis, Harrods, Selfridges and Not On The High Street.

The founders, Johnny Sitton and Daniel Price, who met at University, launched the company seven years ago on a shoestring budget. They were aiming to provide quality products in the same amount of time you would have an unpersonalised item. Price said, ‘Because we were early to the party we’ve grown with the personalisation trend and have had to be pretty reactive, adapting our systems to ensure we are able to personalise items the same day. With this funding under our belt we’ll be able to enhance our existing proprietary technology.’ Celebrities including Dannii Minogue and Elton John have bought the personalised gifts for babies. The Prince George effect continues.

January 2017