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Local Sandal Brand Hari Mari Closes $10 Million Equity Raise

Plus: BSN Sports announces athletic apparel partnership with Arena Football League, Ryan expands portfolio with Popp Hutcheson acquisition, and more.
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courtesy of Hari Mari

Sandal brand Hari Mari, which distributes its products to more than 800 retailers across the country, closed a $10 million equity raise. The 12-year-old Dallas company, which has also ventured into boots, slippers, hats, and apparel, will utilize the raise to fuel further expansion.

“This is a very special day for Hari Mari,” said Jeremy Stewart, Hari Mari’s co-founder and CEO. “Since starting the brand from our garage in 2012, my wife and I have dreamed of growing Hari Mari into a household name. Hari Mari makes best-in-class footwear and delivers exceptional value to its great customers. With this raise under our belt, we’re investing in our core high margin flip flop and slipper lines, expanding our audience reach, and strengthening our position to set Hari Mari up for sustainable, long-term growth in the market.” 

The equity investment round was led by Landon Smith, founder and former CEO of business consulting firm Riveron. In agreement with the investment, Smith and his advisory team will help shape and advance Hari Mari’s expansion goals in the coming years. Additional participants in Hari Mari’s equity raise include Montgomery Capital Advisors and DWBI Investments. Method Bank will serve as Hari Mari’s primary banking facility and provide the business with a working line of credit. 

“Well-made consumer products in the casual space will serve as growth centers for decades to come,” Smith said. “We believe Hari Mari is going to be a frontrunner in that conversation, and our investment is going to give the brand and its management team the runway to get there. It’s going to be a fun journey.” 

UWorld Acquires Law School Digital Learning Provider Aspen Publishing 

Online learning company UWorld has acquired Aspen Publishing, a provider of educational content and digital learning solutions for law schools. The acquisition diversifies UWorld’s product portfolio across every law discipline. The investment in Aspen Publishing will provide operational, technology, and product enhancements.

“Aspen Publishing naturally appealed to us as we aim to strengthen the value we provide to law schools and students,” said Chandra S. Pemmasani, UWorld’s founder and CEO. “This acquisition is a critical next step in our broader growth strategy, and I look forward to expanding our resources together.” 

Aspen Publishing will continue to operate as a standalone company within UWorld in its legal division. Over the past two years, Aspen Publishing has grown from being a division of Wolters Kluwer to a standalone company. Aspen provides solutions for legal education through textbooks, such as Connected eBooks, Connected Quizzing, and PracticePerfect.  

“We are thrilled to join UWorld and round out the company’s premier educational resources in the legal space,” said Nicole Pinard, CEO of Aspen Publishing. “Our shared passion for developing and delivering the highest quality educational content enables us to make a more significant impact in helping law students reach their dreams.” 

Ryan Acquires Austin-Based Popp Hutcheson, Expands Portfolio of Brands

Global tax servicer Ryan has acquired Austin-based property tax firm Popp Hutcheson. The Austin firm represents more than $70 billion in commercial property value across Texas. 

“The longevity and success Popp Hutcheson has had for more than four decades cannot be overstated,” said Ryan chairman and CEO Brint Ryan. “Bringing the experts at Ryan together with Popp Hutcheson’s experienced bench of professionals will enable us to bring unparalleled results to clients of both firms in Texas and beyond. I’m thrilled that owners Jim Popp and Mark Hutcheson will be joining Ryan to continue to expand the combined business, leveraging the best practices both firms have developed as industry leaders in property tax.” 

BSN Sports Partners with Arena Football League 

BSN Sports, a Farmers Branch-based sporting goods apparel and equipment company and a division of Varsity Brands, has announced a partnership with the Arena Football League. The company will serve as AFL’s exclusive supplier of athletic apparel, including custom football uniforms, footwear, and equipment. 

All 16 AFL teams will wear BSN Sports’ newly designed ‘Victory Red Zone Elite’ uniforms for both home and away games starting this April. The Victory Red Zone Elite jersey is one of several new football styles BSN Sports launched last month under the private label Victory Line Uniforms. BSN Sports markets and distributes its products to over 150,000 institutional and team sports customers.

“The 2024 AFL season will be unforgettable, and it is important our teams have the highest-quality apparel on the market,” said AFL Head Commissioner Lee A. Hutton III. “BSN Sports’ Victory Red Zone Elite uniforms have top-notch functionality for our athletes, allowing them to make the big-time plays football fans throughout the nation can come to expect from this new era of arena football.” 

“The AFL is back, and its talented athletes need to be equipped with high-quality products designed for peak performance so they can focus on what’s most important—the game,” said Terry Babilla, president of BSN Sports. “Our Victory uniforms feature the customization and style needed to celebrate the league’s highly anticipated resurgence and its world-class athletes bringing their talents to the arena.” 

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Celie Price

Celie Price

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