Her successful $US4 billion ($6.1 billion) lingerie and sleepwear brand Skims also made Time’s 100 most influential companies list in 2022.
SKKY, an ode to the founders’ initials and Kardashian’s Skims brand, was founded in September 2022. Previously, Mr Sammons worked at Carlyle for 17 years, where he signed deals with streetwear label Supreme, audio brand Beats Electronics and skincare company Beautycounter, among others. Carlyle doubled its $US500 million investment in Supreme when it sold its stake to apparel conglomerate VF Corp in 2020.
Mr Sammons hoped his experience with known brands, and Kardashian’s unrivalled ability to connect with consumers – she has 364 million Instagram followers – would help SKKY flesh out founder-led companies that had scaled beyond the venture capital level.
Kardashian, who is a managing partner and co-founder, was not expected to be involved in conducting due diligence on potential investments, but she is integral in determining companies for SKKY to invest in.
“This is not betting on businesses that are unproven. This is businesses that have passed that proof point of scale, consumer acceptance and growth,” Mr Sammons said.
He dubbed Australia a “high-priority” market because of its “well-travelled” and “sophisticated” consumers who he believed would resonate with the types of brands SKKY wanted to invest in.
“The reach of brands into [Australia] is strong. Virtually any company we invest in in the US will seek to expand … and when they do, this is a high-priority market,” Mr Sammons said.
He visited Melbourne and Sydney before flying to Singapore on Monday. Advisory firm BFA Global Investors, founded by Jonathan Belz, is helping SKKY build relationships in the region.
Headquartered in Mr Sammons’ home town of Boston, SKKY has made 12 hires, including people from rival private equity firms such as Blackstone and Permira. Half the firm’s team are women, in addition to former Burberry chief executive Angela Ahrendts and Kardashian’s mother, Kris Jenner, who have advisory roles.
“Companies are selling to diverse individuals. The founder community who are building the next generation of consumer brands are, thankfully, increasingly diverse, and we need to be a reflection of that.”