How Investor Alejandro Betancourt Developed Hawkers into a Multimillion Dollar Company — ValueWalk

Hawkers is a vertically integrated and digital-first sunglasses company based in Spain that opened for business in 2013. From the beginning, the company set its sights on competing with major sunglasses brands Oakley and Ray-Ban. Hawkers achieved that goal in 2016 by raising significant funding from multiple investors.

A Brief History of the Hawkers Sunglasses Company

Alex Moreno, a co-founder of Hawkers, explains that the company started with just a $300 investment and little outside funding. To compete with the bigger brands selling sunglasses for up to $200 a pair, Hawkers created simple and affordable sunglasses priced between $20 and $40.

Hawkers Funding Team

Hugo Arevalo and Felix Ruiz, the co-founders of the Spanish social networking site Tuenti, were among the first funders for Hawkers. The investment group O’Hara, led by Alejandro Betancourt, was instrumental in allowing Hawkers to scale and become a major player in the sunglasses industry. Hawkers did not name its other funding partners.

How Hawkers Used Its Funding to Create a Worldwide Presence

Hawkers decided to open the company to investors after operating independently for the first two-and-one-half years of its existence. The company used part of its funding to consolidate its operations in Australia, France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. The move came at a great time since Hawkers Sunglasses were already exploding in popularity in the United Kingdom.

Successful Sales Strategies Used by Hawkers

The Hawkers team did not go into business with the idea to sell sunglasses. They arrived at that decision after researching which products were the easiest to sell. Sunglasses met that criteria for the following three reasons:

  • Low wholesale prices
  • Millions of potential customers since most people wear sunglasses outdoors

Hawkers Sunglasses Began as a Shopify Store

The founders of Hawkers developed the company name, product design, and product launch strategy in late 2013. This came after they visited China several times to locate the best manufacturer for their new sunglasses line. Hawkers’ first venture into selling their own product was the launch of their Shopify store.

Social Media Selling Is the Biggest Success Factor for Hawkers

After seeking investors in 2016, Hawkers had the funds to invest in aggressive marketing campaigns. With much of its marketing taking place via social media influencers, Hawkers has made up to 90 percent of its sales through social media since 2016. The company now has an online presence in 140 countries outside of Spain.

Hawkers Leadership Credits Much of Its Success to Alejandro Betancourt

Alejandro Betancourt had years of experience as an angel investor and managing investment portfolios for O’Hara Administration. After becoming one of the original investors in Hawkers, Betancourt took over as company president in November 2016. The company also named Nacho Puig as CEO at that time.

President of Hawkers Co. | International businessman, based in London, UK | Learn More: www.alejandrobetancourt.es or www.alejandro-betancourt.com

President of Hawkers Co. | International businessman, based in London, UK | Learn More: www.alejandrobetancourt.es or www.alejandro-betancourt.com