Early Stage

Disrupting the retail industry starting with the polo shirt

Disrupting the retail industry starting with the polo shirt


Raised to Date: Raised: $104,059

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Year Founded



Apparel & Fashion

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New York, New York

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BAOBAB, with a valuation cap of $8 million, is raising funds on Republic. It is a versatile, sustainable, and durable polo shirt brand. The high-quality and affordable attire of BAOBAB has excellent functionality and value, developed through an elaborate product development process. Brandon Davenport and Marcellus Alexander III founded BAOBAB in November 2016. The proceeds of the current crowdfunding round, with a minimum goal of $25,000 and a maximum goal of $1,070,000, will be used to expand the product line, develop additional retail partnerships, and maintain the production and distribution channels. BAOBAB has reported an 800% revenue growth in two years, with a 35% customer repurchase rate. The clothing of BAOBAB works on a proprietary fabrication process BAOTECH.

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Financials as of: 10/12/2020
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Clothes shopping is stereotypically associated with women, but times are changing. Men’s clothing sales are growing at a faster pace than women’s clothing sales. Some researchers even project that the menswear market will be larger than the womenswear market by next year. Much of this category growth is driven by online clothing sales. While women are more interested in brick-and-mortar shopping experiences, 40% of men aged 18 to 34 “would ideally buy everything online.”

BAOBAB is capitalizing on this trend. The company is focused on developing a highly consumer-centric DTC clothing business, beginning with men’s polo shirts. BAOBAB currently produces two flagship products: a short-sleeve polo and long-sleeve polo (retailing at $88 and $98 respectively). Both products improve upon the standard polo shirt options on the market. They are wrinkle- and stain-resistant, made with a nano-tech pima cotton fabric, and feature a unique stay-flat collar design. BAOBAB conducts thorough consumer research before launching products, and incorporates thoughtful, high-quality touches to engender customer loyalty. 

Ultimately, BAOBAB plans to expand to offer additional menswear products and clothing options for women — but for now the company is staking a claim in the mid-luxury polo market. At the same time, the company is focused on building in-house product development, fulfillment, and support operations to offer a distinctive customer service experience for consumers. BAOBAB is also eyeing a retail location — combined with a product photography studio and distribution center — to open by 2024. 

BAOBAB’s Republic raise has been rated a Neutral Deal by the KingsCrowd investment team.

Next Section: Price


BAOBAB is raising a Crowd SAFE at an $8 million valuation with 20% discount. This price is reasonable, particularly given the company’s revenue projections of $5 million in 2021. Therefore, BAOBAB’s price rating is moderate. 

Next Section: Market


The menswear market is undoubtedly expanding. The global market was valued at $483 billion as of 2018, with a projected CAGR of 6.3% until 2025. Researchers note that this expansion can be attributed to millennial mens’ increasing interest in quality fashion. While it is difficult to precisely estimate the size of the polo shirt specifically, polo shirts are a basic staple in many men’s closets, and BAOBAB’s obtainable market will only expand as the company offers additional menswear items and expands into women’s clothing. The company’s conservative obtainable market in the polo-only future is likely close to $50 million, which is reasonable for a company’s first line of products. Therefore, BAOBAB’s market rating is moderately high.

Next Section: Team


BAOBAB was founded by longtime friends and previous co-founder duo Marcellus Alexander and Brandon Davenport. Both men are proud graduates of historically black colleges (Hampton University and Morgan State University, respectively). Alexander’s background is in business development and sales, particularly in digital media and advertising. Davenport also began his career in sales, but shifted to focus on product marketing. He recently served as the Head of Product Marketing for a division of PwC. Alexander and Davenport previously co-founded Vesta Mobile Solutions, a mobile technology company that was acquired by Aegis Mobile in 2010. 

BAOBAB’s founders have solid business backgrounds and are certainly advantaged by the length of their working relationship and their previous startup acquisition. However, neither has a background in building DTC brands. Therefore, BAOBAB’s team score is middle-of-the-road. 

Next Section: Differentiators


BAOBAB’s raise materials devote significant discussion to differentiators and the company’s focus on building uniquely customer-focused products and customer service experiences. BAOBAB’s polo shirts are thoughtfully designed and do seem to offer better features at a lower price than many competitive offerings. However, the competition among polo shirt manufacturers is fierce. Virtually every major clothing retailer offers a men’s polo shirt, and many consumers may feel as though the item is a commodity. Even BAOBAB’s focus on in-house distribution and customer service may not be noticeable by the average consumer, who is increasingly used to fast, easy shipping among DTC brands. Therefore, BAOBAB’s differentiation rating is its lowest.

Next Section: Performance


BAOBAB generated $247,586 in 2019, and impressively operated at a net profit of almost $30,000. The company is projecting $780,000 in revenue this year, with a significant jump to $5 million in revenue in 2021. While BAOBAB turned a profit last year, the company does not mention profitability in its fundraising materials. Therefore, investors might speculate that the company plans to increase marketing spend to acquire new customers moving forward, and cannot be expected to turn a profit this year. 

While BAOBAB’s financial projections are merely projections, the company seems to believe that future revenue performance will be significant for an early-stage company. Whether future revenues (and perhaps profits) are large or not, the company’s current operating history is solid and capital-efficient. Therefore, BAOBAB’s performance rating is its highest. 

Next Section: Other

Bearish Outlook

BAOBAB has built a business that prioritizes the customer, with a narrow focus on key flagship products and insistence upon redefining consumers’ relationship with DTC clothing manufacturers. However, BAOBAB’s niche focus represents a niche market that is already crowded with competitors. While there is certainly a market for higher-end men’s polo shirts, most consumers are probably relatively satisfied with current options from major retailers. BAOBAB’s future growth is dependent on the company’s ability to successfully market to these consumers and convince them to pay $90 for a polo. 

While BAOBAB’s performance numbers are relatively strong, they are not explosive (particularly given that the company appeared on Shark Tank, which is known to cause significant revenue bumps from exposure to the show’s viewer base). Therefore, prospective investors may wonder whether BAOBAB has the potential to grow beyond yet another niche DTC brand.

Next Section: Bullish Outlook

Bullish Outlook

BAOBAB has very high reviews from existing customers, with a 35% customer repurchase rate and 87% rate of multiple product purchase. While the company’s growth has not been explosive, revenue numbers have steadily increased over the last several years, and BAOBAB’s founders have reason to believe that the company can achieve $5 million in revenue next year. 

BAOBAB’s revenue potential will increase significantly upon the launch of additional products. BAOBAB needs to successfully convert existing loyal buyers into long-term, lucrative customers of a full line of BAOBAB clothing while still maintaining an obsessive focus on innovative product design and distinctive customer experience. If the company is successful at that, it could become a leading menswear brand (and perhaps a leading men’s and women’s clothing brand as product lines expand). 

Next Section: Executive Summary

Executive Summary

BAOBAB is a DTC brand selling high-end men’s polo shirts, with eventual plans to expand into additional menswear items and even women’s clothing. The company’s focus on innovative product design driven by customer needs has secured a loyal customer base with high product ratings and repurchase rates. 

On the other hand, BAOBAB is operating in a highly competitive market, and the company’s founders do not have experience building a DTC brand. Therefore, BAOBAB has been rated a Neutral Deal. 

For questions regarding the KingsCrowd staff pick or ratings for this company, please reach out to

Analysis written by Katy Dolan. 

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BAOBAB on Republic
Platform: Republic
Security Type: SAFE
Valuation: $8,000,000

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