Biddeford maker of lightweight outdoor equipment lands $900,000 investment

Hyperlite Mountain Gear, a outdoor gear manufacturer based in Biddeford’s Pepperell Mill Campus, has raised just more than $900,000 in equity financing and a bank loan to support new investment in marketing, product development and staff, according to the Maine Venture Fund.

The company reported raising $908,000 of its $1 million offering in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month.

In a post at the Maine Venture Fund’s website, Hyperlite CEO Mike St. Pierre said development of the company’s lightweight backpacks and outdoor gear has been limited since launching the company in 2008.

“We envision this acceleration to eventually position Hyperlite Mountain Gear as a one-stop-shop for high-tech ultralight gear regardless a user’s core outdoor activity,” St. Pierre said.

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Mike St. Pierre of Biddeford, founder and CEO of Hyperlite Mountain Gear, sits in front of his Echo I Tarp, a shelter weighing 1.31 pounds. The company has received numerous accolades for its gear in outdoors magazines since launching in 2008. Photo courtesy of Mike St. Pierre

The company makes its line of backpacks, shelters and climbing gear out of lightweight materials like Cuben Fiber. (For more background on the company, read Aislinn Sarnacki’s 2011 profile.)

The Maine Venture Fund, started in 1995 by the Maine Legislature, has actively invested in companies since 1997, like Bar Harbor Biotechnology, Dream Local Digital, Cerahelix and many others. The fund said it took an equity stake in the company alongside a group of private investors and the Telluride Venture Fund, which supports startups primarily in Colorado.

St. Pierre gained a connection to that area last year when he won a six-month stint at the Telluride Venture Accelerator last year, giving him access to business mentors and angel investors that help early-stage companies expand.

In July, the company expanded its physical footprint in Biddeford’s redeveloped Pepperell mill complex, moving into a larger production space in Pepperell Center.

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Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.