Portman Lights has received new investment from The French Team (Xavier Drouet, Jérôme Bréhard and Alain-René Lantelme) the original founders of the successful brands of Axente, Ayrton, Sixty82, and others, in a move that will allow the company to expand its R&D potential, service its clients more efficiently and develop new products more swiftly in response to market demand.
Established in Gdansk in September 2016 by lighting designer, Łukasz Sztejna and business development manager, Dominik Zimakowski, Portman Lights enjoyed immediate success. Now, just 30 months later with three highly specialised, patented products in its portfolio and another due for launch at Prolight+Sound, Frankfurt 2019, Portman Lights has a distribution network of 25 top class distributors covering 35 countries and a portfolio of concerts, festivals and television shows that includes X Factor UK, America’s Got Talent and Eurovision.
“We want to be a world leader in decorative stage lighting and are still growing and developing new products,” said Dominik. “R&D is the most important area of our company and, to continue producing more mature products with great design and superb features, we decided to search for investors who could help us to move Portman onto a higher level in the industry.
“We needed a truly experienced partner with the best global connections and the deepest knowledge and experience of the market. Someone who has developed many brands in the industry and can help us achieve a secure and stabilised future.”
The ideal investor was to be found within Portman Lights’ own distribution network in The French Team, who became Portman Lights shareholders in January 2019. “We have worked closely together ever since Axente became a distributor in 2017 during which time we developed a great understanding of each other’s businesses,” explained Zimakowski. “We discovered they had a wealth of experience in moving brands such as Portman Lights ahead but, more importantly, we discovered a team of good people with whom we feel the chemistry and who share our close-held values of trust and honesty.
“As an innovative company which has been developing incredibly quickly, it was necessary for us to acquire strong long-term capacities. This new partnership will boost our R&D capabilities, and give us access to 30 years of valuable experience, knowledge and a high-tech approach to development, yet ensure that Portman Lights continues to be led by the people whose original passion created it.”
Portman Lights’ original operational and management team remains unchanged with Dominik Zimakowski (now CEO) and Łukasz Sztejna (R&D) keeping the governance of the company. “The investment by our French partners has allowed us to improve our internal processes, start new R&D projects together and react more quickly to the demands of the market to develop more mature products with higher quality than ever. We have exciting times ahead,” concluded Zimakowski.
“Our investment in Portman Lights is much more than just a financial operation,” confirmed The French Team’s Xavier Drouet. “It is a human story that we, the partners, want to write with this dynamic and innovative young team.”