Cases: Export

Db Journey targets the global market with a working capital guarantee from Eksfin

 Db Journey is renowned for its award-winning backpacks, bags, and suitcases. In order to help DB Journey continue to grow internationally from an export share that is already at 60 percent, Eksfin and Nordea have together contributed working capital financing.

Db Journey

Db Journey was founded in Norway in 2009 by Jon Olsson and Truls Brataas, with the goal of making better travel equipment for sports. Today, Db designs, produces, and markets backpacks, suitcases, carrying bags, and accessories for people in urban surroundings who like outdoor activities and travel. The company is independently owned and operated from the head office in Oslo, Norway, which employs 60 people.

Financing: Eksfin relieves 50% of Nordea’s financing limit for documentary credits and working capital.

Mølleparken 2, 0459 Oslo, Norway

Mølleparken 2, 0459 Oslo, Norway

Mølleparken 2, 0459 Oslo, Norway

Strong Norwegian brand

Db Journey develops and produces backpacks and bags for skiing, snowboarding, and surfing that are now practically iconic in Scandinavia.

The company was founded by freeskiing legend Jon Olsson and engineer Truls Brataas, who developed the idea for the first bag in 2009. They shared a passion for extreme sports, product design, and entrepreneurship, and both had experienced the same issues when travelling with sports equipment.

After two years of product development, support from NTNU, Norwegian seamstresses, and factory visits abroad, the ski bag “The Douchebag” was launched on 1 January 2012. 

The Douchebag’s popularity truly took off when Jon Olsson began advertising the bags on YouTube. Since then, the bags and the equipment has been sold at a number of sports stores in Europe and North America. Today, most of the company’s products are sold outside of Scandinavia.

Working capital financing from Nordea and Eksfin

The bag equipment was developed and designed in Norway, where Db Journey is headquartered. Manufacturing is primarily done in Vietnam. Since production began 10 years ago, the company has seen an annual growth of nearly 60 percent. For this reason, Db Journey has faced a considerable need for working capital due to the company’s considerable growth. Nordea helps Db Journey with working capital financing, while Nordea is also relieved of 50% of the credit facility, which is adapted to the company’s operations.

Eksfin offers working capital guarantees to banks to improve access to capital, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. Eksfin can guarantee continuous working capital loans from banks (like credit lines) to companies that export on their own, or who work as subcontractors for a business that exports. Growth companies that plan to export may also qualify for the guarantee.

Growing fast

Despite the idea initially being for a niche product meant to transport skis, you can now see the bags on the backs of school children and office workers. 

In addition to having an international brand and products made for a global market, the company’s current scaling phase requires considerable working capital. The guarantee Eksfin presents to Nordea is crucial for us to gain enough working capital so that we can keep growing and entering new contracts internationally, says says Eric Bascle, CEO at Db Journey

Today, the company sells to over 30 different countries online, with a revenue of NOK 258 million in 2022. The exported share is growing, currently making up approximately 60 percent of sales. The domestic market in Norway covers 40 percent of sales, while the USA, Germany, and Sweden are the biggest markets after that.

Growth has also been solid in Japan and South Korea, and interest in the brand is beginning to pick up in China. The company has prepared a five-year expansion plan for the rest of the world, which started in 2022. Due to a heavy rise in sales, the plan has been revised for 2023.

Small and medium-sized businesses are a key strategic priority for Eksfin. We are pleased to be able to assist both the bank and the company with essential working capital financing. The Norwegian Db Journey’s continued international growth is impressive in an industry characterised by tough international competition, says Ivar Rekve, department head for small and medium-sized businesses at Eksfin.

Db Journey is an exciting company, one that we place great faith in, showing impressive growth and a great momentum. At the same time, this type of growth often comes with a certain risk. For that reason, it is in the customers’ and creditors’ best interest that this risk is handled appropriately. Working with Eksfin has given us the opportunity to offer credit limits that are future-proofed and suited to Db Journey’s ambitions. Our cooperation has been essential in getting this done, says Thea Marie Hewitt, Relationship Manager at Nordea.