AllBright, the members’ clubs and digital academy that connects smart-thinking women, has today announced a £9m funding round and future plans to open its first club in los Angeles in 2019. They have also announced the appointment of Allan Leighton as its new Chairman.
Cain International is leading the round as the company capitalises on the success of the opening of its first women’s members’ club, The AllBright, the recent launch of the AllBright Academy and FoundHER, its festival celebrating women in business and leadership.
The brainchild of UK entrepreneur Debbie Wosskow OBE and former Hearst Magazines UK CEO, Anna Jones, AllBright’s first members’ club counts leading names from the worlds of entertainment, politics, music and business as Founder Members, including Oscar nominee Naomie Harris, entrepreneur and House of Lords peer, Martha Lane-Fox, MOBO awards founder Kanya King and global health campaigner and wife of former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Sarah Brown.
The appointment of Allan Leighton as Chairman comes as the company announces a third club opening in Los Angeles in 2019. The first site outside of the UK, the LA club will follow the second London club launch, The AllBright Mayfair, which opens in early 2019.
Leighton, who is also investing in the company, was previously Chief Executive of ASDA. Following this he took on a plural career which included directorships at companies such as Dyson, Cannons Group, BSkyB Group and Selfridges, as well as President of Loblaw Companies and Chief Executive of Pandora. He has also been Chairman of lastminute.com and Royal Mail and is currently Chairman of Entertainment One, Elements Materials, The Co-operative Group, the restaurant chain Wagamama and the Canal & River Trust.
Other investors in the round include Darren Throop (CEO of Entertainment One), Robert Swannell (Former Chairman Marks and Spencer) and a syndicate of AllBright members.
Debbie Wosskow OBE, Co-Founder of AllBright, said: “We are hugely excited about the global expansion of AllBright and we are delighted to welcome Allan Leighton as our Chairman. AllBright is all about championing and celebrating women in the workplace. It has never been anti-men.
“We have men working across the business. For us, the appointment of Chair was not about gender but about securing the right person with the credentials and experience we need. That’s why we chose Allan – we wanted someone with a different, but complementary background to ours. Since launching AllBright, we have grown rapidly into a destination brand for women from all sectors.
“AllBright has galvanised a strong and dynamic community of like-minded women and we are excited about growing this community globally as we continue to develop the business.”