Ep.13 From 'Uncool' Niche to 9 Figure Business with Simon Mottram, Founder of Rapha

Ep.13 From 'Uncool' Niche to 9 Figure Business with Simon Mottram, Founder of Rapha

By Grace Beverley

Simon Mottram is the Founder of Rapha. Hailed as one of the greatest marketers and business innovators in modern cycling; he made cycling cool. Having founded the brand in 2004, Rapha has transformed the industry and blurred the lines between fashion and cycling through its stylish, high-quality performance products, creative and engaging storytelling, direct to consumer model and innovative approaches to physical retail and membership.

Simon has been a passionate cyclist for more than 30 years and has successfully transferred his passion to the Rapha brand and internal culture. Prior to setting up Rapha, Simon specialised in brand strategy and marketing and worked for various firms and agencies - experience he later utilised to attract attention to his own brand. Rapha has since been deemed a ‘marketing machine’ and over the years has mastered the art of community marketing, reliant on a strong membership programme that connects over 17,000 cyclists worldwide.

After an exceptional decade of sales Simon sold the business for a cool $200 million to the heirs of America’s retail giant, Walmart. Though he remains active at Rapha as a shareholder director and founder, in December 2021 Simon stepped down as CEO to allow his business to excel and be taken to the next level. I am also pleased to have him on board my own vision for TALA as an investor.


• Early years in finance and experience in branding

• Start-up years at Rapha and finding the niche

• Building authenticity and exclusivity into the brand

• Maintaining brand culture in the face of growth

• The future for Rapha and ‘semi-retirement’

• How to succeed as an entrepreneur

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