- A 'and you get your car!' Moment. The deal, which valued Spanx at $1.2 billion, saw Sara Blakely sell a majority stake to Blackstone. It also made the founder a billionaire. (Her net worth was reportedly in the nine-digits by 2020.
"People have been asking me for 20+ years when I will sell Spanx," she wrote in an Instagram post. Blakely will keep an undisclosed percentage in Spanx, and will be its executive chair. She is known for having bootstrapped the company for $5,000. Blakely also created the company's trademark compression shorts by cutting the feet of a pair of control-top pants. She had declined outside investment since the founding of the company in 2000. The Blackstone deal last week was her first outside investment.
Blakely thanked Blackstone's all-female team and thanked Spanx employees. Days later, she presented Spanx employees with a generous gift: two first-class tickets for any destination in the globe and $10,000 cash.
Blakely shared a video on Instagram of Blakely announcing the perks. There are many screams. There are also tears. There are also gasps of disbelief. One woman is going to Bora Bora for her honeymoon. One woman is going on a safari in South Africa. This makes for a very heartwarming video. It reminds me of Oprah Winfrey’s "and then you get a car!" Moment. (This is fitting since Winfrey made Spanx a mainstream brand in 2000 when she named it one of her Favorite Things'.
Blakely doesn't see the Blackstone deal just as a way to get a lot of corporate perks. He also sees it as an opportunity to give back and draw attention to the inequity facing female founders.
In her Instagram video, she declares that "This marks an important moment for female entrepreneurs." "There isn't enough funding for women out there, and there aren’t enough women receiving support." Only 2.3% of all VC funding is directed to women, and 50% of entrepreneurs are women.
Blakely, who will be Spanx's executive chairman, said, "This is a very important moment for each of you."