Highland Backs Pacific Pathway

Pacific Pathway Inc., a Solana Beach, Calif.-based provider of emergency preparedness and personal safety products, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the Highland Consumer Fund. A regulatory filing indicates that the amount is $6 million.


Pacific Pathway, a leading provider of emergency preparedness and personal safety products today announced that it has secured an equity financing from the Highland Consumer Fund. In conjunction with the financing, Highland's Tom Guilfoile and Ted Philip will join the company's board of directors.

With its Life+Gear and SafetyCross branded products, Pacific Pathway provides unique and innovative products for everyday living — products which are practical for every day use, yet also have great utility in the event of an emergency. For example, the Company's “6-in-1 Personal Safety Device” serves as a reliable, every day flashlight, yet in the event of a power outage, the product also provides for easy-to-use, self-generated lighting and cell phone power. Similarly, its other products, including backpacks, radios, reading lamps, etc. are useful, stylish, frequent-use products that encompass an emergency preparedness component as well.

“Less than a quarter of American families have any sort of a disaster preparedness kit or supplies in their home,” said Pacific Pathway CEO Nicholas Connor. “Our products have many daily use functions, but also are of particular utility during a brownout, blackout or worse, so consumers are interested in our products on a day-in-day-out basis and not only when they are concerned about impending events. Retailers have embraced our approach and consumers now have practical solutions for their preparedness needs available through the stores they shop in every day.”

Founded by Connor and Dennis Bertken in 2005, Pacific Pathway has quickly established itself as a leader in the personal safety category. As the frequency and severity of natural disasters has intensified in recent times, planning for these events has become a matter of necessity. Over the past several years, federal and state governments have established new guidelines in emergency planning for homes, schools and the workplace and Pacific Pathway has emerged as the standard bearer for the industry. Further, in addition to its daily practicality, Pacific Pathways' products earn high marks from consumers for its energy self-sufficiency in an increasingly environmentally conscience world.

“With their dedicated consumer focus, the Highland team well understands the post 9/11 trend of being prepared for the unexpected and fully appreciates our approach of creating valuable emergency products with everyday utility,” Connor added. “Highland's investment will allow for continued development to our line of consumer products, and the expansion of distribution channels to a market that has at this point been underserved.”

“Emergency preparedness has emerged as a separate category unto itself and retailers are embracing the opportunity. Pacific Pathway has identified a unique approach to this market and has executed exceptionally well to date which has positioned them at the forefront of this evolution with innovative products,” says Tom Guilfoile of Highland.

About Pacific Pathway

San Diego based Pacific Pathway was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to create personal protection oriented products for consumers with unique combinations of features. Leveraging strong product development, product sourcing, and sales backgrounds, the founders, Nicholas Connor and Dennis Bertken, were able to rapidly get their products on retail shelves within months of inception, creating a steep growth trajectory. The company's products are featured nationwide by top retailers in multiple classes of trade. For more information, visit http://www.lifegearcompany.com/.

About Highland Consumer Fund

The Highland Consumer Fund, a venture capital fund developed in association with Highland Capital Partners, specializes in growth-focused consumer products, services and retail companies with proven business models operating in attractive markets. The $300 million Fund combines its extensive experience founding, growing, operating and investing in successful consumer companies with Highland Capital Partners' proven model of venture investing. Focused exclusively on investment opportunities in consumer-facing enterprises, the Highland Consumer Fund team has invested in and worked to create such companies as Blue Tulip, Guitar Center, lululemon athletica, Pacific Pathway, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, O Beverages and SuitePlay! For more information, visit http://www.hcp.com/.