COMPANIES: 8 Million Stories to SimOmics

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on January 4, 2016, 9:00 am in News, Other


Thursday February 14th 2019


Thursday February 14th 2019




News about 9 UK growth companies and/or accelerators in the GRID marketplace, 27th December 2015 – 2nd January 2016:


SimOmics | Cameron Mackintosh £138.9m | Doddle | Adam&eve £60m | 8 Million Stories | Inception Group £12m | Digital Shadows | Patients Know Best | Funding Circle £13.1m

SIMOMICS: Designer organs. Start-up aims to cut drug testing on animals / Kiki Loizou, Sunday Times. 27th December.

DZ profile: Simomics Limited
Business: has designed “virtual” computerised versions of animal organs to test new drugs and mimic their effects on mice and fish, thereby reducing the number of animals needed to develop treatments.
Launched: 2014
Founders: Jon Timmis, 45, professor of electronics at York; Mark Coles; Vipin Kumar.
Investment: Spin-out from York University, which owns 40%.
1. Astra Zeneca will provide SimOmics with data and has seconded some staff to help with the early stages of development. the product could reach the market in two years.
2. The government agency Innovate UK has given the company £300,000, and support has also come from the Royal Academy of Engineering.


CAMERON MACKINTOSH: Impresario on song. Cameron Mackintosh takes £13m dividend / Peter Evans, Sunday Times.

DZ profile: Cameron Mackintosh Limited
Business: theatrical agency - production and management of theatre shows such as Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Cats and Oliver! Also owns some of the best-known theatres in London’s West End, including the Gielgud and the Prince of Wales. It recently added the Victoria Palace theatre to the collection.
Founder: Sir Cameron Mackintosh, 69, - the only shareholder
Financials: Sales up 84% to £138.9m in the year to March, which rose to £72.2m from £18.1m. In total, profit before tax increased 35% to £27.2m. Mackintosh took a £13m dividend. Before last year, Mackintosh hadn’t paid himself a dividend since 2010, when he took a payout of £32m.

UPDATE: Flash, bang, payout! | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. January 8 2017
…made pre-tax profits of £27.7m in the year to March, down slightly on the previous 12 months. Sales declined by 2.1% to £146.7m after the company shut down productions of Miss Saigon in London and Les Misérables in Australia. However, the dividend paid to Mackintosh increased to £35.5m. Les Misérables is still one of Mackintosh’s biggest moneyspinners. The show has taken more than £4.5bn at the box office worldwide since it premiered in 1980.


DODDLE: It’s a Doddle for Dorfman / John Collingridge, Sunday Times.

DZ profile: Doddle Parcel Services Limited
Business: has 45 stores at stations including Waterloo, Paddington, Birmingham New Street and Brighton. Was a joint venture and £24m joint investment between Travelex tycoon Lloyd Dorfman and Network Rail, the state company that owns our railways and stations. They had plans to open 300 click-and-collect stores and create 3,000 jobs by 2017.
Launched: 2014
Founder: Lloyd Dorfman has a £550m fortune from the sale of foreign-exchange chain Travelex.
Financials: lost £10.9m in its first 11 months of operation on revenues of just £16,779
1. Accounts for Doddle Parcel Services show that Dorfman bought Network Rail’s 44% stake in the autumn, giving him 90%.
2. Dorfman said he was in talks with potential investors to find backing for Doddle.


ADAM&EVE: How I Made It: James Murphy, founder of Adam&eve / Laura Onita, Sunday Times.

DZ profile: Ddb Uk Limited
Business: communications agency which has made television advertisements for department store John Lewis since 2009. This year’s “Man on the Moon” ad has notched up 23m views on YouTube as well as appearing on prime-time TV. Other clients include Waitrose, Harvey Nichols, Mulberry, H&M, Lloyds Bank and Virgin Atlantic.
Launched: 2008
Located: Paddington, London.
Founders: James Murphy, 48, with David Golding, Ben Priest and Jon Forsyth. Murphy, raised in Norwich, read politics and economics at Essex University. Now chief executive of Adam&eveDDB.
Financials: Last year, the enlarged company reported profits of £9.5m on sales of more than £60m. The company expects sales of £70m this year.
Investment: attracted numerous takeover bids. Three years ago, accepted an offer from the American giant OMNICOM, which reportedly valued the company at £60m and merged it with Omnicom’s London operation, DDB. Murphy and his 60 staff were subsumed into an organisation with 450 workers.
News: John Lewis earned about £5 for every £1 it spent with the agency in the two years after they first linked up, in, Murphy said.

Ad men behind John Lewis’s Christmas TV campaigns share £85m bonanza | Simon English, The Evening Standard. 11 September 2017.

1. The ad men ...will share £85 million after Adam & Eve exceeded expectations. Industry paper Campaign reports that Murphy and Golding, with 25% stakes in Adam & Eve made the most, while Priest had a 22% stake, and Forsyth about 12%. The four had already enjoyed a £25 million payout when Omnicom bought Adam & Eve in 2012 and merged it with DDB London. The scale of the earn-out makes the agency one of the most financially successful, creative UK start-ups of the past decade, industry bible Campaign said.


New year’s resolution? Grow fast, go global / Kiki Loizou, Sunday Times.


DZ profile: 8 Million Stories Limited

Business: digital marketing company, which helps companies make money on social media sites. Her customer base has grown fourfold since last year and includes names such as Universal Music, Vogue magazine and Hendrick’s gin, brands that are keen to cash in on the benefits offered by linking their content to users of Twitter and Facebook.
Founder: Lyndsay Menzies, 39,
News: has seen revenues more than double this year
Location: Edinburgh
Staff: 20 people. Five more will join the team next month.
Financials: The company is already turning a profit and has seen revenues more than double over 12 months.
Investment: It plans to raise external cash to fuel growth next year.

DZ profile: Inception Group Limited

Business: chain of bars and clubs - eight London venues including Mr Fogg’s and Bunga Bunga
Founders: Charlie Gilkes, 31 and Duncan Stirling, 34,
Launched: 2009
Location: Victoria, London
Staff: 260 people across its nightspots and 30 at its headquarters
Financials: has seen earnings rise and revenues jump from £9m to £12m this year. With plans for another two bars to add to the firm’s portfolio, numbers are set to top £15m for the next 12 months.
1. He recently secured a loan from NatWest to help fund next year’s plans for the firm, which has
2. London’s astronomical property prices have not made the fight for the right venue simple. And nowadays Gilkes is often competing with more than 50 bidders to secure a new site.
3. Inception has grown thanks to relationships built with landlords and the fact that it has sought “off-market deals”,

DZ profile: Digital Shadows Ltd

Business: cyber-security. Helps companies - across oil, pharmaceuticals, fashion and banks (including three of the world’s biggest) - crack down on security breaches.
Launched: 2011
Founders: Alastair Paterson, 34 and James Chappell, 41.
Staff: plans to double staff numbers to more than 100. It currently has 16 workers in America and an office in San Francisco.
Financials: Revenues have grown by more than four times over the past 12 months. Plans to triple revenues in 2016.
Investment: raised $8m from investors including PASSION CAPITAL and STORM VENTURES this year.
News: 30 new clients in 2016. Growth boosted by the high-profile hackings of TalkTalk, Ashley Madison and others.



Digital doctors: on a mission to change medicine / Alicia Clegg, FT. December 29

PATIENTS KNOW BEST (PKB): Patient empowerer: Patients Know Best

DZ profile: Patients Know Best Limited
Business: Allows patients anytime, anywhere access to their medical records. Paid for by hospitals and healthcare bodies, PKB allows patients to access their medical records from their smartphone. The system, which is encrypted and held on PKB’s servers, also enables patients to consult doctors on­line and authorise anyone involved in their care, including family, to consult and add notes to their records. In 2010, a paediatric gastroenterologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital purchased PKB for her patients, and other departments and hospitals followed. PKB has customers in 60 hospitals, half in the UK
Launched: 2008
Founder: Dr Mohammad Al-Ubaydli
Investment: Equity funding: £5.7m. Raised £3.5m from venture capitalists in November for expansion overseas.

FUNDING CIRCLE: lending to small UK businesses passes £1bn / Peter Campbell, FT.

DZ profile: Funding Circle Ltd
Business: finance firm which helps savers lend money directly to businesses. Peer-to-peer lender matches investors – ranging from individuals to local authorities to financial institutions – with small and mid-sized companies seeking loans. Has operations in the US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. Britain’s third-biggest net lender to small businesses, behind RBS and Lloyds. Investors include 45,000 individuals, the government-backed British Business Bank, 19 local authorities, Huddersfield University and a wide range of financial institutions. They have lent $1.8bn to 15,000 businesses globally. Rather than invest in loans directly through a P2P platform, individual and institutional investors can buy and sell shares in the vehicle, which will manage a selection of loans on their behalf.
Launched: 2010

Location: London five offices at home and abroad, including one in America.
Founders: Andrew Mullinger, James Meekings (UK managing director) and Samir Desai (chief executive).

Staff: 600
Financials: made a loss of £19.4m on sales of £13.1m in 2014. It expects sales to triple this year to almost £40m, and anticipates that its UK division will turn a profit in 2016 – though its international businesses and the company as a whole will remain loss-making.
Investment: Is classed as a “unicorn” — a privately owned company with a valuation of $1bn or more. In April 2015 raised a further £100m to fund its expansion. To date, it has raised a total of $273m from venture capital groups include INDEX VENTURES and ACCEL PARTNERS. Other stakeholders include Betfair founder Ed Wray and Carphone Warehouse tycoon Sir Charles Dunstone.
1. Investors lent £500m through the marketplace lender during 2015, taking the total past the £1bn mark since its launch. The company expects a further £1bn to pass through its systems during 2016.
2. In November, Funding Circle launched its own investment trust after raising £150m from a group of institutional investors to focus on loans to small businesses.
Unicorn in the red | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times. September 25, 2016.
3. saw its losses double to almost £40m last year after ramping up its expansion into America and Europe. Its revenues rose from £13m to £32m over the period.
4. Last year the company acquired Berlin-based peer ZENCAP CAPITAL, which lends to small and medium-sized businesses across Germany, Spain and Holland.

Funding Circle lines up £1bn float | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. December 31 2017

5. is poised to hire advisers to prepare for a £1bn-plus float next year. ...has reportedly told investment banks it will hold a beauty parade early in the year. likely to hire bankers by the spring, according to Sky News.
6. has so far facilitated loans totalling more than $5bn (£3.7bn). It raised £82m of new funding in January, in a round led by venture capital group Accel. That secured Funding Circle a valuation of $1bn — making it a tech “unicorn”.