Thursday February 14th 2019Ends
Thursday February 14th 2019
News about 7 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace, 4th – 10th September 2016:
Blow | Hassle.com | Cuvva | Urban Massage | SSE Audio £18.8m | Space NK £86.5m | Feelunique £65m
After Uber and Deliveroo, now it’s beauty on demand | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times. September 4 2016
Business: beauty salon business in Covent Garden and Canary Wharf. Last year launched the Blow app, which provides on-demand hair and beauty services to customers who prefer to be pampered at their homes, hotels or workplaces. In six months the app did more business than Blow’s flagship branch. This month it is expected to bring in more sales than the two salons combined. Blow has signed up 3,000 beauty professionals, of whom about 200 are fully active. It carries out more than 4,000 jobs a month, and takes 40% of the price, with the therapist keeping the rest.
Founders: Fiona McIntosh, 50, a former editor of Elle magazine and Dharmash Mistry, investor
Investment: Fast growth has enticed high-profile backers. In June, Blow received £500,000 from Unilever Ventures, the consumer goods giant’s fund for young technology companies. It raised another £500,000 from private investors and a separate crowdfunding campaign on the Seedrs platform.
Business: venture, which lets users contact local cleaners
Founder: Alex Depledge, 35
Investment: was sold for a reported £26m last year to a Berlin-based competitor, Helpling
Business: offers short-term car insurance within 20 seconds via its app. A user simply uploads a picture of their driving licence and a selfie, along with a number plate. The company, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, does the rest. Cuvva is aimed at people who want to borrow a friend’s car or add a driver for a long trip.
Founders: Freddy Macnamara, 28, and James Billingham.
Investment: have so far raised £500,000 from private investors, family and friends
Business: Delivers massage therapists on demand: treats clients on film sets, sports grounds and also caters for disabled and homebound people. Has also dispatched therapists to unusual locations such as the roof of London’s O2 Arena. The app handles 10,000 bookings a month.
Founder: Jack Tang, 24
Investment: has attracted more than £1m of investment
News: The company has expanded to Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is about to launch in Paris.
SSE AUDIO: We had to sell our home — but then brought the house down with UB40 | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times
Business: installs, hires out and sells audio equipment for some of the world’s top names, including Coldplay. It also works on annual events such as the Reading Festival and permanent installations at venues including the London Palladium.
Location: Redditch near Birmingham, London, Manchester and three sites in France.
Founders: John and Heather Penn own 63% of the business, with the rest held mainly by staff
Staff: 160 full-time staff
Financials: Pre-tax profits came in at £2.3m on sales of £18.8m last year.
News: In 2002, the couple bought a 35,000 sq ft unit in Redditch for their headquarters. They then set about acquiring rivals. To date, they have taken over or merged with seven. Manchester competitor Wigwam, acquired in 2013 for an undisclosed amount, brought with it clients such as One Direction and George Michael.
Business: beauty store chain, which describes itself as an apothecary, sells products such as Goldfaden plant profusion serum for £175 and upmarket make-up brands such as Laura Mercier and Nars. Space NK opened its first shop in Covent Garden, London and now has 62 outlets in Britain and 22 in America.
Founder: Nicky Kinnaird
Financials: posted pre-tax profits of £4.8m in the year to March, an increase of 9%. Sales were £86.5m, up from £80.5m in the previous year.
Investment: owned by private equity firm Manzanita Capital, founded by Bill Fisher, the son of Gap founder Don Fisher. Manzanita, based in London, also owns sister firm SPACE BRANDS, selling its own labels such as Eve Lom and Lipstick Queen, and DIPTYQUE.
Space NK set to be sold with Unilever circling |Laura Onita, The Evening Standard. 17 July 2018
1. Manzanita Capital, is thought to be in advanced talks to sell the cosmetics retailer.GOLDMAN SACHS is advising Space NK on the deal, it is understood. Sources say consumer goods giant UNILEVER has been eyeing the beauty chain.
2. Nicky Kinnaird stepped down from her role at Space NK in 2014. In 2007 she sold a 90% stake to the private equity house for an undisclosed sum.
3. made pre-tax profits of £3.2m on sales of £96.4m for the year to March 25.
FEELUNIQUE is a real beauty after facelift by Frenchman Joel Palix | Clare Hutchison, Evening Standard
DZ profile: Feel Unique Limited
Business: online beauty retailer which offers the largest online selection of products in Europe, from cult brands like Omorovicza to household names such as Clinique. ...ships brands including Dior, Chanel and Tom Ford to 120 countries from its Northampton base. Website: “Feelunique is the largest online retailer of premium beauty products in Europe and one of the fastest growing e-tailers in the world.”
Location: Covent Garden headquarters
Founders: Aaron Chatterley, deputy chairman, and Richard Schiessl
Staff: 200. Joel Palix, chief executive, brought in three years ago from French giant Clarins
Financials: When Palamon first invested in 2012, Feelunique’s revenue was £30m. At the end of its most recent financial year, it had more than doubled to £65m.
Investment: majority shareholder, private-equity firm PALAMON CAPITAL PARTNERS - which owns businesses including the Happy Socks brand - after the co-founders sold a controlling stake in 2012.
1. Palix’s first move was to revamp the company by relocating to London from Jersey, where Chatterley and Schiessl were based and Feel Unique has its only UK stores — the tool used initially to lure brands.
2. Meanwhile, a new distribution centre in Northampton made the business less vulnerable to the weather than it had been in Jersey. He concentrated on fine-tuning the site and strengthening brand relationships.
3. has an app that lets users apply make-up virtually, richer editorial content such as video tutorials, greater personalisation of the site and a big push into men’s grooming. That market is estimated to be worth more than £14 billion.
4. Growing internationally has also been a goal. Feelunique ships products worldwide, and has a team in China to ensure prices, merchandising and marketing are tailored correctly. It has also set up in France, buying Parfumeries Rive Droite, a chain with four stores there, including a Paris flagship, because Palix believes the country is ripe for a beauty revolution. The plan got the thumbs-up from Feelunique’s board which, alongside two other funds, coughed up £20m to pay for expansion.
Beauty site scents success in China | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. August 20, 2017,
5. reported sales of £80m in the year to March 31, a 27% increase on the previous 12 months.
6. Britain is Feelunique’s biggest market, although it also operates websites in France, Germany and America. The company said 10% of its sales now came from Chinese customers after launching a website there two years ago. Feelunique offers 28,000 products in make-up, skincare, perfumes and electricals.
‘Amazon of beauty’ sale fails to live up to gloss | Sam Chambers, The Sunday Times. December 9 2018
7. PALAMON CAPITAL PARTNERS is understood to have pulled the auction for Feelunique after would-be buyers balked at the loss-making website’s £200m valuation. Feelunique, which sells more than 30,000 beauty products from the likes of Clinique and Dior, made a loss of £6.6m on sales of £80m last year. ...investors are increasingly nervous about paying hefty multiples for online retailers that do not have a track record of profit, given the huge demands to invest in logistics and marketing to keep pace with runaway market leaders.