Thursday February 14th 2019Ends
Thursday February 14th 2019
News about 9 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace, 17th – 23rd July 2016:
UKFast £34m | Jactravel £246m | MarketInvoice | East End Foods £200m | Hot Diggidy Dog | Bookingbug.co.uk | Rotageek | Skinnydip £7m | Grub Club £0.8
UKFAST: Entrepreneur in £10m swoop for hacking team | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times. July 17.
DZ profile: Ukfast Limited
Business: internet hosting and cloud computing specialist with 5,000 clients, including the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the NHS. company that offers internet hosting and cloud computer services. Operates four data centres.
Founder: Lawrence Jones, 47, the internet tycoon - whose wealth is calculated by The Sunday Times Rich List as £275m - and wife Gail, 37.
Financials: Last year it reported pre-tax profits of more than £16m on revenues of £34m. 2014: turned over £28.9m, up 23.5%, and profit before tax of £9.3m.
1. Lawrence Jones has paid about £10m on a cyber-security venture PENTEST, an “ethical hacking” firm whose staff help detect flaws in clients’ cyber-defences. Jones, will merge Pentest’s 45 staff into SECARMA, an internal cyber-security division of UKFast. Pentest will move to the UKFast campus in Manchester, where a cyber-security research lab and security operations centre are under construction.
UKFast bosses pocket £20m | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. October 8 2017
2. Lawrence and Gail Jones received the (£20m) dividend after pre-tax profits at their Manchester-based UKFast venture rose to £11.6m. ...turned over £39.6m last year, employs 400 staff,
3. ...made £14m of loans and other payments to businesses owned by Lawrence and Gail. The pair are “using some of their return from UKFast to invest in other earlier-stage and growing businesses”, the company said.
UKFast cloud chief Lawrence Jones reaches for sky | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. December 2 2018
4. Sales have risen by 13% and are set to exceed £53m. It has 350 staff.
5. Earlier this year, the company appointed the investment bank GCA ALTIUM to review strategic options, including a float. Jones has said the listing is most likely to take place early next year.
JACTRAVEL: Travel techies take road to riches | Daniel Dunkley, The Sunday Times.
DZ profile: Jac Travel Limited
Business: Business-to-business (B2B) hotel accommodation wholesaler, and also provides tailored tours to groups visiting the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.Travel booking technology company specialises in search and booking technology for hotels, and handles more than 2.5m customers a year. 2017: JacTravel has a portfolio of over 10,000 directly contracted hotels and an aggregated portfolio of 170,000 properties worldwide. It serves customers in 92 countries and handles 1.3m bookings annually, with a global distribution network of 20,000 travel partners.
Financials: reported underlying earnings of £19.8m last year on turnover of £246m, and is estimated to be worth more than £200m.
Investment: backed by buyout firm VITRUVIAN, a European investment firm that also owns part of airline ticket search engine SKYSCANNER, bought a 55% stake in Jac two years ago. Its management owns 45%, meaning a potential deal could see its top bosses, including chief executive Terry Williamson, share out more than £100m, insiders said.
1. was ranked No 119 in last month’s Sunday Times International Track 200, a list of the fastest-growing international firms.
2. Bosses at JacTravel could be in line for a £100m windfall after receiving takeover interest. Has hired investment bank Evercore to handle takeover approaches after spurning several offers in recent months, sources said.
Bidder from down under comes up top as Webjet buys JacTravel for £200m | Lucy White City A.M. August 2, 2017.
3. Online travel agency WEBJET has landed a deal to buy JacTravel for £200m. The Australian-headquartered trade buyer has taken JacTravel off the hands of London-based private equity house Vitruvian Partners, which bought the business in 2014 for £80m.
In 2013 Webjet acquired ZUJI in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, although it has since sold on the latter two branches, and a year later it added the SUNHOTELS Group in Europe. Last year it scooped up former rival ONLINE REPUBLIC, which strengthened its presence in the car rentals and cruise industry and expanded its offering to motorhome rental
4. Vitruvian has helped it grow its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) from £10m in 2014 to more than £19m at the time of sale, partly by bolting on European competitor TOTALSTAY GROUP and establishing new offices in Beijing and Orlando.
Business: Lending platform: financial technology company that allows companies to borrow against unpaid invoices. Has so far helped raise £850m for small businesses that would otherwise struggle with cashflow because of lengthy payment terms set by clients. Aims to expand into Europe.
Location: Shoreditch, east London
Founder: co-founder Anil Stocker, 32, ex-Lehman Brothers employee
Staff: 100. chief financial officer Ilya Kondrashov
Investment: has won £7.2m of investment from MCI CAPITAL. The Polish private equity firm has previously backed money-transfer site Azimo and taxi app Gett. European venture capital firm NORTHZONE, which already has a stake in MarketInvoice and put money into Skype, has increased its investment.
Founder of peer-to-peer lending in new venture for SMEs | Emma Dunkley and Martin Arnold, FT. March 20, 2017.
1. Is in talks to provide banks with access to its platform as a “grey-label service” — allowing them to offer it as a co-branded product to their small business clients.
2. Aims to reach £2bn of total lending this year, helped by the launch of a new service to offer finance secured against all of a company’s invoices, rather than on a per-invoice basis.
3. Giles Andrews joins Marketinvoice as Chairman. Awarded an OBE in 2015 …is aiming to help scale up the business while attempting to preserve its nimble “fintech” culture.
London fintech Marketinvoice lands £56m in funding from Barclays and Santander | Emily Nicolle, City A.M. 21 January 2019
4. has today closed a £56m round made up of equity and debt funding, led by BARCLAYS and Santander's venture arm INNOVENTURES. The series B-stage equity funding, which amounted to £26m, also received significant participation from NORTHZONE, which has previously backed the likes of Spotify, Trustpilot and fellow fintech lender Zopa. The remaining amount raised is a debt facility of up to £30m, provided by Israeli fund VIOLA CREDIT. ....the series B round takes Marketinvoice's total equity funding to date to more than £45m.
5. Barclays took up a minority stake in the fintech firm in August last year, as part of a partnership deal that gave Barclays' small business customers access to lending through Marketinvoice's platform.
EAST END FOODS: Brexit fallout takes the heat out of spice trader’s expansion | Tommy Stubbington, The Sunday Times
DZ profile: East End Foods Plc
Business: spice trader. Imports many of its products, which include spices, rice, lentils and Indian beer.
Launched: four decades ago
Location: West Bromwich
Founder: set up by Jason Wouhra’s father and uncles
Staff: Jason Wouhra, 38, MD
Financials: turnover £200m
News: following last month’s EU referendum has put expansion plans on hold — despite the prospect of cheaper loans to fund a takeover spree.
Yes, minister, it’s time to hand over the big deals | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times
HOT DIGGIDY DOG
DZ profile: Hot Diggidy Dog Limited
Business: condiments maker
Location: south Wales
Founder: Simon Llewellyn, 44,
1 Is now supplying the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with hot pepper sauce for its ration packs. But is not dealing with the government direct – it supplies the MoD through the wholesaling giant Vestey Foods. Llewellyn was brought in to help with the contract won by Vestey in 2014.
2. “It’s now a huge part of our sales pipeline and is allowing us to grow,” he said. He plans to expand further using new machinery he purchased thanks to revenues from the government.
DZ profile: Bookingbug Limited
Business: software business develops booking systems for clients
Founder: Glenn Shoosmith, 40
Staff: has increased its head count from 15 to 90 workers since winning its first local authority contracts in 2014.
1. To gain the trust of official bodies, businesses have to be “able to show that you can move fast, innovate and that you’re not going to rip them off”, Shoosmith said.
2. He hopes to strike further business alliances. “I was in a meeting with Hewlett-Packard this week and they want to work with small businesses. We are being courted by all of them,” said Shoosmith
DZ profile: Rota Geek Limited
Business: scheduling method for staff within hospitals. While he was working as an emergency doctor for the NHS, McCullough spotted the need for a better scheduling method for staff within hospitals. But it has proved difficult to get officials to look at the system and has now signed up clients in the private sector. Runs teams in London and Melbourne, Australia.
Founder: Chris McCullough, 42,
Investment: received more than £700,000 of investment. The company is in the process of rustling up another £1m for expansion.
SKINNYDIP: We listened to our customers, even if all they said was %#*! | Alicia Burrell, The Sunday Times
DZ profile: Skinnydip Limited
Business: fashion accessories start-up - sells bags and headphones as well as mobile cases through 150 concessions in Topshop, Selfridges, Harrods and Fenwick. The first Skinnydip shop opened in London’s Carnaby Street last year. Two more have been added in the capital, in Covent Garden and White City. Skinnydip, whose designs have been toted by Miley Cyrus and Nicole Scherzinger. The goods are made in China.
Founders: Lewis Blitz, 29, James, 29 and Richard Gold
Staff: 60 full-time staff
Financials: The company reported sales of more than £7m last year and hopes to top £15m this year.
Investment: They got their idea off the ground with £40,000 of funding — half was their savings and half was loans from family and friends. The trio have not taken any outside investment and have no plans to float or sell.
1. “We want to be the biggest accessory brand in the world,” said James.
2. Social media is fuelling the expansion; Skinnydip has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram, where it posts images of new products.
GRUB CLUB: delights London foodies with supper clubs in quirky venues | Alex Lawson, Evening Standard. July 18.
DZ profile: Grubklub Limited
Business: Matches diners with restaurateurs and chefs for meals at unusual locations through the Grub Club website. “Pop Up Dining Experiences: Grub Club curates the best Pop Ups and Supper Clubs in London. Recent corporate customers: Google, Spotify, Nike and Deliveroo.
Founder: Olivia Sibony. Born in Spain to parents from Morocco and Britain, she grew up in France and has lived in Mexico and India.
Staff: 8. Business partner: Siddarth Vijayakumar
Financials: turnover £800,000 in 2015. Hope to break even in nine months
Investment: has been funded by rounds of angel investment and crowdfunding but “Sid and Liv” remain its majority shareholders
1. Regular charity gigs with peace-building organisations and Christmas lunches for the lonely.
2. Plan to expand the website to let organisers and chefs select the venue, musicians, decorations, flowers and the like for a night.
3. Expansion beyond London is the long-term plan and, through the Mayor’s International Business Programme, Sibony is gleaning the expertise to head abroad.