News about 6 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace, 19th -25th June 2016:
Oak Furniture Land £300m | Missguided £87m | Merci Maman £2.5m | The Up Group £5m | Reiss £145m | Sup | Comptoir Group
Use your cash wisely and there will be no need for rounds of fundraising to grow the business | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times. June 19
OAK FURNITURE LAND
DZ profile: JB Global Limited
Business: furniture business with 70 stores.Set up the business in 2003, when he borrowed £7,000 to buy a container of Mexican pine furniture, which he then sold for £30,000 on eBay. Sspent four years trading on eBay before he opened his first showroom at a former airfield in 2009.
Founder: Jason Bannister, 45.
Financials: revenues of more than £300m and profits projected to top £16m this year.
UPDATE: Pine king eyes £400m from eBay start-up | Oliver Shah and Ben Harrington, The Sunday Times. January 8, 2017
Jason Bannister ...has hired the accountancy giant PwC to bring in funds for Oak Furniture Land. ... has grown into a national retail chain with 80 stores. It is on track to record sales of £300m and underlying earnings of £35m to £40m this year. A surplus of that size would value it at about £400m. A source close to the company said Bannister planned to sell a stake to finance a push into America. He is said to have ambitions to increase Oak Furniture Land’s turnover to £1bn in the next five years.
DZ profile: Missguided Limited
Business: online fashion retailer... spent £3,000 on a website that went live in March 2009 as well as £10,000 on stock. The site rang up sales of about £1,000 in its first month but after just eight months the total had reached £100,000.
Location: Salford, Manchester
Founder: Nitin Passi, 33, who owns 100% of the business
Staff: 600 staff. Dane Stanley, Missguided’s head of performance marketing
Financials: sales of £87m and earnings expected to pass £8m this year.
Investment: Since an initial £50,000 loan, which Passi took from his father in the early days and paid back a year later, the founder has not sought any extra money nor parted with equity.
Talking about my Snapchat generation | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times. October 23, 2016
1. Passi worked alone for the first year and picked up ideas about what to sell by reading fashion magazines and driving from one wholesaler to the next, asking which products were most popular. Missguided’s designs, 60% of which are made in Britain, are shipped to 90 countries. As volumes increased further he saw an opportunity to influence the designs. Today, more than 90% of his clothing, which is aimed at 16 to 30-year-olds, is designed in-house. Production is split 50:50 between China, for cost, and Britain, for speed. Missguided’s buyers tend to order between 350 and 500 copies of a garment and then “repeat big” if they get a reaction from shoppers.
2. Since inception, the trading company has been owned by Nakai Investments NAKAI INVESTMENTS, which is registered in the low-tax British Virgin Islands. Nakai is in turn owned by the family trust.
3. Started using Snapchat two years ago. Today, it has more than 6,500 followers and a commitment to sharing its stories with whoever wants to view them. Stanley’s team uploads video footage from behind the scenes at photoshoots and events at the office. Missguided has more than 4m followers across all social media, but some days it posts just one Snapchat story. “The content has to be engaging. The volume of posts doesn’t mean anything,” said Stanley.
4. Feb 2015 (Sunday Times): Missguided was ranked fifth in the latest Fast Track 100 league table of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies.
5. July 2015 (Sunday Times): He marketed Missguided to friends on his Facebook wall, and then started putting £50 ads in the back of fashion magazines. For the first few months, Missguided booked two or three sales a day. As the website grew, Passi stepped up the marketing, spending £150,000 to become the first online fashion outlet to sponsor an MTV show. Today, Missguided sells 280,000 items a week. The website carries 8,000 styles, with 1,000 new designs landing every month. Last month, Missguided opened its first physical outlet, a concession at Selfridges in the Trafford Centre. The brand is also available in 30 Nordstrom department stores in America, and will be on sale in all 120 Nordstrom’s branches by the end of the year.
Store foray puts online fashion retailer Missguided off course Laura Onita, The Evening Standard. December 20, 2017
6. Although sales jumped 75% to £205.8m from £117m, according to accounts just filed with Companies House, it posted a loss of £1.4m against profits of £239,000 in the year to 26 March. The business said its push into physical stores had dented profits.
It opened two shops in London’s Westfield shopping centre and Bluewater in Kent — a £2.4m setback for its retail arm. It also moved into a swanky new warehouse in Manchester that cost £4.8m to fit out.
7. Online sales in Britain were up by 40% while digital revenues exceeded 100% in America, France and Germany. ...now employs about 400 staff, .....rivals Boohoo and Quiz.
8. It has been tipped for a float on the stock market and has reportedly been valued at £700m.
Business: online boutique which sells personalised jewellery worn by customers including the Duchess of Cambridge and sells to 100 countries
ICB Classification: 5371 Apparel Retailers
Location: Fulham, southwest London
Founder: Béatrice de Montille, 39,
Financials: sales of £2.5m. She started out at her kitchen table with savings of £5,000 and has pumped all profits back into the business from day one.
News: Plans are to double in size within three years.
THE UP GROUP: There’s no choice between family and success — you can have both | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times.
Business: to hand-pick candidates for executive jobs at the best companies in the digital sector. Clients include Google, Skyscanner and Just Eat. The Up Group relies heavily on technology to find job candidates. “We track companies around the world at all stages,” said Johnston. “We’ve mapped all the management teams so we can identify the very best talent wherever they are.”
ICB Classification: 2793 Business Training & Employment Agencies
Location: London’s West End
Founder: Clare Johnston
Financials: last year reported profits of £2.6m on revenues of more than £5m
Investment: Launched with £40,000 of savings, rejecting the offer of cash from an angel investor. In April, the private equity firm Livingbridge invested £8m for a 40% stake. Johnston retains a majority stake.
1. Johnston was honoured with a NatWest Everywoman award last year.
2. She hopes to triple the size of the business over the next three years. Her sights are set on expansion into America and on the Continent.
REISS: caps three-year turnaround with record profits | Clare Hutchison, Evening Standard. 20 June
DZ profile: Reiss Limited
Business: Luxury fashion brand which counts the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton as a fan.
Founder: David Reiss, who built the business after taking over a Bishopsgate menswear store owned by his father
Financials: profits after tax jumped 13% to £12.5 million in the year to January 2016 – the firm’s best ever performance. Sales rose almost 12% to £145m.
Investment: Shareholders, including founder, received a £5.5m dividend for the year. That comes on top of the £100m-plus windfall David Reiss landed in April on selling a majority stake to private equity firm WARBURG PINCUS. The deal, aimed at stepping up expansion in North America, Asia and Australia, valued Reiss at £230 million.
1. ...has emerged from a three-year turnaround with record profits ... three years ago, when it fell into the red after investing heavily in its online operations and international roll-out.
2. Reiss said it would open 26 new international stores and concessions in 2016, along with 6 additional UK branches.
3. It set aside £1.45m to cover the costs of shutting its two stores in Russia ....due to the volatility of the market
Reiss, led by Christos Angelides, rises above the retail gloom | Oliver Shah, The Sunday Times. April 21 2019
4. Soaring sales of dresses and men’s blazers .... is set to report like-for-like sales growth of 13.2% for the year to February, with underlying earnings up by 21.3% to £19.3m. Total sales rose by 8.3% to £186.3m.
5. Chief executive Christos Angelides said he and his team had “recalibrated” the brand by bringing pattern-cutting back in-house and using better-quality fabrics.
6. ....speculation Warburg Pincus could look to sell out.
SUP: The UK tech stars helping you say Sup to your mates | Michael Bow, Evening Standard. 21 June.
Business: smartphone app called Sup which lets you track down friends — or exes — who are nearby so you can arrange to meet up. A rising star on the UK tech scene and is growing users by about 50% every month
ICB Classification: 5377 Specialized Consumer Services
Location: off Finsbury Square, London
Founders: Alex Barton and Rich Pleeth. Barton runs the technical side of things with the rest of the team while Pleeth is the front man, meeting investors, networking.
Financials: “We have no turnover. We have an L, rather than a P&L.”
Investment: its first fundraising generated about £500,000 from backers such as Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed and a fund co-founded by George Osborne’s brother Theo. Pleeth is on the road again, trying to raise a further £700,000 which will value it at about £3 million. Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman has invested this time round.
1. The next stage of development will see the size of the team double and the launch of an Android version of the app.
2. The next stage of growth will be to hook up with corporates. Sup is meeting Heineken, Topshop, Coca-Cola and Smirnoff to see how its tech could be used to promote the brands based on your location.
COMPTOIR GROUP: Lebanese restaurant chain lists on Aim | Lucinda Elliott, FT. June 22
DZ profile: Comptoir Group Plc
Business: Middle Eastern restaurant chain which operates 11 casual-dining restaurants under the Comptoir Libanais brand and generates franchise revenue from operations across the UK. In addition to its main chain, the Comptoir Group owns two smaller Lebanese and Eastern Mediterranean outlets under the Shawa brand, plus two high-end stand alone restaurants Kenza and Levant in central London. Recipe books, traditional crockery and Arabian condiments will soon be available on their branded online Souk, inspired by Middle Eastern marketplaces.
Location: primarily in London
Founder: Algerian-born chef Tony Kitous
Staff: Chaka Hanna, chief executive.
Investment: Shares started trading on Tuesday, raising £16 m through its flotation on AIM giving a market capitalisation of £48m.
1. Last year opened the first Comptoir Libanais outside Greater London in Manchester. Exeter... opening its doors at the £12m revamped food court inside the Guildhall Shopping Centre.
2. Earlier this month Comptoir Libanais was part of a group of more than 150 restaurant chains in London that signed up to Uber’s new rival food delivery service, UberEATS.