Wednesday January 1st 2020
Trussle | Arix Bioscience | Pip & Nut £3.1m | TransferWise 28m | Audiotonix.
News about 5 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace, 29th January – 4th February 2017:
TRUSSLE: Start-up mortgage app climbs funding ladder | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday TimesJanuary 29 2017, 12:01am,
DZ profile: Trussle Lab Ltd
Business: A start-up that claims to be Britain’s first online mortgage broker and notifies users when a cheaper mortgage becomes available
Location: headquarters in Highbury, north London
Founder: Ishaan Malhi, 27,
Investment: Trussle has raised £4.5m to develop its technology and grow its team. …has won the cash from ORANGE GROWTH CAPITAL as well as the ZOOPLA Property Group and Peter Brodnicki, boss of the Mortgage Advice Bureau. Money has also come from existing backer LOCALGLOBE, the venture capital firm run by veteran investor Robin Klein and his son Saul and SEEDCAMP. Malhi is already backed by the likes of Betfair founder Ed Wray and Ian Hogarth, the co-founder of Songkick.
ARIX BIOSCIENCE: Restaurant tycoon Caring in £150m biotech float | Daniel Dunkley and Peter Evans, The Sunday Times.
DZ profile: Arix Bioscience Plc
Business: healthcare company which invests in early-stage technologies, taking stakes in existing businesses or spinning out university research projects into new companies. Among its main investments are ARTIOS PHARMA, a Cambridge-based developer of cancer drugs, and VERONA, an Aim-listed specialist in medicines for respiratory diseases.
Location: London W1
Staff: its board includes Franz Humer, the former Diageo chairman and Roche boss, and Lord Hutton, who served as defence secretary under Gordon Brown.
Investment: backed by high-profile City figures including biotech impresario Sir Chris Evans and restaurant tycoon Richard Caring. Caring, 68, made his first fortune in fashion before moving on to restaurants. Evans founded Enzymatix, one of Britain’s first biotech companies, in the mid-1980s. The company’s biggest investor is the fund manager Neil Woodford. Arix raised £50m a year ago through a financing round led by Woodford. Since leaving the fund manager Invesco in 2014, he has set up his own funds to invest in science and drug discovery companies.
News: Arix Bioscience could announce its intention to list as early as this week, according to industry sources. The investment bank Jefferies has been appointed to run the float, which is aiming to raise £100m, valuing the business at more than £150m.
PIP & NUT: Start spreading the news, my nut butters save forests | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times
DZ profile: Pip & Nut Ltd.
Business: organic nut-based spread. Today her Pip & Nut brand is stocked by 3,000 stores including Sainsbury’s, Holland & Barrett and Selfridges. The brand is aimed at health-conscious consumers willing to pay a premium for her spreads, made in a factory in Holland solely from roasted nuts and a sprinkling of sea salt. The carmel almonds come from California, the peanuts from Argentina and the cashews from Vietnam. A jar of peanut butter costs £2.30 and the coconut almond butter is £4.59. The products have environmental appeal thanks to their lack of palm oil, whose cultivation is responsible for much rainforest loss.
Founder: Pippa Murray, 28,
Financials: posted pre-tax profits of £138,000 on £3.1m sales last year. The business is expected to double its turnover this year. She plans to reinvest profits to fund growth or get a bank loan, keeping outside investors at bay.
Investment: She sought extra capital to support her ambitions, raising £120,000 in nine days on Crowdcube, the equity fundraising website. Murray owns 59.8% of the company and will not be handing over more equity any time soon. “It’s hard to know the real value of your business when you are raising money. If you’re growing relatively quickly, as we are — 400% last year — it’s difficult to maintain your holding.”
1. In 2013, she was given a £10,000 government start-up loan to rent a commercial kitchen in north London. She sold her peanut, almond and cashew butters at weekends at Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey, south London, while she was still working part-time.
2. The Crowdcube cash was used to help her track down a commercial manufacturer that could produce her products in large quantities. It took eight months to find the Dutch factory. Within weeks, the department store Selfridges came calling after a buyer happened across one of her tasting events. That in turn opened doors at outlets such as Ocado and Fortnum & Mason. …has deliberately sought out high-end retailers for her products: “They may not be the biggest volume drivers, but it is really important in terms of building your brand.”
3. All her ingredients are sourced directly from farmers. Nonetheless, the business is complex. The supply chains for the nuts she requires leave her exposed to global commodity markets, and the use of a factory in Holland means much of her costs are in euros.
4. Pip & Nut is already exporting to Ireland; Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the United Arab Emirates are among her next targets.
An early investor in UK fintech unicorn has reduced its stake | Lynsey Barber, City A.M. January 31
Transferwise set for second round of fresh funding as expansion continues | Billy Bambrough, City A.M. January 29
DZ profile: Transferwise Ltd
Business: money transfer startup, one of the UK's most successful fintech firms with a “Unicorn” valuation of more than $1bn. Transferwise has won support by undercutting fees charged by banks. It doesn’t convert users’ money but matches those wanting to buy a currency with those looking to sell.
Location: Shoreditch, London E1
Founders: Taavet Hinrikus, chief executive, and Kristo Käärmann
Financials: Revenue at Transferwise tripled in 2015 to £28m, while pre-tax losses grew from £17m to £11m the previous year. It said it is putting its efforts into growing the business rather than aiming to become profitable at this point in time, as is typical of many startups.
Investment: existing backers include asset management firm BAILLIE GIFFORD and SEEDCAMP, which has also invested in eMoov and BorrowyDoggy, Sir Richard Branson and Peter Thiel’s VALAR VENTURES. ...and Betfair co-founder David Yu. ANDREESSEN HOROWITZ, already an investor and one of the world's most high-profile venture capital firms, increased its stake last year, buying up secondary shares from early investors.
1. Seedcamp last year sold a minority stake in Transferwise, in a private secondary share trading deal. It's the largest secondary exit for Seedcamp to date and it's understood to be returning 80 per cent of its €5.2m (£4.5m) second fund to investors.
2. … is closing in on a new round of funding, just 12 months after a $58m raising led by US venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Transferwise still has around half of the previous rounds’ cash in the bank ….is in talks with big name investors as well as least one sovereign wealth fund
3. The tech firm recently began the first stage of its China expansion, allowing users to send money into the country but not back out. It’s aiming to allow transfers out of the country by the end of 2016.
4. In the last six-months Transferwise has opened services to Mexico, Columbia, and Indonesia.
Can unicorns turn a profit? UK fintech startup Transferwise just proved it's possible | Lynsey Barber, City A.M. May 17.
5. ...has revealed it's been profitable since the start of the year, the first time in its six year history. It has a revenue run rate of £100m, it also said, with more than £1bn transferred on the platform every month by one million customers. The latter number it plans to double by the end of 2017.
Transferwise starts to reap rewards of pared-down model | Angela Jameson, The Evening Standard. May 17.
6. The firm offers customers a way to transfer money overseas at a fraction of normal rates through a peer-to-peer system from which “hidden fees” have been abolished. Its clients transfer more than £1 billion each month. Transferwise says it will make an annual pre-tax loss of £17.4 million for the year ended in March, but says it’s been profitable since the start of 2017.
AUDIOTONIX: Electra sells off music-mixing tech firm for £203 million | Clare Hutchison, The Evening Standard February 3
DZ profile: Audiotonix Limited
Business: audio equipment firm has worked on live events like Adele concerts and the Rio Olympics and has quadrupled earnings in four years.
Launched: Epiris formed Audiotonix after acquiring Allen & Heath for £42 million in 2013 and combining it with Calrec and DiGiCo, which it bought a year later.
Staff: led by 44-year-old chief executive James Gordon
Investment: Owner - European buyout group ASTORG
News: Private-equity house ELECTRA today pocketed £203 million on the sale of Audiotonix. EPIRIS, Electra’s recently renamed investment arm set to split from the firm in June, sold the business to French buyout group Astorg.