Wednesday January 1st 2020
Streetbees | ROC Technologies £15.8m | Fanbytes £1m | Strutt & Parker £108m | Panmure Gordon
News about 5 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 12th – 18th March 2017:
STREETBEES: App creates a buzz | Kiki Loizou, The Sunday Times. March 12
DZ profile: Streetbees.com Limited
Business: It enlists consumers, or “bees”, around the world to send in pictures and videos of them doing everyday tasks, such as eating breakfast or washing up. The insights are sold to companies including UNILEVER, PEPSI, DYSON and VODAFONE o help with market research. Bees are paid for their troubles. Pays people in 87 countries to upload pictures and videos of branded products as they are displayed in shops, while adding their opinions and preferences. Already has about 1m active “bees”, who can earn up to £15 per upload depending on the quality of data provided. “The data comes from real people capturing real moments,” said founder. “We’ve stopped research being restricted to professional survey takers.” She added: “It’s not just for companies to understand consumers. We might ask about haircare or other products, but in the same day we might also ask for thoughts on the Trump administration.”
Founder: Tugce Bulut, 35
Investment: has raised more than £4m to develop technology from BGF VENTURES, the Business Growth Fund’s cash pot for technology companies. Funds have also come from Zoopla investor OCTOPUS VENTURES and LOCALGLOBE.
UPDATE / NEWS:
Whatever Brexit brings, we’ll always have Lisbon, says Streetbees boss | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. May 20 2018.
1. Raised $12m (£8.9m) of investment in March from investors including ATOMICO, the fund run by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, and OCTOPUS VENTURES, the investor behind Eve Sleep mattresses.
2. Now has 87 staff who come from 19 countries and speak a total of 26 languages.
3. Brexit. As staff from the Continent had started to worry about their future in Britain, Bulut decided to open an office in Portugal.
ROC TECHNOLOGIES: we lost our jobs, savings — and our HQ burnt down | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times
DZ profile: Roc Technologies Limited
Business: helps organisations such as CENTRICA, BAE SYSTEMS and the MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (largest customer) to implement IT projects.
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Founders: Mike Hockey, 45, Matt Franklin and Sam Simpson in 1999 to set up a “cloud” technology company, which he later merged into Franklin’s company, Prime Business Solutions. He and Franklin, who met in their teens “drinking at the pub”, grew Prime into a company with a £35m turnover. In 2004, they sold it to 2e2 and stayed on as directors.
Financials: posted pre-tax profits of £1.8m on sales of £15.8m last year, a growth rate of more than 200% over three years. Expects to hit revenues of £23m this year.
Investment: They own 21.6% each and the rest is held by staff. Outside investment is not anticipated.
1. When 2e2, the IT business they worked for, collapsed the trio targeted 2e2 ’s disgruntled customers. Within two months, Roc Technologies, had 13 clients and turnover approaching £500,000.
2. The expansion earned Roc second place on the latest Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 list of Britain’s fastest-growing private technology companies.
3. The founders, who already do business in Switzerland, Dubai, America and Canada, plan to expand overseas.
FANBYTES: Snapchat ad firm on connecting with Generation Z | Michael Bow, The Evening Standard. March 13
DZ profile: Bandzie Ltd
Business: ad firm which manufactures and distributes advertising content for brands through Snapchat. It has done work for GOPRO, NEW LOOK, DISNEY, ADIDAS and NATIONWIDE, helping them understand the whims and wants of the new tribe of young people dubbed Generation Z. Armoo says Snapchat’s secret ingredient, which it has over other social networks, is its immersiveness, and that changes the way you need to advertise on it.
The company has a roster of freelance designers, who create short video clips and content for brands. Fanbytes pairs this content with a handpicked network of “influencers”, who push out the ads to their loyal fans. Brands can see how well the ads do thanks to the group’s analytics programs.
Founder: Timothy Armoo, 22, Ambrose Cooke and chief technology officer Mitchell Fasanya, 20. Fanbytes is, unbelievably, Armoo’s third company. He used his experience teaching maths to set up a tutoring firm — within a few months he had 65 tutors on his books. He took a £5 cut of the £15 hourly tutoring fee charged to students. Next up was a media and publishing company aimed at entrepreneurs. He sold that for about £55,000 and used the cash to launch Fanbytes.
Financials: Turnover £1m (2017 forecast)
Investment: Investors include lastminute.com founder Brent Hoberman — the company is based in his start-up incubator FOUNDERS FACTORY in Kensington High Street — and Charles Tyrwhitt founder Nicholas Wheeler.
STRUTT & PARKER: BNP Paribas in talks to buy UK estate agent | Martin Arnold in London and Judith Evans, FT. March 16.
DZ profile: Strutt & Parker Llp
Business: UK estate agents. Strutt & Parker’s residential property arm specialises in high-end homes and this contributed to a 35 per cent fall in pre-tax profits in its last annual results. Prices for prime London homes fell 5.8 per cent last year, and in the most expensive areas they are down 12.5 per cent from their 2014 peak
Location: has 60 offices across England and Scotland.
Staff: more than 1,000
Financials: made £18.2m of pre-tax profit on £108m of revenue in the year to April 2016
Investment: is owned by its 53 equity partners, who received a total of £16.2m in payouts from the company last year.
1. France’s biggest bank, BNP Paribas, is in talks to acquire Strutt & Parker. BNP Paribas Real Estate is one of the biggest property services companies in Europe, generating more than €700m of revenues last year from consulting, managing and investing in commercial and residential property. Other potential suitors include CBRE and Bidwells, according to a recent report by Estates Gazette.
2. Strutt & Parker has been rumoured to be up for sale for some time as it struggles with a sharp slowdown in prime London house prices. The estate agency has been considering its options, advised by Evercore, since last year.
PANMURE GORDON: eyes glory after Bob Diamond's Atlas swoops | Michael Bow, The Evening Standard. March 17
DZ profile: Panmure Gordon & Co. Plc
Staff: chief executive Patric Johnson
Financials: swung to a £16.7 million statutory loss in 2015 although it expects to make a small profit this year thanks to a busier period for M&A and stock-market listings.
Investment: It floated on the junior stock market 12 years ago after being sold by LAZARD
1. Panmure on Friday accepted a £15 million-plus takeover - an all-cash offer of 100p per share - from the former Barclays chief Bob Diamond’s private-equity house ATLAS MERCHANT and 43% shareholder QINVEST, a Qatari investment bank, to take the company private. Top shareholders, including CHURCH HOUSE INVESTMENTS and EFS HERMES, have backed the offer, which can also be taken up in new Panmure shares.
2. Atlas Merchant owns three other financial services companies: Greek specialist bank CREDICOM, Bermudian reinsurer SOMERSET INSURANCE and US broker-dealer SOUTH STREET SECURITIES.