Wednesday January 1st 2020
Biscuiteers £3.7m | Verditek | Utiligroup £12.5m | Suma £50m
News about 4 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 16th – 22nd April 2017:
BISCUITEERS: The start-up that takes the biscuit | Laura Onita, The Sunday Times. April 16.
DZ profile: Biscuiteer Baking Company Ltd
Business: makes bespoke biscuits for the likes of Dior, Cartier and Facebook, as well as her own seasonal ranges, and sells to nearly 100 countries. A tin of 10-12 costs about £40. She has licences to make Peter Rabbit and Batman biscuits. Stockists include John Lewis and Harrods. Five years ago Hastings opened the Biscuiteers Boutique & Icing Café in Notting Hill, west London, followed by a second shop in Clapham, southwest London, in 2014.
Founder: Harriet Hastings, 52, set up the company a decade ago with £25,000 of savings after a career in marketing.
Staff: just over 100 employees
Financials: made pre-tax profits of £250,000 on sales of £3.7m last year. Revenues are expected to hit £4.7m next year.
Investment: Last year she raised £1.2m in return for 20% equity on the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. It will finance overseas expansion. She and her husband are majority shareholders.
News: … is thinking of franchising the brand.
VERDITEK: Clean technology firm is set to float on London's Alternative Investment Market (Aim) | Courtney Goldsmith, City A.M. April 18
DZ profile: Verditek Plc
Business: Clean technology firm focused on what it calls "emergent and fast-growing clean technology", including next-generation solar panels, liquid gas absorption and emission control and filtration for water and air
Location: London W1
Staff: Theodore Chapman, chief executive. Verditek's team of industry veterans include chairman Geoff Nesbitt, who is currently the chief technology officer of Petrofac, the FTSE 250 service provider to the oil and gas industry, and non-executive director Jose Luis del Valle Doblado, who was the former global chief financial officer of Santander and chief executive of Scottish Power.
News: has announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (Aim), raise £3.5m to accelerate growth, scale the business and bring its proprietary products to market. Dealings are expected to start on Aim in May 2017 with new shares priced at 10p per share.
UTILIGROUP: Accel-KKR bets on UK energy market with £100m deal | Nathalie Thomas, FT. April 18
DZ profile: Utiligroup Limited
Business: utility software provider. It provides software that helps new utility companies take on the large established suppliers such as British Gas, SSE, ScottishPower, EDF Energy, Eon and Npower. It has also developed software to help with the rollout of smart meters — devices the government wants to be fitted in every home in Britain by 2020 to help consumers keep better track of how much energy they are consuming.
Location: Chorley in the north-west of England
Staff: Matthew Hirst, chief executive
Financials: generated turnover of £12.5m in the year to March 31 2016, up from £7m in the 11 months ending March 31 2015. It made a pre-tax profit of more than £286,000 during the latest period compared with a loss of more than £520,000 previously.
Investment: has been owned since 2014 by private equity group NORTHEDGE CAPITAL. The technology-focused ACCEL-KKR, US private equity firm, through its services company ESG, has acquired Utiligroup for about £100m.
News: Accel-KKR is betting on a further shake-up of the UK energy sector with the acquisition of a British software group that helps new utility companies break into the market. It comes at a delicate time in the UK energy sector, with expectations that the government will soon intervene in the market to help households on expensive so-called “standard variable” tariffs.
SUMA: Workers’ co-operative unites world’s vegetarians | Jennifer Thompson, FT. April 21
DZ profile: Triangle Wholefoods Collective Limited t/a Suma
Business: food wholesaler that has found far-flung markets for organic and ethical products. The business is a workers’ co-operative, which is owned and run by its members, who are all paid the same. There are no managers. The products it sells, which are always vegetarian, organic and ethically produced, include items such as Green & Black’s chocolate, Duchy Originals biscuits, Yeo Valley yoghurt and Ecover cleaning products, and are now available in 40 countries, including as far away as Asia. Suma also sells own brand goods, from baked beans and cereals to beer and soap.
Location: Elland, in West Yorkshire
Founder: Reg Tayler
Staff: Stephen Newton
Financials: Overall sales are expected to top £50m in the year to September.
1. …has been awarded a Queen’s Award for international trade.
2. It started out in 1975 as a supplier of wholefoods such as cereals, dried fruit and rice. The move into exporting began two decades ago in response to demand from British expatriates who were living in countries such as France, Spain or Cyprus and missed the vegetarian or vegan foods they were used to at home. In addition, Britain’s very high standard of food regulation means that consumers trust it for quality and authenticity, which helps when it comes to exporting.
3. Exports, which account for about 13 per cent of revenue, are now the fastest growing part of the business.
4. With all workers earning a little less than £16 per hour, the only variation in salary is down to the hours that an employee chooses to work. They are also encouraged to perform more than one role.