COMPANIES: Giraffe to Xupes

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on December 11, 2017, 9:00 am in News, Other


Wednesday January 1st 2020


Restaurant chain - Medical software - Holiday rentals
- VR - Groceries - Software –


Giraffe £51m | Oxehealth | Travelnest | Immotion Group | Simply Fresh | Xero UK £30m | Xupes £4.6m


News about 7 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 3rd – 9th December 2017:



‘Chicken king’ Ranjit Boparan stems slide at restaurant chain giraffe | The Sunday Times. December 3 2017


GIRAFFE: restaurant chain - Birmingham

DZ profile: Giraffe Concepts Limited (Giraffe)
Business: Restaurant chain
Launched: 1997
Location: Birmingham
Founders: Juliette Joffe, Russel Joffe and Andrew Jacobs
Financials: fell to a £5.2m loss in the year to January. The loss-making chain cut the deficit from £8m in the previous 12 months, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Turnover fell to £51m from £56m the year before, the accounts show.
Investment: BOPARAN HOLDINGS bought Giraffe from Tesco last June. Ranjit “Chicken King” Boparan, 51, built up his £544m fortune from poultry company 2 SISTERS Food Group - the largest food company in the UK by turnover, which employs 23,000 people, with annual sales of £3.28 billion and 9th on the 2017 Sunday Times Top Track 100.



OXEHEALTH: Medical software - Oxford
DZ profile: Oxehealth Limited
Business: joint spinout between OXFORD UNIVERSITY and the OXFORD UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS TRUST ….start-up that can monitor patients from across a room - uses digital It has already held trials at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital and is monitoring patients in dementia wards at Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.
video cameras to monitor human activity and vital signs. It can also detect skin colour changes and read heartbeats.
Launched: 2012
Location: Oxford
Founder: Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Founder of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME), University of Oxford
Staff: headed by chief executive Hugh Lloyd-Jukes
Investment: has raised £3m from investors, including the Neil Woodford-backed IP GROUP. …will use the cash to roll out the technology in hundreds of hospital rooms across Britain.



TRAVELNEST: holiday rentals platform - Edinburgh
TravelNest founder Doug Stephenson, 23, raises £3m funding | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. December 3 2017,
DZ profile: Travelnest Limited
Business: website that helps holiday home owners maximise their rents on sites such as Airbnb. There are now 2,000 properties listed on the platform, just 18 months after launch
Launched: 2014
Location: Edinburgh
Founder: Doug Stephenson, 23, who dropped out of a surveying degree after nine months, developed TravelNest to help his parents let their portfolio of 40 houses.
Staff: 20
Investment: has landed £3m of seed funding. The funding round was led by the Scottish private equity group PENTECH. It included MANGROVE CAPITAL PARTNERS, an early backer of Skype, and FRONTLINE VENTURES. Stephenson will use the money to add to the company’s 20 staff.



Tech start-up Immotion Group raises £1.3m to expand its virtual reality experiences | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. December 3 2017.
DZ profile: Immotion Group Limited
Business: virtual reality platform. Immotion’s platforms combine movement, sound and graphics. They cost between £5,000 and £100,000, with customers expected to be theme parks, shopping malls and zoos. One of the first products to be developed is an immersive dinosaur experience. Immotion will take 10% of the fee paid for each ride.
….plans to roll out its across Europe and America
Location: Manchester
Founder: co-founded by Martin Higginson, veteran of the first dotcom boom - former Monstermob and NetPlay TV boss. Higginson set up Monstermob in 2000, initially as a seller of mobile phone ringtones. He was one of the first tech entrepreneurs to exploit the potential in using mobile phones for more than just making calls and sending texts. He said VR would be even bigger.
Investment: has raised £1.3m … will use the cash to roll out its VR platforms in Europe and America …to bring virtual reality (VR) experiences to zoos, museums and theme parks. The funding round was made up of a number of wealthy individuals, including Higginson.
News: While VR has existed for decades, it ….has yet to be widely adopted. The tide appears to be turning, though. About $4bn (£3bn) has been invested in the technology in the past two years, according to Higginson.


SIMPLY FRESH: Groceries - Birmingham
Simply Fresh, run by brothers Sukhjit and Kash Khera, opens 50 new stores in tie-up with Compass | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. December 3 2017
DZ profile: Simply Fresh & Simply Local Ltd (SimplyFresh)
Business: fast-growing convenience store group ….with the first store opening in Kenilworth, near Warwick …currently consists of 25 upmarket stores focused on fresh, healthy and artisan foods.
Launched: 2009
Location: Birmingham
Founders: brothers Sukhjit and Kash Khera, 43,
Investment: In 2014, rival group COSTCUTTER took a 20% stake in Simply Fresh, adding it to a stable that also includes Kwiksave and Mace.
1. is opening 50 new shops in universities and hospitals as part of a tie-up with catering giant COMPASS. …opened its first new store on the campus at Surrey University. Along with the universities, Simply Fresh will be targeting colleges, where it plans to trial a new concept — Little Fresh.
2. Now Simply Fresh is teaming up with Compass’s education business, CHARTWELLS, to open shops in universities.
The first has already opened on the campus at SURREY UNIVERSITY, and the company will also expand into hospitals where the catering is operated by Compass. The hospital sites — set to open in the next 12 months — will be tailored to include more snacks, said Khera.
3. Khera said that a further 25 traditional shops — using the same franchise model — are in the pipeline and set to open in the first three months of next year.


XERO UK: Software - London
From Xero to Hero: Gary Turner has his head in the cloud | Elliott Haworth, City A.M December, 4, 2017
DZ profile: Xero Limited
Business: Accounts software. Has trumped Sage for the top spot in its field, and surpassed 250,000 UK small business subscribers. Xero listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) with no customers two weeks before the financial crisis, but suffered little. A few years later, the firm is dominating, due largely to being years ahead of the curve with a cloud solution.
Launched: 2009
Location: New Zealand, United States, Australia, UK (Milton Keynes, London), Singapore
Founder: founded in New Zealand by a Rod Drury. Gary Turner, co-founder and managing director. Turner is a 20-year software veteran who had his head in the cloud while the rest of us were getting over floppy disks. Sat at his desk at Microsoft early in 2009, the self-described “lapsed Glaswegian” received a LinkedIn message: ‘we want someone who can get the business going in the UK’. I didn’t read the rest of it. I quit my job at Microsoft and booked a ticket to New Zealand. I’d never done a startup – I’d just turned 40 and I thought if I’m going to do it, I’m going to have to do it now, so off I went.”
Financials: Starting with just £50,000 in 2009, today Xero UK turns over some £30m
Investment: listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in June 2007 and the Australian Securities Exchange in November 2012. “Xero has raised more than NZ$470 million in funding. This includes $2m pre-IPO; $15m at its IPO; and subsequent placements involving MYOB co-founder Craig Winkler, Paypal founder and first Facebook external investor Peter Thiel (through the investment vehicle VALAR VENTURES), MATRIX CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, and ACCEL PARTNERS.”
1. Today, Turner is confident that his firm’s platform can go some way to addressing the UK’s flagging productivity by helping the little guys – the UK’s SME sector. “SMEs …. The survival rate – if you look at the Office for National Statistics – out of 100 business startups today, only 40 of them will still be here in five years. ….and we look at the longevity of businesses using Xero, and 88 per cent are still here five years later….”
2. Xero is facing a shareholder revolt over plans to delist from the NZX, remaining only on the Australian Stock Exchange. The move will give it “access to a broader range of investors”. When I caught up with Turner two weeks ago, I asked whether, given the firm’s success, it would consider listing in London or New York? “It could happen, it could ... the next logical question would be: would we ever consider listing on the London Stock Exchange or Nasdaq? And I think both are certainly considerations, but not in the immediate term. We’re building a significant business here. Personally, I would love that we do that one day. But we’ll have to wait and see. Who knows.”


XUPES: Jewellery - Hertfordshire.
Got a used watch? We have ways of making it tock, says Xupes boss | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. December 3 2017.
DZ profile: Xupes Ltd
Business: seller of pre-owned high-end watches, jewellery and handbags. His customers have included professional footballers from Arsenal, Liverpool and Bournemouth, as well as bankers, lawyers and watch collectors.
Launched: 2009
Location: Xupes’s shop is housed in a 17th-century tithe barn on a farmstead-turned-business park in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
Founder: Joseph McKenzie, 30, with his accountant father, Frank. Joseph was a photography student struggling to make ends meet when he began buying, restoring and selling watches online. While he was a student at London College of Communication, McKenzie would pay up to £200 for a watch and £200 for it to be restored and repaired by a watchmaker in Hatton Garden, the capital’s jewellery quarter. McKenzie listed them on eBay and sold them for £1,000. After graduating McKenzie turned his student job into a full-time business
Staff: 34 staff including four watchmakers and a polisher. Xupes’s watchmakers are accredited by the Omega and Cartier brands, and McKenzie employs in-house authentication experts.
Financials: Last year, Xupes made a pre-tax profit of £117,000 on sales of £4.6m.
Investment: McKenzie £50,000 he had made selling timepieces on eBay during his university years, with a further £100,000 coming from his parents. Earlier this year, Xupes received a £3m cash injection from DOWNING, a venture capital firm. McKenzie and his father continue to own the majority of shares.
1. McKenzie’s biggest sale to date is a platinum Richard Mille watch, one of just eight to have been made, which he sold for £230,000 to a Chilean billionaire.
2. They plan to open shops in west London and other big European cities next year, as well as starting to sell interior design pieces.