COMPANIES: Agriprotein to Push Doctor

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on June 11, 2018, 9:00 am in News, Other

IMAGE: Photo by from Pexels



eco animal feed - thai + caribbean restaurants - bag maker - surgery robotics

- law firm - retail services - software -

digital healthcare - beer


London :: Bristol :: Cambridge :: Staffordshire :: Kent :: Reading :: Manchester


Agriprotein | Rosa’s Thai Cafe £8.2m | Turtle Bay £63.7m | The Cambridge Satchel Company | CMR Surgical | Knights £35m | Asset Solutions Group £35m | Livingstone Holding £10.5m | Push Doctor | Truman’s Brewery £5m


News about 10 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 3rd – 9th June 2018:



AGRIPROTEIN: eco animal feed - London

Fly farmer AgriProtein’s £80m to spread wings | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. June 3 2018

DZ profile: Agriprotein Holdings Uk Limited

Business: British insect farmer that makes environment-friendly animal feed - breeds fly larvae and converts them into a high-protein diet for fish, poultry and pigs, as well as family pets. The company has two farms in South Africa. The factories in Cape Town and Durban each take in 250 tons of food waste a day from restaurants, hotels and abattoirs, providing a rich source of food for the flies. They create about 50 tons of larvae and 100 tons of compost a day. It has more than 8.4bn black soldier flies, more than one for every person on the planet, in each of its 120,000-sq-ft factories. Received two grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to aid early research.

Launched: 2008

Location: London

Founders: brothers Jason, 52 and David Drew.

Staff: 135 staff in its London headquarters and in South Africa, Holland, Saudi Arabia and America

Investment: $105m (£80m) to fuel international expansion …understood to have come from a listed foreign company …gives AgriProtein a valuation in excess of $220m. It had previously raised $18m at the end of 2016.


1. ….will use the cash to expand into the Middle East and Asia. It is also planning to open insect farms in Britain.

2. Jason Drew, who describes himself as an environmental capitalist, set up the company after seeing the “disastrous effects” of producing traditional foodstuffs for farm animals. Animal feed is typically made from fishmeal or soya beans. Increasing demand for the latter is contributing to deforestation in Latin America. It can take as much as 8kg of fishmeal to produce 1kg of farmed fish, Drew said. AgriProtein aims to “close the loop in agriculture and create a circular economy”, he added. “There is no such thing as waste, just stuff in the wrong place. We are just industrialising a process from Mother Nature.”



ROSA’S THAI CAFE: Thai restaurants - London

Rosa’s Thai Cafe chain on the menu | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. June 3 2018

DZ profile: Rosa's London Limited (Rosa’s Thai Cafe)

Business: 13-strong restaurant chain in the capital. Saiphin secured a recipe book deal with Octopus Publishing.

Launched: 2011

Location: opened their first restaurant in east London

Founders: husband-and-wife team Saiphin, 51 and Alex, 49, Moore who met in Hong Kong 17 years ago

Financials: last year the company reported sales of £8.2m and core earnings of £1.4m

Investment: New York-based private equity firm TRISPAN, which counts the former Yo Sushi! boss Robin Rowland as a partner, is expected to take a majority stake this week, as the chain looks to expand outside London.



TURTLE BAY: Caribbean restaurants - Bristol

Master of rum, reggae and curry goat | The Sunday Times, Liam Kelly. June 3 2018.

DZ profile: Turtle Bay Restaurants Limited

Business: beach-shack inspired chain of 45 Turtle Bay Caribbean cocktail bars and restaurants offering staples such as jerk chicken, curry goat and rum cocktails.

Launched: 2010.

Location: Bristol. First Turtle Bay, in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Founder: Ajith Jayawickrema. Set up first Las Iguanas restaurant in Bristol with friend Eren Ali in 1991. He left in 2009 and sold his stake in 2015 to Café Rouge owner Casual Dining Group in a deal that valued Las Iguanas at £85m.

Staff: 1,500

Financials: posted sales of £63.7m and pre-tax profits of £8.2m in the year to February 2017

Investment: Jayawickrema took a £6m investment from the private equity house PIPER in 2013 to accelerate growth, and remains Turtle Bay’s biggest shareholder.

News: won place on The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 list of private companies with fastest-growing profits.




‘Ignorance is sometimes bliss’ in start-up world | Jonathan Moules, FT. June 4, 2018

DZ profile: The Cambridge Satchel Company Limited

Business: upmarket bag-maker

Launched: 2008

Location: Cambridge

Founder: Julie Deane previously worked as an accountant and as the development officer for Gonville and Caius, the Cambridge university college where she had studied natural sciences as an undergraduate.

Investment: backed in 2014 with $21m from INDEX VENTURES



CMR SURGICAL: surgery robotics – Cambridge

CMR Surgical nets $100m investment to fund Europe and US growth | Sarah Neville, FT. June 4, 2018

DZ profile: CMR Surgical Limited

Business: Developer of robotics for ‘keyhole’ surgery. CMR’s robotic system, Versius, was inspired by the human arm. Surgical hand grips enable surgeons to control the device, which features robotic “arms” that hold instruments capable of entering the body through very small incisions, allowing surgeons to carry out different surgeries, including upper gastrointestinal, gynaecological, colorectal and renal procedures.

Launched: 2014

Location: Cambridge

Founders: Luke Hares, Keith Marshall, Paul Roberts, Mark Slack and Martin Frost (chief executive).

Staff: 170. Has more than doubled in size in the past year. While it is not a Cambridge university spinout, CMR employs many Cambridge graduates.

Investment: has secured more than $100m of investment in series B round …the largest fundraising to take place in the medical devices sector in Europe. PERELLA WEINBERG PARTNERS advised CMR on the deal. It had previously raised $46m in a “series A” financing. Investors in the latest round included ZHEJIANG SILK ROAD FUND and existing investors ESCALA CAPITAL INVESTMENTS, LGT, CAMBRIDGE INNOVATION CAPITAL and WATRIUM.


1. …will use part of the proceeds of its financing, to complete studies needed to obtain regulatory approval in Europe and the US as it prepares to roll out its technology internationally.

2.  About 4,000 robotic instruments are in use worldwide to perform laparoscopic — or minimally invasive — surgery. Patients treated through “keyhole” surgery generally have a faster recovery time and run a smaller risk of post-operative infection. This in turn can save considerable amount of money for hospitals. 

Robotics pioneer CMR Surgical scrubs up for market | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. February 10 2019
3. Ingeborg Oie has joined from SMITH & NEPHEW, where she was finance director for its Canadian division. She is also a non-executive director of listed GEORGIA HEALTHCARE.
4. About 800,000 operations worldwide are performed robotically each year around the world, but the existing machines are cumbersome. With smaller robotics, CMR predicts the number of operations could rise to between 4m and 5m annually.



KNIGHTS: law firm - Staffordshire

Knights joins UK law firms heading to the stock market | Barney Thompson, FT. June 4, 2018 

Law firm Knights’ float to break £100m record | Russell Lynch, The Evening Standard. 4 June, 2018.

DZ profile: Knights Professional Services Limited (Knights)

Business: Regional law group has around 7500 clients including big corporate names such as Aldi, Paddy Power and Rolls-Royce.

Launched: traces its roots back to 1759

Location: Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Staffordshire

Staff: David Beech, chief executive, who owns 65% of the company along with other managers.

Financials: with revenues of £35m in the year to April 2018

Investment: announced its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange, in an IPO expected to value the business at £100m. Knights said it intended to use the money raised in the IPO to expand and fund acquisitions.


1.  ….fifth UK law firm is to float on the London Stock Exchange as signs grow that momentum for IPOs is building … … pressure for firms to get bigger …traditional model of slow-moving and risk-averse partnerships becoming an inefficient way to run a legal business. Mid-sized law firms are in an increasingly competitive business, with corporate clients demanding better value for money while the “big four” accountancy firms are seeking to increase their share of the legal market. Greater use of technology, from AI to contract automation software, has also put pressure on fees.

2. The announcement comes only weeks after ROSENBLATT SOLICITORS announced its own flotation, which raised £43m. These followed two more IPOs last year: KEYSTONE in November and GORDON DADDS last July. The first UK law firm to float was GATELEY, in June 2015. Gateley’s market cap has almost doubled since, from £100m to about £190m.



ASSET SOLUTIONS GROUP: retail services - Kent

Supply chain business serving Sainsbury's nabs £13m investment from LDC in management buyout | Lucy White, City A.M. 4 June 2018

DZ profile: Asset Solutions Group Ltd (Retail & Asset Solutions)

Business: helps names such as SAINSBURY’S, TESCO, JACK WILLS and CLOSE BROTHERS manage their supply chains and audit their assets. ASG was formerly part of OCS Group, the venue management company which has contracts with entities ranging from the Ministry of Justice to the Kia Oval cricket ground. Formerly trading as OCS Asset Solutions, ASG also provides vehicle auditing and uses GPS monitoring and near-field communications technology for dealer self-audit services.

Launched: 2018

Location: Orpington, Kent

Staff: chief executive Lois Heywood. Greg Ball, who formerly held board positions with Littlewoods and Home Retail Group, has also been brought in as non-executive chairman.

Financials: sales of £35m for 2017 and expects it to achieve growth of around 15 per cent in 2018

Investment:  £13m investment - LDC, the private equity division of Lloyds Bank, has taken a majority stake while the six-strong management team has co-invested for a “significant” stake.



LIVINGSTONE HOLDINGS: software - Reading

This software business which actually manages other businesses' software usage has just been bought by Carlyle for £50m | Lucy White, City A.M. 4 June 2018

DZ profile: Livingstone Technologies Limited

Business: software company whose customers include BT, ARGOS and UBS, focuses on managing how businesses purchase and use software. It covers all major vendors of software and works with companies to find whether they are over- or under-licensed for the products they are using. The aim is to help businesses get as much as possible from the software they’re paying for.

Launched: 2010

Location: Reading

Founder: chief executive Tim Green

Financials: 2017 profit before tax of £3.4m – more than double the £1.4m in the year before. Annual turnover around £10.5m.

Investment: Private equity giant CARLYLE today buys Livingstone Holdings, in a deal worth around £50m.



PUSH DOCTOR: digital healthcare - Manchester

How the founder of Push Doctor hopes to take the stress away from the NHS | Katherine Denham, City A.M. 4 June 2018

DZ profile: Push Dr Limited (Push Doctor)

Business: digital healthcare company that can book you an appointment with a GP in under six minutes. After registering, users simply select an appointment or choose the on-demand option, which connects them to a doctor via a video link. …you can have as much time with the GP as you want (at the cost of £20 for 10 minutes, or a monthly subscription of £20 a month for unlimited access). And it doesn’t matter what country you’re in – it’s about working around the patient, rather than the other way around. The company has about 8,000 GPs on board – all of whom are on the NHS’ performers list, and have to go through a stringent screening process, which includes a series of tests. Essentially, the platform finds extra hours for doctors work, fitting appointments in around their day. Think of it as Uber for GPs.

Launched: 2013

Location: Manchester

Founders: Eren Ozagir and Matt Elcock

Staff: chairwoman Susanne Given, former managing director of TK Maxx UK & Ireland

Investment: has raised more than $37.5m since it was founded. The July 2017 Series B round raised $26.1m (€23m) in funding. Investors include: DRAPER ESPRIT, ACCELERATED DIGITAL VENTURE (ADV), OXFORD CAPITAL PARTNERS, PARTECH VENTURES and SEVENTURE PARTNERS.

Did he jump? Push Doctor founder Eren Ozagir leaves online GP app | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. 19 August 2018

1. Eren Ozagir, 39, is understood to have stepped down due to a difference of opinion with the board over the direction of the company. His recruitment drive also seems to have hit the buffers. Staff were told on Friday that the board was considering plans to cut up to 40 jobs. He has been replaced on an interim basis by Wais Shaifta, formerly of JUST EAT and TREATWELL 

2.  After establishing the company, he sought to bolster its leadership team with health experts through the formation of an advisory board led by Ed Smith, the former chairman of NHS Improvement, the oversight body for foundation trusts.
3. ... said its appointments rose by 230% from the first quarter of 2017 to the same period this year. It has always been guarded on patient numbers, although it claims thousands of appointment hours have been booked and fulfilled. It reported a financial deficit of £8.3m in 2017 against £2.5m in 2016.



TRUMAN’S BREWERY: beer - London

Manufacturers squeezed out of London by rush to build homes | Michael Pooler, FT. June 8, 2018

DZ profile: Black Eagle Brewery Ltd (Truman's)

Business: The historic beer brand folded in 1989, but since a pair of ale enthusiasts revived the business eight years ago, it has become one of London’s small business success stories.

Launched: 2009

Location: London E3

Founders: James Morgan, Managing Director and Michael-George Hemus.

Staff: 50

Financials: annual turnover of £5m.