Thursday February 14th 2019
News about 7 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 2nd - 8th September 2018:
carpets - aerospace engineer - video-games retailer
- farm produce - smoothies - B2B marketplace –
Kent :: Essex :: London x 3 :: Yorkshire :: Exeter
Tapi £30.3m | Smith's (Harlow) £7m | Green Man Gaming £47m | Farmer Copleys £3.2m | Pack'd £1.3m | Maistro £0.6m | Brady £22.9m
TAPI: carpets - Kent
Rug tycoon in deal with Next | The Sunday Times. September 2, 2018
DZ profile: Tapi Carpets & Floors Limited
Business: carpet retailer
Location: Orpington, Kent
Founder: Martin Harris, CEO, and father Carpetright founder Lord Harris. Both resigned from Carpetright in 2014 after falling out with the board.
Financials: made a pre-tax loss of £10.2m on sales of £30.3m in 2016.
Investment: backers including Chicago investor David Herro and DFS founder Lord Kirkham.
News: has struck an agreement to sell through NEXT’s shops and website as it continues to battle rival CARPETRIGHT. ….is set to test mini-concessions in three Next stores by the end of the year — in Braehead near Glasgow, Norwich and Shoreham near Brighton. If the trials are successful, Tapi’s carpets could be sold in up to 100
SMITH'S (HARLOW): aerospace engineer - Essex
China snaps up Essex engineer | The Sunday Times. September 2, 2018
DZ profile: Smith's (harlow) Limited
Business: precision engineer that makes parts for Bombardier and Rolls-Royce: turbine cases and engine rings for aircraft including the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
Location: Harlow, Essex
Financials: pre-tax profit of £41,000 on sales of £7m last year
Investment: Chairman Paul Herbert led a management buy-in with private equity firm AGATHOS in 2015, when the business was close to collapse. Chinese manufacturer FUTURE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY will pay more than £8m to buy the company.
GREEN MAN GAMING: video-games retailer - London
Tech angels win with £100m float of Green Man Gaming | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. September 2, 2018
DZ profile: Green Man Gaming Limited
Business: online video-games retailer which lets players buy digital copies of games and trade them back later. The site offers about 7,000 games on consoles and PCs in 195 countries.
Founder: former army officer Paul Sulyok, 51 chief executive who controls about 20% of Green Man Gaming
Financials: made a a pre-tax loss of £931,000 on sales of £47m last year
Investment: plans to list on London's AIM market on September 28 in a £100m float and crystallise a £20m fortune for its founder. Backers including Zoopla boss Alex Chesterman, Moshi Monsters co-creator Michael Acton Smith, lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman and the venture capital firms ATOMICO and EDEN VENTURES.
News: Sulyok said the cash injection from the listing would enable Green Man to expand in China and the Middle East, and develop its fledgling games publishing arm
FARMER COPLEYS: farm produce - Yorkshire
Fortnums of farm shops was our dream | Emma Broomfield, The Sunday Times. September 2, 2018
DZ profile: Farmer Copleys Farm Shop Limited
Business: 140-year-old dairy farm which converted three old stables into Farmer Copleys farm shop “the Fortnum & Mason of farm shops” in, near Pontefract, in 2003. Their mission was to sell locally sourced meat and produce as well as fruit and vegetables grown by the family on the 60-acre farm. A 157-seat cafe and function rooms have been added. Pick-your-own, a corn maze and a petting farm keep visitors returning.
Location: Purston, West Yorkshire
Founders: Heather, 45 and Robert Copley, 47,
Financials: grant of £137,000 from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, which they combined with savings and a bank loan. By the end of the first year, Farmer Copleys had made sales of £347,000. Last year the business reported a 40% rise in sales to £3.2m, with profits of £170,000. Sales are forecast to hit £4.5m by 2021.
Investment: The Copleys own 100% of the business
PACK'D: smoothies - London
Pack’d is the smoothie start-up clashing with Tesco | Lucy Tobin, The Evening Standard. 3 September 2018
DZ profile: Pack'd Ltd
Business: selling DIY bags of flash-frozen fruit and vegetables with sachets of ‘superfoods’ to make at-home Stockists include SAINSBURY’S, CO-OP and TESCO. …have sold over two million smoothie kits and have 1500 listings across the country,” says Stewart. “The new capital will enable us to roll out our new product plans — like frozen chopped avocado for, and natural supplements — plus secure new stockists.”
Founders: Luke Johnstone and Alex Stewart, both 29, sought advice from THE PRINCE’S TRUST — Johnstone is now a young ambasador for the charity — and secured a £25,000 loan from VIRGIN START-UP
Financials: revenues to £1.3m last year
Investment: £150,000 in angel investment — backers include David Krantz, founder of clothing brand RACING GREEN, and Robert Porter-Smith, founder of the maker of Nak’d and TREK nutrition bars. The company has now also completed a £540,000 crowdfunding on CROWDCUBE.
News: issue with Tesco selling an almost identical-looking version of Pack’d smoothie kits. PACK’D Energy Smoothie is sold next to Tesco’s Energy Boost Smoothie: nine out of 10 identical ingredients, with the Tesco version being much cheaper
Small UK software providers see light in AI | Aliya Ram, FT. September 7, 2018
MAISTRO: B2B marketplace - Exeter
DZ profile: Maistro Plc
Business: online B2B marketplace. Buyer organisations submit project briefs to the Marketplace. Service providers (i.e. of marketing, legal, consulting and design services) are vetted before being given access to project briefs. Service providers do not know who the client is and respond with a proposal summarising how they can best meet the project requirements. After the pitch deadline, the Maistro team reviews the pitches using AI software and presents the top three providers to the client. The client then selects the winning candidate and the project begins. Maistro manages the client/provider relationship for the duration of the project; all communications and invoicing is completed through Maistro's cloud-based workspace. Maistro’s revenues are based on the value of projects submitted, rather than the 20 per cent share it receives.
Location: Exeter, Devon and Dallas, Texas, USA
Founder: ex-CEO Philip Letts (formerly CEO of Beenz.com)
Staff: 24. In July 2017, the company replaced its entire board. New CEO Laurence Cook, appointed in November 2016 and new chairman David Rowe. Mark O’Shea, CTO.
Financials: 2017: revenue £0.58m; net income -£2.14m. Issued four profit warnings between January 2014 and May 2015, and replaced three CFOs in two years. History of financial reporting problems. Shares suspended in June 2017, with reports that Blur could go into administration.
Investment: Aim-listed since 05 Oct 2012. Has raised over $40m in funding since launch.
News: In January 2018, Blur Group PLC changed its name to Maistro PLC.
BRADY: trading software - London
DZ profile: Brady Public Limited Company
Business: provider of trading and risk management software for the Commodity and Energy markets. 200 customers worldwide, including financial institutions, commodity houses, miners and energy companies such as STATOIL.
Financials: to 31-Dec-17 - Revenue £22.93m; Pre-Tax -£6.43m
Investment: Quoted on AIM since June 2004
News: has sold its recycling business for $6.5m. Plans to invest in re-engineering its software and moving services to the cloud.