COMPANIES: Digital Voices to

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on February 11, 2019, 9:00 am in News, Other


Thursday February 14th 2019


Thursday February 14th 2019

IMAGE: courtesy of Terje Sollie from Pexels



accessories retailer - influencer marketing agency - luxury footwear

- cosmetics chain - food business - sandwich business –

online furniture - energy procurement



London x 4 :: Birmingham :: Yorkshire :: Northern Ireland :: Lancashire



Sass & Belle £13.2m | Digital Voices £1.3m | Le Chameau €14m | Sk:N £29.3m | Keelham Farm Shop £21m | Deli-Lites £19.7m | Made.Com £173m | Inspired Energy £27.5m



News about 8 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 27th January - 9th February 2019:



SASS & BELLE: accessories retailer - London

Even the Queen Mother was fond of my stress balls, says Sass and Belle founder | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. January 27 2019

DZ profile: R J B Stone Limited (Sass & Belle)

Business: accessories retailer which sells items ranging from lamps to lunchboxes and pillows. Also designs own products, stocked at retail chains including HABITAT and NEW LOOK. Opened his first store in 2007.

Launched: 1997

Location: 3 stores — two in London and one in Brighton

Founder: Richard Stone, 50.

Financials: last year made pre-tax profits of £940,000 on sales of £13.2m

Investment: Stone owns 100% of the business



DIGITAL VOICES: influencer marketing agency - London

Digital Voices – meet the video star hoping to use YouTube to change the angle on the Middle East | Alex Lawson, The Eveneing Standard. 28 January 2019

DZ profile: Digital Voices Limited

Business: marketing agency that links big brands with YouTube influencers. Clients include: ROLLS-ROYCE, the RAF, GREENPEACE, THE ECONOMIST and TRAINLINE. Influencer Marketing: connects companies with appropriate YouTubers, often with millions of subscribers, to help push their message or simply showcase interesting stuff. Specialised software is used to analyse creators’ influence and DV guarantees a certain number of views, spending a portion of its fees on new content if the target isn’t hit.

Launched: April 2017

Location: London

Founder: Jenny Quigley-Jones, 28:  Harvard scholarship, Oxfam, YouTube

Staff: 5

Financials: Turnover £1.3m (2019/20 forecast) 

News: Currently, 93% of spend on influencer marketing is on Instagram, where content is quicker and cheaper to make. But Quigley-Jones reckons users give video more attention and enthusiasm for the product is harder to fake.



LE CHAMEAU: luxury footwear - London

Posh wellies firm Le Chameau in £25m sale | Sam Chambers, The Sunday Times. February 3, 2019

DZ profile: Le Chameau Uk Limited

Business: luxury footwear brand. Best known for its hand-made Wellington boots, which it has been producing since 1927. Customers include Duchess of Cambridge and Victoria Beckham

Launched: 1927 in Cherbourg, France

Location: London

Founder: Claude Chamot

Financials: Sales have fallen from €25m (£15.5m at the time) in 2011 to €14m last year. It made a pre-tax loss of £7.3m in 2017.

Investment: private equity MARWYN VALUE INVESTORS, which bought Le Chameau in 2012, has appointed corporate finance firm FINANCO to oversee the sale of the company. It hopes to raise at least £25m.



SK:N: cosmetics chain - Birmingham

Botox chain SK:N bought by TriSpan | The Sunday Times. February 3 2019

DZ profile: Lasercare Clinics (harrogate) Limited (Sk:n Clinics)

Business: Cosmetics chain with 51 UK clinics offering specialised skin treatments - over 250, from mole excisions to anti-ageing injectables, tattoo removals to facial resurfacing …. treatments such as Botox, hair transplants and laser hair removal

Launched: 1986

Location: Birmingham

Financials: pre-tax profits of £4.4m on sales of £29.3m for the year to the end of August 2017.

Investment: has been bought by private equity firm TRISPAN -  the owner of the restaurant chains ROSA’S THAI and THUNDERBIRD FRIED CHICKEN in a deal worth about £35m.




KEELHAM FARM SHOP: food business - Yorkshire

Keelham Farm Shop, led by Victoria Robertshaw, harvests cash | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. February 3 2019

DZ profile: Keelham Farm Shop Limited

Business: shop business with two branches in Bradford and Skipton, Yorkshire that claims to support more than 400 farmers

Launched: 1979

Location: Skipton, Yorkshire

Founder: Andrew Robertshaw, more than 40 years ago.

Staff: daughter, Victoria Robertshaw, 49, chief executive was an accountant at Arthur Andersen and returned to the business in 2006. The shops employ about 300 staff. The original Keelham Farm Shop in Bradford is now in the sole ownership of brother and business partner James Robertshaw, trading as Robertshaw’s Farm Shop.

Financials: sales of £21m in the year to the end of January last year and pre-tax profits of £800,000

Investment: £8.5m cash injection - £2.2m from GROWTH PARTNER LLP, the fund set up by Richard Harpin, founder of the emergency repairs service HOMESERVE. The rest came from Santander.

News: will spend £8.5m on expanding Keelham Farm Shop to five outlets in Yorkshire



DELI-LITES: sandwich business - Northern Ireland

Our 15m sandwiches a year — inspired by Delia and Rick | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. February 3 2019

DZ profile: Deli-lites (warrenpoint) Limited (Deli*Lites)

Business: one of Ireland’s biggest food-to-go businesses, making 2,000 deliveries a day to shops, coffee chains and petrol stations. It supplies all 32 counties and this year, it will make in excess of 15m sandwiches. Has expanded its offering to cakes and pastries

Launched: 2001

Location: Newry, Co Down, Northern Ireland

Founder: Brian Reid, 42 and future wife, Jackie, 40

Staff: 230. Has just announced it will add an extra 20 employees after a £250,000 refurbishment of its headquarters.

Financials: profit last year of £489,000 on sales of £19.7m. Financing has come from traditional bank borrowing and support from development agencies INVEST NI and ENTERPRISE IRELAND.

Investment: founders still own 100% of the company

News: recently started exporting. It makes products such as paninis and toasties, freezes them and then ships them to markets in Scandinavia and the United Arab Emirates.



MADE.COM: Online furniture - London boasts record sales as UK revenues leap | Laura Onita, The Evening Standard. 6 February 2019

DZ profile: Design Ltd

Business: Online furniture seller which sells everything from high-end desks to doormats. Designs its own products. 

Launched: 2008

Location: London

Founders: entrepreneur Ning Li (stepped back in 2016) and founder Brent Hoberman, non-executive director

Staff: Philippe Chainieux, chief executive.

Financials: revenues increased 37% to £173m in 2018. Sales in Britain £100m for the first time, accounting for more than half of its earnings. The group claims to be profitable in the UK and break even across the wider group.

Investment: Last year it raised £40 million to fuel growth from a clutch of investors including PARTECH VENTURES, LEVEL EQUITY and EIGHT ROADS VENTURES.

News: This year it will add Portugal, Italy, Denmark and Sweden to the nine markets it sells to on the Continent.



UK energy supply companies navigate volatile market | Chris Tighe and Andy Bounds, FT. February 8, 2019


INSPIRED ENERGY: energy procurement - Lancashire

DZ profile: Inspired Energy Plc

Business: biggest energy procurement consultant in the UK and Irleand by sales. Larger corporates account for 85 per cent of its sales. By advising corporates on how to use energy more smartly, it earns higher margins than a pure trader — about 36 per cent. It has also moved into the water market.

Launched: 2000

Location: Kirkham, Lancashire

Founder: co-founder Michael Fletcher, Non-Executive Chairman

Staff: Mark Dickinson, chief executive

Financials: made £8.8m adjusted pre-tax profit on £27.5m of sales in 2017, four times the 2013 level.  Expects revenues to be about 21 per cent ahead of 2017 and adjusted pre-tax profit around 22 per cent ahead.

Investment: Aim-listed since November 2011

News: made five acquisitions in 2018.