COMPANIES: FoodStars to UKCloud

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on April 1, 2019, 9:00 am in News, Other

IMAGE: courtesy of Snapwire from Pexels 


gym gear - cloud computing software - computer games - summer camps - bike-sharing

- fitness app - computer games - festival travel –

seed and feed - commercial kitchens


London x 5 :: Wiltshire :: Yorkshire :: Manchester :: Oxford :: Wales


WIT Fitness £4m | UKcloud £40.2m | Team17 £40m | Invasion Camp Group £3.1m | Cycle.Land | Fiit | Mediatonic £17m | Festicket €57m | Wynnstay | Foodstars


News about 10 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 17h – 30th March 2019:



Stars’ gym WIT Fitness to go up in size | Kate Palmer, The Sunday Times. March 17 2019



WIT FITNESS: gym gear - London


DZ profile: WIT Fitness Limited

Business: combine selling exercise gear with running a gym where members can work out, do gymnastics or attend classes. gym near St Paul’s Cathedral in London England captain Owen Farrell is among the international stars

Launched: 2014

Location: London EC4

Founders: Dan Williams and Sam Kitching

Financials: The firm posted sales of £4m last year and expects that to hit £7m this year.

Investment: raised £1.3m of crowdfunding. £2m investment backing from private equity firm VGC. Its founder, Parminder Basran will join the board.



UKCLOUD: cloud computing software - Wiltshire


DZ profile: UKcloud Ltd

Business: One of the biggest providers of cloud computing software to the public sector helps public sector bodies modernise their computer systems.

Launched: 2011

Location: Corsham, Wiltshire

Financials: last year, the company made a pre-tax profit of £3.3m on turnover of £40.2m

Investment: has received a £25m investment from a fund backed by American tech giant CISCO SYSTEMS. It received the investment from the DIGITAL ALPHA fund, which counts Cisco as a partner. The deal values UKCloud at more than £250m.



TEAM17: computer games - Yorkshire


Worms gamer Team17 sees profits boost | Ben Woods, The Sunday Times. March 17 2019

DZ profile: Team17 Group Plc

Business: Computer games developer with more than 100 games in its portfolio makes its own games as well partnering with independent developers has more than 100 games spanning computer consoles and mobile phones. Shot to prominence after the success of its PC game Worms — in which players try to kill each other’s grub without falling into water or getting stuck in cavities on the ground

Launched: 1990

Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire

Founder chief executive: Debbie Bestwick

Financials: Analysts expect pre-tax profits up by 64% to £12.1m with full-year results on Tuesday + sales up from £29.6m to £40m over the year.

Investment: management buyout in 2011. Floated on AIM last May and is now valued at £279m

Big tech presents next chapter for UK gaming companies | Aliya Ram, FT April 27, 2019
1. It no longer simply develops its own games, but sells other titles that are developed by “like-minded people” and has held

2. since flotation its share price has since risen 14 per cent. In full-year results for the 2018 financial year ...reported a 46 per cent increase in revenues to £43.2m, with pre-tax profits up 62 per cent to £8.7m.



INVASION CAMP GROUP: summer camps - Manchester


Those student parties have never stopped for me | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. March 17 2019

DZ profile: Invasion Camp Group Ltd

Business: Started as a student party company which now sends young people on city breaks and summer camps around the world. After building a large social media following for Invasion, McAteer and Steiert launched AmeriCamp as a rival to Camp America, the cultural exchange programme that has provided summer jobs for young people for five decades.  AmeriCamp pays between $1,500 (£1,130) and $1,750, compared with Camp America’s $650-$1,200. … have since launched camps in locations such as Malaysia, Thailand and South Africa, where travellers teach English to local people and help with conservation work. Invasion continues to put on boozy excursions to European cities such as Krakow and Munich and has added festivals.

Launched: 2010

Location: Salford, Greater Manchester

Founders: Lee McAteer, 35, with his university friend Nick Steiert, 32

Staff: 40 people at their base in Salford, as well as staff at their camps.

Financials: year ending last September, sales of £3.1m and a pre-tax profit of £117,000.

Investment: McAteer and Steiert each own 50% of Invasion

News: own more than 25 brands. One of their latest ventures is Wrestling Travel, which allows “closet fans” to attend World Wrestling Entertainment events with like-minded people. Next month, McAteer will take 200 fans to WrestleMania in New Jersey.



CYCLE.LAND: bike-sharing - Oxford


Oxford spinout prepares London bike-sharing launch | Josh Spero, FT. March 17, 2019

DZ profile: Ltd

Business: A dockless bike-sharing company. Started by supplying fleets of community bikes to colleges and accommodation providers in Oxford, moved to manage the operations of Ofo and Mobike in several cities. Autumn 2018 - joint venture with YOUON TECHNOLOGY, a Chinese company that operates transport schemes around the world, enabling to launch and manage a fleet of Youon bikes in London.

Launched: 2016

Location: Oxford

Founder: chief executive Agne Milukaite

Staff: Chief commercial officer, Yang Li; chief operating officer, Peter Ebsen

Investment: spun out of the UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD in 2016 …is preparing a £10m investment round, having raised £350,000 in a first round and £200,000 in a second round in late January.


1. is preparing to launch its services in London despite the near-bankruptcy of one rival and challenges across the sector. … will by July launch 1,000 pedal bikes in a zone spanning several London boroughs, before moving into e-bikes this summer. It will also launch e-scooters in Paris, but not in London, where they are banned.

2. … Chinese groups Ofo and Mobike had prioritised growth when they first launched …and  own their bikes. ….found the bike-sharing market hard to crack, making laborious borough-by-borough applications for operating licences. Ofo and Mobike had unprofitable global operations and big cash flow problems in 2018. … an industry insider estimated that Mobike spent $50m a month, while Ofo burnt through about $25m.

3. intend to be asset-light with Alternative financing …is talking to boroughs and transport authorities to work out areas of co-operation, for example making sure bikes did not pile up outside train stations. Bike-sharing companies are no longer seeking permission to operate from each borough. Mr Ebsen said bike-sharing schemes could be profitable in London if they were able to discourage people taking them outside their zone of operation, which entailed high retrieval costs.



FIIT: fitness app - London


Fearne Cotton’s fitness boost with Fiit app | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. March 24 2019

DZ profile: Fiit Limited

Business: A start-up fitness app that lets people stream workout routines on their phones and TVs.  Fiit offers hundreds of classes filmed by personal trainers with the goal of getting people to exercise who do not want a gym membership. The app is free, but users can pay for premium features and a chest-strap monitors.

Its trainers are typically “influencers” with large social media followings, and it counts celebrities such as Fearne Cotton as ambassadors.

Launched: 2017

Location: Olympic Park in Stratford, east London

Founders: friends Sammi Adhami, Ian McCaig and Daniel Shellard., 36, a former Google employee

Staff: 42

Investment: has raised £6.5m investment to fuel growth Fiit from EXOR SEEDS, the start-up investment arm of Italy’s Agnelli family, as well as CONNECT VENTURES and David Buttress, the former chief executive of Just Eat.

News: Shellard said Fiit would use the cash to add to its 100,000 downloads in the UK and increase on its 42 staff, with the possibility of expanding overseas this year.



MEDIATONIC: computer games - London


Games maker Mediatonic raises cash | Ben Woods, The Sunday Times. March 24 2019

DZ profile: Mediatonic Limited

Business: computer games developer. Games include Hatoful Boyfriend. Has developed more than 100 games with the likes of Microsoft and Warner Bros

Launched: 2005

Location: London, Brighton and Madrid

Founder: two students at Brunel University - Paul Croft and Dave Bailey

Staff: 200

Financials: £17m in sales last year and is valued at £50m

Investment: investment understood to be £25m-£30m from buyout fund SYNOVA CAPITAL to help fund new titles



FESTICKET: festival travel - London


Entrepreneurs: Festicket aims to help music fans have the time of their lives | Alex Lawson, The Evening Standard. Monday 25 March 2019

DZ profile: Festicket Ltd

Business: online package festival travel firm for large scale, 15,000 people-plus events. Has 2.5 million users and 1000 festivals listed. Acts both as a listing and ticketing site for festivals around the world, and a package operator offering transport, accommodation, insurance and the like. It aims to capitalise on the growing popularity of travelling overseas to music festivals, making a slim margin on the tickets themselves and more on the add-ons.

Launched: 2012

Location: London

Founders: Parisian chief executive Zack Sabban and tech guru Jonathan Younes

Staff: 140

Financials: 2018 turnover €57m (£49 million)

Investment: more than $20 million (£15.2 million) raised from investors including LEPE PARTNERS, BERINGEA and WELLINGTON, and it’s also running a crowdfunder offering equity. Sabban and Younes now own only 10% each.



WYNNSTAY: seed and feed - Wales


Brexit’s chill winds exacerbate seasonal uncertainty | Kate Burgess, FT. March 24, 2019

DZ profile: Wynnstay Group P.l.c.

Business: supplying Welsh and West country farmers with seed and feed

Launched: formed as a farmers’ co-operative in 1918

Location: Oswestry, Welsh Borders

Staff: 1,000. Paul Roberts, finance director

Financials: posted record pre-tax profits of £9.5m in the year to October, up 24 per cent on 2017

Investment: listed on AIM

News: last week issued a severe Brexit-linked profit warning because of currency fluctuations, margin squeezes and supply-chain issues. Oversupply and global commodity prices have prompted widespread drops in the prices of eggs, meat, dairy and arable products, influencing farmers’ confidence and spending plans. …February was unseasonably warm. … the rain followed and the grass grew, providing plenty of fodder. Brexit - Wynnstay has had to take precautions to ensure it can fulfil orders. … has begun to hoard and forward-order some specialised goods.



FOODSTARS: commercial kitchens - London


Travis Kalanick’s new venture buys UK ‘dark kitchens’ business | Tim Bradshaw, FT. March 26, 2019

DZ profile: Food Stars BH Limited

Business: “dark kitchens” start-up. By last year, FoodStars had grown to more than 100 commercial kitchens across half a dozen sites, from Battersea and Vauxhall to Shoreditch and Kentish Town. FoodStars does not operate the kitchens itself, but instead leases its real estate to a diverse array of restaurants looking for extra capacity, as well as delivery-focused outfits. Offering private commercial kitchens fully kitted out with cooking and preparation equipment from £2,500 a month.

Launched: 2015

Location: east London’s Bethnal Green

Founders: William Beresford, Daniel Abrahams and Roy Shaby started out in 2012 making takeaway sushi in Camberwell, South London, and rented out their spare kitchen space to help cover costs.

Investment: Los Angeles-based CITY STORAGE SYSTEMS (CSS), which operates under the CloudKitchens brand in the US, acquired FoodStars last year. Former Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick acquired a controlling stake in CSS a year ago for $150m, using some of the proceeds of a $1.4bn Uber stock sale. CSS Intl HoldCo is now the ultimate parent company of FoodStars, via a new subsidiary called Flatpark Holdings. Mr Kalanick is listed as a “person with significant control” at Flatpark, while Mr Beresford and Mr Shaby are listed as directors + Matt Atkin, a former Uber manager who led some of its earliest international launches and Colby Goff, a tech entrepreneur turned restaurateur with the Rustic Canyon group of restaurants in LA.