COMPANIES: Benugo to STATSports

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on April 29, 2019, 9:00 am in News, Other

IMAGE: courtesy of Joe Calomeni from Pexels



online estate agent - media piracy-tracking - café-restaurant chain

- wearable devices - gene inhibitor biotech –

engine & turbines


London x 3 :: Reading :: Northern Ireland :: Coventry


Bestbid | Muso | Benugo £112.7m | STATSports | Silence Therapeutics | Bladon


News about 6 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 21st – 27th April 2019:



BESTBID: online estate agent -  London


Property site BestBid, founded by Tom Scarborough, raises £500,000 funding | The Sunday Times. April 21 2019

DZ profile: Advanced Agents Ltd (BestBid)

Business: Multi-Agent Property Sale Agency that lists a customer’s home with successive estate agents until it is sold – starting with a sole agent, which is usually cheaper than using several agencies. If the home is not sold, the listing is moved to another local agent.

Launched: 2018

Location: Victoria, central London

Founder: Tom Scarborough, who previously worked for Icap founder Michael Spencer as an investment director at his family office

Staff: 3

Investment: has raised £500,000 of seed funding led by venture capital firm HAMBRO PERKS, as well as angel investors Paul Forster (co-founder of INDEED.COM), Simon Murdoch (founder of EPISODE 1 VENTURES), Doug Monro (co-founder and CEO of ADZUNA) and William Reeve (serial entrepreneur and co-founder of LOVEFILM).



MUSO: media piracy-tracking - London


Start-up’s mission to unseat pirates | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. April 21 2019

DZ profile: Muso TNT Limited

Business: A piracy-tracking start-up that was set up to protect the rights of musicians and broadcasters. Monitors the number of visits to websites offering knock-off versions of popular shows and music. Clients include SONY and ENTERTAINMENT ONE, which hope to convert piracy audiences into paying customers.

Launched: 2010

Location: London

Founder: CEO, Andy Chatterley – ‘Grammy nominated producer and songwriter working with artists such as Kanye West, Kylie Minogue and The Pussy Cat Dolls’ and Blondie; CTO, James Mason; CSO, Christopher Elkins.

Staff: over 35 staff across offices in London, Paris, LA and Eastern Europe

Investment: has received a £3.5m funding from existing investor venture capitalist HARWELL CAPITAL

News: Revealed 55m people illegally watched the first new episode of Game of Thrones. HBO said the official viewing figure for the first episode in the new season of Game of Thrones was 17.4m.



BENUGO: café-restaurant chain - Reading


Ben Warner, co-founder of Benugo: Expose the bricks and the cafes look after themselves | Liam Kelly, The Sunday Times. April 21 2019

DZ profile: Benugo Limited

Business: café-restaurant and catering chain, which has more than 150 outlets. Having already launched a chain of cafes, Benugo started opening restaurants and bars in museums such as the V&A. It has since expanded to castles in Scotland and railway stations.

Launched: 1998

Location: Reading

Founder: CEO, Ben Warner, 54 and brother Hugo. Opened own sandwich shop and became an early franchisee of Pret a Manger after meeting its founders Julian Metcalfe and Sinclair Beecham. Hugo left the business eight years ago and is now a property developer.

Staff: 3,000

Financials: made pre-tax profits of £4.7m on sales of £112.7m in 2017. Sales rose to about £130m last year

Investment: The company has been sold twice — first to the catering group WSH (Westbury Street Holdings / WSH Investments Limited) in 2008, and then earlier this year when WSH was bought by CLAYTON DUBILIER & RICE.

News: In 2000, after meeting a deadline to make 500 sandwiches to be made in two hours the brothers were invited to pitch to replace Lehman Brothers’ caterers. They won the contract and more followed, including with PwC and Schroders.



STATSPORTS: wearable devices - Northern Ireland


Footballers Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain invest in wearables start-up| Murad Ahmed, FT. April 22, 2019

DZ profile: Statsports Group Limited

Business: makers of wearable devices for leading athletes, including a vest that tracks the physical performance of sportspeople. The group has carved out a niche as a supplier to elite sports organisations, which are keen to gather information that could give their teams a vital edge on the pitch. The high-tech vests, which retail at about £200, use GPS technology and heart-rate monitors to provide live data on a player’s exertions and playing positions during matches and in training sessions. Clients include, LIVERPOOL, MANCHESTER CITY, MANCHESTER UNITED, ARSENAL, SPURS, JUVENTUS, and PSG, plus national teams including England, Germany and Brazil. … they also provide the technology to many International Rugby teams including England, Ireland, France and South Africa. In American Sports with NFL and NBA clients.

Launched: 2008

Location: Northern Ireland

Founders: Alan Clarke and Sean O’Connor

Investment: England international footballers Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have become the first outside investors in a deal that values the start-up at more than £200m. Have both invested at least £1m and will become “global ambassadors” for the company’s products

News:  STATSports is seeking to enter a crowded consumer market and take on rival fitness devices made by APPLE, FITBIT and GARMIN.



SILENCE THERAPEUTICS: gene inhibitor biotech - London


Revamp at Silence does little to improve investors’ wellbeing | Kate Burgess, FT. April 22, 2019

DZ profile: Silence Therapeutics Plc

Business: biotechnology company with therapies for treating blood disorders and cardiovascular disease - developing ‘a new generation of medicines by harnessing the body’s natural mechanism of RNA interference within its cells. Our proprietary technology can selectively inhibit any gene in the genome, specifically silencing the production of disease-causing proteins.’

Launched: 1994

Location: Hammersmith, London

Founders: John Stanford and Graham Rook, two doctors from University College London

Staff: Dr David Horn Solomon, chief executive since June 2018

Financials: results to 31 -Dec-18: Revenue n/a (£0.02m); Pre-Tax -£20.5m (-£3.8m). -

Investment: Aim-quoted since January 2010. Backed by institutional investors include WOODFORD INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT (5%). INVESCO ASSET MANAGEMENT (11.7%) and AVIVA investment managers.  Richard Griffiths, who worked at small-cap broker Evolution in the early 2000s, owns 26%.


1. SR Pharma acquired Atugen AG based in Germany, changing the company name to Silence Therapeutics AG. in January 2010, Silence Therapeutics merged with privately held US biotech company INTRADIGM CORPORATION.

2. Shares have fallen from close to 250p to 58p in 18 months. During that time the group has lost three chairmen. In January the finance director departed abruptly and a new head of research and development has been appointed.



BLADON: engine & turbines - Coventry


Bladon Micro Turbine seeks to raise £80m for expansion | Nic Fildes, FT. April 21, 2019

DZ profile: Bladon Jets (uk) Limited (Bladon Micro Turbine)

Business: manufacturer of generators for remote telecom towers, based on miniature jet engines to power mobile phone towers plans. Was initially established to adapt its lightweight generators to replace the piston engine in the automotive sector. …but instead found demand for its generators in the telecoms industry, which has long struggled with the issue of how to maintain power supplies to towers in rural locations. The company has further developed the Bladon engine, as well as developing air bearings, heat exchangers and high-speed electrical machines, into a 12kW micro turbine generator spinning at up to 140,000 revs per minute and suitable for low-cost mass production.

Launched: 2002

Location: Coventry

Founders: Paul and Chris Bladon, who invented a system to miniaturise gas turbine technology.

Staff: 135. Paul Barrett, chief executive

Investment: has raised £60m to date from individual investors and TATA, the Indian owner of JAGUAR LAND ROVER, which has worked with Bladon on electric vehicles. Dubai’s sovereign wealth fund ICD is also an existing investor. Has now launched a roadshow to raise about £80m


1. ….plans to open a factory in Dubai and increase capacity at the company’s Coventry headquarters from 135 to 200 staff by the end of the year. The West Midlands factory has the potential to make a maximum of 8,000 engines a year. Bladon worked with JLR to identify an overseas location for a second factory to add capacity. It considered Morocco and eastern Europe before settling on Dubai

2. Networks in countries including Norway and Australia have to regularly replace diesel fuel in very remote towers by using helicopters, while African companies have faced problems linked to fuel theft and staff security when servicing towers. Bladon Micro Turbines delivered its first commercial “micro turbine gensets” for use on African towers in 2018.

3. Mr Barrett said China had almost 2m towers but investors from Asia were more interested in partnering the longer-term development of the technology in the energy market.