COMPANIES: Medopad to UP

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on May 13, 2019, 9:00 am in News, Other

IMAGE: courtesy of Pixabay from Pexels 



housebuilder - gyms - warehouse owner - luxury handbags - newspaper publisher

- engineering consultancy - auto products - creative communications –

artificial intelligence - supply chain lender


Essex :: Manchester :: London x 5 :: West Sussex :: Wiltshire :: Surrey


Hill £501.5m | Ultimate Performance Fitness (UP) £6m | Urban Logistics £5.6m | Anya Hindmarch £37.2m | Guardian News and Media £223m | Ricardo £380m | AB Dynamics £24.6m | Something Big £3.3m | Medopad | DF Capital


News about 10 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 28th April – 11th May 2019:



HILL: housebuilder - Essex


Builder Andy Hill’s £14m bonanza | The Sunday Times. April 28, 2019

DZ profile: Hill Residential Limited

Business: housebuilder focused on London, Cambridge and Oxford …built more than 1,550 homes last year

Launched: 1999

Location: Waltham Abbey, Essex + regional offices in Bicester, Cambridge, Crawley and Norwich

Founder: Andy Hill, 60

Staff: 500+

Financials: Sales of £501.5m and pre-tax profits of £48.3m. It paid out a £3.8m dividend. Hill his family have shared in £14m of dividends over the past decade

Investment: Hill and his family own more than 75% of the business, while some shares are held in trust for its 500 staff.


1. Sales have been supercharged since the introduction of the government’s Help to Buy scheme in 2013.

2. family has a fortune of £193m, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.





Nick Mitchell, founder of Ultimate Performance Fitness: From dad bod to Grecian god, my gyms are fit for purpose | Anna Fletcher, The Sunday Times. April 28, 2019

DZ profile: UP Fitness Limited

Business: chain of 12 gyms across four continents popular with top executives and celebrities. Offering a training programme called Dad Bod to Grecian God. Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman, singer Peter Andre and soap star Gemma Atkinson are celebrity clients.

Launched: 2007

Location: head office is in Manchester, with gyms in London, Manchester, Los Angeles and Hong Kong

Founder: Nick Mitchell Ex-barrister and headhunter, he quit the City in 2009 to start a high-end personal training business, UP. With £5,000 in start-up capital and living off his savings, Mitchell handpicked a team of fitness fanatics to train his clients. Customers pay £75-£150 an hour for tailored workout regimes and strict diets.

Staff: employs 350 people

Financials: Last year, UP made pre-tax profits of £2.4m on sales of £6m in Britain.

Investment: Mitchell owns 85% of the company. Joe Halstead, a school friend who helped bankroll the Hong Kong gym, has a stake, as does private equity fund CASSIA INVESTMENTS, which injected $10m in 2016. Mitchell is seeking a new backer to help fuel growth.

News: A gym in Shanghai and two more in America are planned this year.



URBAN LOGISTICS: warehouse owner - London


Market minnows: Urban Logistics shows that warehouses can be glamorous | Simon English, The Evening Standard. 29 April, 2019

DZ profile: Urban Logistics Reit Plc

Business: real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns a £185m portfolio of UK warehouses - smaller “last-mile” warehouses for institutional grade tenants like BOOTS and DHL that need to offer next-day delivery.

Launched: 2015

Location: London

Staff: Run by ex-CBRE logistician, Richard Moffitt

Financials: Revenues to 31-Mar-18: £5.6m (2.3); Pre-Tax £9.9m (4.9)

Investment: listed on AIM in April 2016

News: The UK’s supply of warehouses has fallen 36% compared with 2012 and cannot keep up with demand. New-build costs are high, planning controls remain restrictive and available land is often being put to other uses.



ANYA HINDMARCH: luxury handbags - London


Anya Hindmarch back at helm of luxury handbag brand | Kate Beioley, FT. May 1, 2019 

DZ profile: A.S.H.S. Limited (Anya Hindmarch)

Business: luxury handbag and accessories brand and fashion group. Has a growing focus on online sales, with a new strategy of appealing directly to customers rather than focusing on major fashion shows.

Launched: 1987

Location: London

Founder: Anya Hindmarch, 50, Managing Director. Has just returned to the group eight years after stepping down from chief executive to creative director role.  In 2009 she was made an MBE for her contribution to British fashion.

Financials: in the year to the end of December 2017, losses increased from £11.9m to £28.3m; turnover fell to £37.2m from £41.3m, after the company reduced its store presence, with closures including outlets in Westfield London and Hackney as well as concessions in Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser.

Investment: The company has been controlled by Iran’s MARANDI FAMILY since March, when it bought its majority stake from MAYHOOLA for Investments, the Qatari royal family’s fund. Mayhoola paid £27m for its stake in 2012.



GUARDIAN NEWS AND MEDIA: newspaper publisher - London


Guardian owner hits profit benchmark after decades of losses | Patricia Nilsson, FT. May 1, 2019

DZ profile: Guardian Media Group Plc

Business: which publishes The Guardian and The Observer newspapers. The Guardian has refused to follow most of its peers and introduce a paywall to generate money from its journalism amid falling advertising revenues, instead relying on voluntary contributions from its readers.

Launched: 1821

Location: London

Founder: cotton merchant John Edward Taylor in the wake of the Peterloo massacre of 1819

Staff: David Pemsel, chief executive. Katharine Viner, editor of The Guardian

Financials: first time in two decades that The Guardian has recorded positive ebitd. In the year ending April 1 earnings of £800,000, after “good growth” in digital advertising and reader contributions. Losses were £19m a year earlier and £57m in the year ending April 2016, when the company embarked on its restructuring plan. Revenues were up 3 per cent to £223m …the highest in a decade.

Investment: the nearly £1bn Scott Trust Endowment Fund that the company relies on for funding.


1. …has reached more than 655,000 monthly paying “supporters” and received an additional 300,000 one-off contributions in the last year. By 2022, The Guardian said it aimed to nearly double that number and attract 2m supporters that would contribute through “regular or one-off payments or subscriptions”.

2. The Guardian has cut costs by a fifth over the past three years, resulting in a loss of 450 roles and vacancies, including 120 in the editorial department.



The UK auto industry fights for its place on the electric front | Michael Pooler, Anna Gross and Myles McCormick, FT. May 3, 2019


RICARDO: engineering consultancy - West Sussex


DZ profile: Ricardo Plc

Business: an engineering consultancy working in the automotive, motorsport, defence, rail, energy and environment sectors. It also specialises in niche manufacturing, making around 5,000 engines a year for McLaren’s high-end road cars and transmission systems for supercar brand Bugatti. The group has a long history of testing combustion engines, but is now eyeing the electric market with plans to build battery packs for high-end vehicles.

Launched: 1915

Location: Shoreham By Sea, West Sussex

Founder: Sir Harry Ricardo

Financials: 12 month revenue to 30-Jun-18 £380m (£352.1m); Pre-Tax profit £28.5m (£32.2m). In the half-year ended 31 December, Pre-tax profit dropped by one-tenth to £10.3m, with hits from reorganisation and redundancy costs at its automotive operation, a pension charge and expenditure related to acquisitions. Revenue increased 4 per cent to £188m.

Investment: Floated on LSE Main Market in April 1962


AB DYNAMICS: auto products - Wiltshire


DZ profile: AB Dynamics Plc

Business: supplies the top 25 global car manufacturers with robotic systems to test driverless cars. The product range includes fake “targets” for driverless car tests, including passengers and Ford Fiestas made out of foam. It also produces driving robots that can be attached to a car and take control of the wheel. Added new subsidiaries in Germany and the US last year. Has plans to expand further and its new driving simulator is expected to play a big part in their expansion strategy.

Launched: 1982

Location: Bradford On Avon, Wiltshire

Founder: Anthony Best

Financials: Revenue to 31-Aug-17 £24.6m (£20.5m); Pre-Tax £4.47m (£4.45m).

Investment: Floated on AIM May 2013



SOMETHING BIG: creative communications - Surrey


Sally Pritchett, co-founder of Something Big: I got creative to escape motorway service stations | Anna Fletcher, The Sunday Times. May 5 2019

DZ profile: Something Big Limited

Business: creative communications agency that works with brands including DHL, Hertz and Gatwick airport.

Launched: 1998

Location: Woking, Surrey

Founders: Sally Pritchett, 48, chief executive and Nick Butcher, 50.

Staff: 50

Financials: pre-tax profits of £364,940 on sales of £3.3m last year

Investment: Butcher and Pritchett each owned half the company, but last year they gave their finance and operations direct ors 5% each.



MEDOPAD: artificial intelligence - London


Tencent trials AI diagnosis program for Parkinson’s in London | Aliya Ram, FT. May 7, 2019

DZ profile: Medopad Ltd

Business: has developed a smartphone app that enables doctors to gather information about patients by setting tests they can complete on their phones and collecting data from wearables. It has also been developing algorithms that can suggest diagnoses to doctors or alert them when patients are deteriorating. Has partnerships with several British hospitals including the ROYAL FREE and ROYAL WOLVERHAMPTON, which use its technology to remotely monitor patients..  ….previous partnerships with APPLE and CHINA RESOURCES.

Launched: 2011

Location: London

Founder: Dan Vahdat, a bioengineering graduate who dropped out of a PhD at Johns Hopkins University to become an entrepreneur.

Investment: was valued at $100m in a funding round last February led by Hong Kong-based conglomerate NWS Holdings

News: Tencent has begun a clinical trial in London of an artificial intelligence program that aims to diagnose patients with Parkinson’s disease, in partnership with Medopad. Last year, it partnered with Medopad, creating a new “lab” for medical AI. The two companies are planning to target not just Parkinson’s but also multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.  The Parkinson’s clinical trial will take place at DEMENTECH NEUROSCIENCES, a private mental health clinic in London, involve around 40 patients and be completed over the next few months, according to Medopad.  Medopad has more than 30 people involved in its partnerships with Tencent, which also has 35 people involved in the work, according to the start-up.  Tencent has not invested in Medopad but according to Mr Fan and Medopad founder Dan Vahdat, the companies “are planning something for next year”.



DF CAPITAL: Supply chain lender - London


Challenger lender plans Aim listing to unlock banking licence | Nicholas Megaw, FT. May 7, 2019

DZ profile: Distribution Finance Capital Ltd (DF Capital)

Business: Supply chain finance provider, lending to companies such as vehicle dealerships and manufacturers to help them pay for inventory. The business has lent about £400m since it started operations in 2017, and has assets of almost £150m, which it expects to increase above £1bn within four years. Its closest competitor in the UK is WELLS FARGO.

Launched: 2016

Location: London

Staff: Chris Dailey, chief executive, who was part of the founding team at ALDERMORE BANK and later served as the first chief executive of OAKNORTH

Investment: controlled by the hedge fund ARROWGRASS CAPITAL (formed by a team of DEUTSCHE BANK traders), will start trading on Aim on Thursday…. will value DFC at about £100m and reduce Arrowgrass’s ownership below 50 per cent.