ONLINE RETAILER BUILDS ON SUCCESS WITH EM3 GROWTH LOAN

A company that has carved a niche in the online retail sector whilst helping to address the problem of construction industry waste, is the latest to receive a loan from the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, which provides finance to help businesses grow.

Builders Bay, based in Cobham, is an online marketplace devoted to all things building related, from white goods to bathroom suites and excess building supplies. Using a model similar to the likes of Amazon and eBay, the platform provides a space for the sale of both new and used items to consumers and tradespeople. As well as generating listings from independent sellers, Builders Bay ensures a buoyant marketplace by taking on a large amount of end-of-line stock from well-known suppliers such as Magnet and Porcelanosa – much of which would have previously ended up in landfill. This ‘Tk Maxx’ model brings big brand items to their customers at steep discounts while helping people to lessen their environmental impact.

Builders Bay has secured a £100,000 Enterprise M3 Growth Loan to support its next stage of development, as CEO Mike Chapman comments: “Taking the company from an idea in 2016 to a fully functioning business with growth prospects has been both challenging and rewarding. Our turnover is set to more than quadruple this year to almost £200,000 and we are looking to increase this to over £2m during the next three years. This loan will allow us to take hold of the opportunities open to us and help achieve our goals.”

The loan will be used to employ new staff, including an operations and listings manager and a customer service manager, as well as for marketing activity and further technical development.

Derek Ellis, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the Funding Escalator on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Having built the tech, developed the retailer and customer journeys and gained traction with more new suppliers coming on stream each month, Builders Bay is growing and ready to scale. With a well-connected management team in the sector and strong supply chain relationships, the business is entering this next phase of growth from a position of strength. We look forward to continuing to support Builders Bay to reach its full potential.”

The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator is a £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which includes an expansion loan scheme, a trade finance loan scheme and an equity growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the EM3 area.

Enterprise M3 Chief Executive Kathy Slack said: “Sustainability runs through the core of our developing Local Industrial Strategy, from clean growth to innovation. We are delighted to support Builders Bay whose growth aims are aligned with our own and which is providing skilled and managerial jobs to the local economy.”

For more information about the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-expansion-loan-scheme or contact Derek Ellis at derek.ellis@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607302.