‘Steaming’ Ahead with Renowned Equine Business Haygain

Background

Back in 2016, Edzo Wisman, already a successful businessman having held senior long-term directorships across different sectors, joined Haygain; a Berkshire based growing equine SME specialising in the steaming of hay to remove dust, mould and fungal spores, which can cause serious respiratory problems in horses.

Spluttering into the future with some equine concerns

Whilst hay makes up almost all of a horse’s diet, in the late 20th century, little was known about the possible damage which the mould, fungal spores and bacteria within it could potentially have on the animals.

Fast forward into the 21st century and Haygain started working with specialists from the University of Bristol and the Royal Agricultural University after observing coughing, spluttering and nasal discharge from his own horses.

Edzo explains “Haygain was set up to try and find a solution to a real problem affecting the equine industry. The team spent a decade working with these institutions, to pioneer the development of an effective technique for properly cleaning hay, that could have a significant impact on the health of a horse.”

Together, they developed a range of hay steamers which inject steam into the centre of the hay. This is the only method that has been proven to completely eliminate mould, fungal spores and bacteria and reduce equine respiratory problems.

The FSE Group gallop into the picture

All of this research and development, whilst worthwhile, was proving costly and, with a wish to grow the business further, Edzo had success finding equity funders to grow the business but found it difficult to secure traditional debt funding.

In 2017, he contacted The FSE Group which, through its various regional funds under management, is able to support eligible, ambitious and innovative SMEs that may have been unable to source funds elsewhere.

Haygain successfully secured its first Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) Expansion Loan in 2018, to help it achieve its ambitious growth plans. Now with the funding secured, it was time to put stage one of the plan into place.

The company has since secured further TVB expansion funding from The FSE Group, taking the total to £482,000 across 3 loans. Of particular benefit to Haygain, were the thorough procedures and loan approvals processes implemented by The FSE Group when providing the finance, giving the equity holders the reassurance required that Haygain successfully fulfilled this criteria.

Haygain’s growth races forward

Since 2018, the business has almost tripled in size. It is now a leading international equine health company, maintaining an impressive customer list that includes leading race-horse trainers and stables, Olympic medal winners, and London’s Metropolitan Police. 

The Company is revolutionising the global horse care industry with progressive products such as high-temperature Hay Steamers, ComfortStall Orthopaedic Sealed Flooring and its Forager Equine Slow Feeders.

Most recently, at the end of 2020, Donna Noce Colaco was appointed as Chair of Haygain’s Board of Directors. Donna, until recently on the executive committee of Fortune 500 companies in fashion and furniture retail, is known as a strategic leader, transformational brand architect and a catalyst for growth. She has brought her extensive expertise in corporate marketing and customer experience to help broaden Haygain’s reach and impact.  

Simon Blackbourn, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, commented: “Growing a business isn’t always straightforward or simple. There can be hurdles en route that perhaps weren’t obvious to start with but which need to be overcome. We could see all the research and development which had gone into Haygain’s Hay Steamers, with equity investment helping to grow the business, so it has been really rewarding to be able to provide funding from The Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) loan scheme to further support Haygain, allowing them to grow to the next level, develop their products and to be able to bring Donna onto the Board of Directors. We are really excited to accompany Edzo and the team on the next part of their journey.”

Edzo Wisman, CEO at Haygain, said: “We were really pleased that The FSE Group was able to support our growth plans and see the additional markets that we could tap into. We have always had regular face-to-face meetings, be that in person pre COVID-19, or via Teams or Skype now and have never felt left to just get on with it. Simon is always at the end of the phone if I have a question and it is a great working relationship. We are excited about what we have in the pipeline for the future.”

If you would like to learn more about Haygain’s extensive range of products and how they could work for you, please contact them directly or visit their website: https://haygain.co.uk/ or contact them: info@haygain.co.uk / 01488 854005

The Thames Valley Berkshire Expansion Loan Scheme is available within Berkshire to established SME businesses requiring finance to implement expansion activities that will deliver substantial growth.

For more information, visit: Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator or contact, Simon Blackbourn: simon.blackbourn@thefsegroup.com / 07436 189762