News

A Chesterfield business has secured a £1million investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), provided by The FSE Group Debt Finance Fund and backed by the Recovery Loan Scheme.

The funding follows a £500,000 MEIF loan in November last year, which helped the company with a range of business growth activities including marketing, IT, new jobs and a move to bigger premises.

The most recent loan will be used for further staff hires, equipment purchase, and maintaining stock levels to support new contracts.

International Energy Products is a metal stockholder and processor of speciality alloys servicing the oil, gas and renewable energy industries as well as aerospace, marine and defence sectors.

The company was set up in 2017 by Emma Beresford who spent the next two years establishing a robust supply model before full trading commenced in 2020. This has placed the company ahead of the curve in a market where an already challenging supply environment has been worsened by the war in Ukraine.

International Energy Products Founder and Managing Director, Emma Beresford, said:Having just reached the point of trading when the pandemic hit, our growth plans inevitably slowed but we are now ready to scale up in line with the recovery of our customer base.

“As a new business that doesn’t have the trading history needed for bank funding, the MEIF loan will help us with the cashflow and capacity needed to take on new, large contracts and we are thankful to FSE for investing in our future growth.”

Ann Marie McFadyen, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, commented:We would like to thank Sanjay Vallabh from Vallabh Associates for introducing us to International Energy Products. Emma is a forward-thinking MD who knows her market well and has been appointed Export Champion for the Department for International Trade for the second year running.

“Her innovative approach has allowed her to minimise risk and future-proof against supply chain issues and pricing. Years of hard work have paid off with this small business now years ahead of its competitors and we are thrilled to be supporting Emma and her team at this crucial point in their growth journey.”

Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager, UK Network  at the British Business Bank, added: “The previous round of MEIF funding for International Energy Products supported its initial growth and created new jobs in the region, while this second funding round will continue to support these activities. With more Midlands businesses moving past post-pandemic recovery and into the growth stage, we encourage more companies to consider MEIF funding to support their development.”

Will Morlidge, Chief Executive of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, added:The D2N2 area is the cradle of the Industrial Revolution and remains the heartland on manufacturing in the UK. It’s businesses like IEP that underpin our amazing manufacturers, so it’s great to see them being supported. They supply to many businesses who are crucial to us being able to transition to a net-zero future, so the impact of their growth will be felt in businesses across the region.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2022 and the European Investment Bank.

The FSE Group, MEIF Debt Finance Fund provides loans between £100,000 and £1.5 million to help growing SMEs across the region. For more information visit: www.thefsegroup.com/fund/midlands-engine-investment-fund-debt-finance or contact Ann Marie McFadyen.

News

Spoon Group, owner of Spoon Customs, Gun Control Custom Paint which was created through a merger with WyndyMilla in 2019, has secured a £300,000 equity investment from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund, as part of a £740,000 funding round valuing the fast-growing performance bike company at £3.7million.

The funding round was led by The FSE Group, who manage the EM3 Growth Fund on behalf of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and included investment from existing and new private investors. The round will be used to expand the firms operations, by recruiting new team members, solidifying its sales, and marketing operation and bringing certain operations in-house.

Spoon Group, run by Andy Carr as CEO and Chris Houghton as Non-Exec, was founded through a merger of Spoon Customs and Wyndymilla, an existing portfolio company of the EM3 Funding Escalator.

Spoon Group specialise in bespoke bikes, designed for the riders physiology and the type of riding the customer wants to do, delivered with the highest standards of fit, fabrication and finish. The bikes are precision built with carbon fibre or steel frames, designed in house, then fabricated one at a time by hand, before being finished to the highest possible standard at their base in Surrey.

Andy Carr, Chief Executive Officer of Spoon Group explains: "It is great to be working alongside Paul and the EM3 team. Cyclists now know they can get more from their equipment if it’s designed around their body, for the specific riding they do. Our recent reviews prove we can compete on performance terms with any of the big brands too and this investment further demonstrates how the market is shifting away from mass produced equipment, in favour of specialists like us who can invest in product, service and personalisation to deliver and a better bike that will meet a customer’s specific lifestyle and performance needs.”

Paul Lyristis, Investment Manager, South East for The FSE Group, commented: We were impressed by Spoons track record and the expertise of the senior management team and investors. The fund has supported the business since 2016, and it is encouraging to see the growth of the business with great products that are receiving increasing recognition. We are delighted to be able to invest in Spoon and look forward to working with Andy, Chris and the team to ensure they reach their goals for growth.”

Sue Littlemore, Joint Managing Director, Enterprise M3 LEP, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting a successful company that combines high quality custom focused design, for a mode of transport that is environmentally friendly. We wish Spoon Group well with its expansion and recruitment plans.”

The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator is £10million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 LEP. 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.

News

North Cornish drinks brand, Pentire Drinks has secured a £500,000 equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) as part of a £3m funding round.

The CIOSIF investment, along with match-funding from private investors, will be used to grow the team by creating 10 new positions over the next three years along with expanding multiple areas of the business.

Pentire is a direct-to-consumer led, omni-channel business with its non-alcoholic botanical spirits championed by chefs across Cornwall and the UK, including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth and Emily Scott. The company’s products can also be found in Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Fenwick, The Pig Hotels, Soho House Group, Daylesford and Planet Organic.

The business has created Pentire Seaward and Pentire Adrift, which are made by distilling plants native to the local coastline, making delicious spirits in their own right that appeal to gin, vodka and tequila lovers looking to experience great flavours. Pentire is also proudly a certified B-Corp and donates proceeds to the Blue Marine Foundation.

The no and low alcohol sectors are continuing to grow as consumers are focusing more on prioritising their health and looking to moderate alcohol consumption. Pentire’s roots in active outdoor coastal living and sustainability are well positioned for this movement.

Pentire Drinks was founded by Alistair Frost and his good friend Edward Grieg-Gran. They commented: “We’re a young and passionate team who genuinely love our products. Our drinks encompass what it means to be Cornish, and we work hard to make sure they inspire our customers without damaging our local environment. The non-alcoholic spirits sector is thriving and Pentire is growing along with it. We’re well on the way to becoming an easily recognisable brand and this funding will enable us to continue this rate of growth and put Pentire firmly in the drinks cabinets of people across the globe.”

Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds Cornwall at The FSE Group, added: “Pentire is an exciting brand which is new to market but already boasts a strong history of sales. This is thanks in main to the high-quality drinks, but the team behind the range are responsible for creating and raising the profile of the company which has driven sales upward. We were impressed by Pentire’s strong management team and advisers and have every faith that they will steer this Cornish brand on to even greater success.”

The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Paul Jones, Senior Investment Manager from the British Business Bank, said: “This is one of the largest equity deal the fund has backed and we’re delighted to be supporting Pentire’s growth. Through our regional investment funds we are helping to build a portfolio of sustainable businesses around the UK and this deal is the latest example of that.”

John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said:“Pentire is another environmentally-focused Cornish business that has put sustainability at its heart. They have produced a drinks range that quite literally distils the essence of Cornwall into healthy premium products that have found their niche in the growing non-alcoholic segment.”

CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk; or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2

News

ClearPeople Ltd – the developer of Atlas, a leading B2B SaaS digital workplace product for Microsoft 365, in partnership with PwC as lead advisor, received one of The FSE Group’s largest growth capital investments to date. With this investment, ClearPeople will extend its marketing reach to fuel growth, targeting greater than £5M ARR by the end of its next financial year. 

ClearPeople is led by co-founders Katya Linossi (CEO) and Gabriel Karawani. Since its early days, the company has quickly expanded to work with clients across EMEA. Its clients span a variety of sectors, including law and professional services, financial services, construction and engineering.  

Showing accelerated growth, the company was accepted into the PwC Raise programme last year. “PwC were instrumental in helping us focus our message and refine our models to accurately reflect the value of Atlas to future investors,” says Katya Linossi. A strong relationship naturally developed with David Booth of The FSE Group who manage part of the £100M Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF), set up to support innovative businesses with a commitment to grow in London. 

The investment was closed in August 2022 and the funds will be used to accelerate growth of Atlas sales via focused investment in marketing, sales and customer success.  Katya Linossi said "We are really excited about the next stage, with this funding supporting us on that journey, we will continue our 100%+ annual ARR growth trajectory.”   

Barry Wakelin, Operations Director said "Working with PwC has helped us refine our messaging and financial modelling and introduced us to a broad range of potential investors for now and for the future. It was great to engage with David and The FSE Group who have proven to be attentive and supportive during the contract negotiations. We’re extremely excited to be able to use the funds to deliver greater than £5M ARR by the end of our next financial year." 

"The Greater London Investment Fund delivered by The FSE Group supports both early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. ClearPeople demonstrated all of the key attributes that we’re looking for in a transaction including a strong and stable management team, excellent product proposition, and extensive customer and revenue base. We look forward to supporting ClearPeople in their next phase of growth" said David Booth from The FSE Group. 

"It has been a pleasure working with Katya and the team, and we're really pleased to have helped them close their round with The FSE Group. With the pandemic pushing people to remote working, it has been great to see Atlas in action providing an intuitive digital workspace for a long list of blue-chip clients. I look forward to watching them expand in the US over the coming months, following this investment round!" concluded Thomas Hudson from PwC Raise.

About ClearPeople 

Built on Microsoft 365, Atlas, by ClearPeople, is the most advanced Digital Workplace and Intranet platform in the market. In a single and intuitive interface, Atlas connects people to what matters most at work by solving the problems of having dispersed digital tools, too many silos and stuff that’s hard to find.  

Atlas empowers your people by reducing technology friction, enabling remote and hybrid working, and increasing productivity and employee engagement.  

Vacancies

We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced Business Development or Relationship Manager from a Business or Commercial Banking or SME lending background to join an existing team. 

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is a £42M debt fund that provides growth loan finance to small & medium sized enterprises across the Midlands.  

You will be responsible for origination, appraisal, and deployment of loans to growing and innovative SME’s from £100K to £1.5M 

You will be expected to: 

  • Originate a consistent pipeline of suitable lending opportunities, developing relationships with introducers, and marketing the product to appropriate audiences 

  • Carry out evaluation and due diligence on suitable proposals in line with the Fund’s Lending Policy and Operational Guidelines. 

  • Present proposals to the credit committee 

  • Manage completion matters post approval including completion of facility documentation and working alongside company solicitors to ensure all security requirements are met 

  • Pro-actively manage a client portfolio, monitoring performance and identifying early potential default situations. 

  • Contribute to periodic fund reporting requirements and preparation of marketing materials. 

Desired Skills & Experience: 

  • Significant prior experience in lending to SMEs where the primary repayment source is future cash flow based on planned expansion 

  • Strong ability to assess and structure loan propositions  

  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise deadlines to meet customer expectations. 

  • Good presentation skills & ability to communicate and interact at all levels of management. 

  • A high level of IT proficiency, particularly on Microsoft Office 365 products  

  • A diligent working style and experience using CRM systems to manage & track proposal activities. 

What we offer: 

  • A competitive base salary commensurate with your experience (up to £60,000 per annum) 

  • 25 days annual leave plus usual Bank holidays in England & Wales. You also get your birthday off and one day for a volunteering purpose. 

  • 5% contribution to employer pension scheme, subject to minimum 3% contribution from employee 

  • Option to join the private medical scheme (50% employer contribution to premium) 

  • Death in Service benefit equivalent to 4x salary. 

About The FSE Group: 

Our primary goal is to provide tailored funding solutions and support for ambitious and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help them achieve their maximum potential. With over £200m of debt and equity funds under management, the Group is continuing to grow and prides itself on taking a holistic approach to the funding needs of our clients. For more information see www.thefsegroup.com 

At the FSE Group we work hard to create an environment where our people can make a difference – to themselves, their career, their teams, and to the success of our firm and clients. We support all our people to work on a hybrid basis, to manage their family and other responsibilities alongside their work commitments; we believe this is key to achieving an inspiring and fulfilling working environment. 

Diversity and Inclusion at the FSE Group: 

The FSE Group is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion amongst our teams. This is central to our values of collaboration, Inclusivity, Innovation, Sustainability and Delivery. 

The aim is for our workforce to be truly representative of all sections of society, and for each employee to feel respected and able to give their best.  

Job Types: Full-time, (but open to requests for part time of 4 days per week minimum).  

Applicants must have unrestricted access to work in the UK. 

If you would like an informal chat about the role please call Andy Moss, Head of Funds on 07436 182885

To apply please email your CV and covering letter to: HRandOperations@thefsegroup.com 

Previous applicants need not apply.

Strictly no agencies.