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Media Enquiries Please contact Tom Clarke
Tel: 01276 608513
Email: tom.clarke@thefsegroup.com

VR pioneer raises £1.5million as it seeks to dominate 360º Computing and Entertainment

The designer of the world’s first interactive 360 degree chair, Roto VR, has today raised £1.5 million. Pembroke Investment Managers LLC is the lead investor. The TVB Growth Fund, managed by The FSE Group also invested in the round. SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP acted as financial advisor to Roto VR on the fund raising. The advanced technology cleverly overcomes the stumbling blocks typically encountered when bringing virtual reality (VR to a mass audience.

Founded in 2015, by video games industry veterans, Elliott Myers and Gavin Waxkirsh, Roto VR solves many of the current problems associated with using VR.

Roto is a highly advanced interactive chair that addresses the physical problems of consuming VR whilst seated, such as motion sickness and tangling cables, whilst also massively enhancing the immersive experience with haptic feedback (vibration effects).

Roto is also motorised and can auto-rotate to wherever the user is looking, allowing for effortless 360 viewing and exploration, thus users can experience the full panorama in comfort and for longer periods of time. Roto’s inbuilt desktop supports input devices such as a keyboard and mouse which opens the door to productive 360-degree desktop computing.

“Most people sit down to watch movies, work, play games and browse the internet whilst seated and we see no reason why the exciting new medium of VR will be any different”. Elliott Myers

The innovative product is compatible with most VR Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) and is also compatible with all movies and games, as well as a host of additional accessories such as racing wheels and joysticks.

The company is due to launch the consumer and office version of Roto imminently which provides a low-cost platform to ‘buy-in’ to the VR and Augmented Reality (AR) landscape. In addition, the team has identified a number of market opportunities across a select range of industries in the out of home sectors, such as cinemas and arcades, and has begun developing a range of products to accommodate them.

The global augmented reality and virtual reality market is expected to reach $94.4bn in value by 2023 according P&S Market Research.

Andrew Wolfson, CEO Pembroke Investment Managers LLC, explains why they invested: “In Elliott we have found an entrepreneur who has solved a problem for the VR market with a solution that addresses the physical issues encountered whilst consuming VR content, as well as significantly enhancing the experience. We see future customers coming from both the B2B and B2C markets, in fields such as experiential attractions, home, cinemas and shopping centres. The company has employed a high calibre of people, and we believe that the business is well placed to take advantage of this fast-growing market.”

Kiko Duffy, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, who manage the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund on behalf of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, commented, “We are delighted to be backing Elliott and his team. The company’s products are a key part of bringing VR into the home and workplace and are a great example of British innovation with global potential”.

TVB Growth Fund is part of Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, an £11.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to support job creation and economic prosperity in Berkshire. The escalator, which also includes four separate loan schemes, provides eligible companies – from start-up to established – with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £300,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Kiko Duffy: kiko.duffy@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608533.

TVB Expansion Loan Fuels Growth of InsurTech Platform

A company that has developed an InsurTech platform that allows young people to obtain car insurance, has secured £105,000 from the Thames Valley Berkshire Expansion Loan Scheme.

MyFirstUK, based in Bracknell, was established by James Noble, who, after going through the painstaking procedure of trying to insure his first car, found there wasn’t a company that specifically catered for young adults. As a result of this growing issue, MyFirstUK was set up in 2013. The platform allows users to secure better prices for their car insurance. MyFirstUK, want to make car insurance with the right level of cover and protection more affordable and accessible for young drivers, throughout the UK.

James Noble, Managing Director of MyFirstUK, commented, “MyFirstUK is changing the way young people get car insurance. By offering a fair insurance service for young drivers it enables them to get a more reasonably priced insurance quote, the right type of cover and protection needed. We are delighted with the feedback from our customers and the results that we are already achieving – 78% of users are renewing their car insurance with the same provider through our platform. This funding will allow us to ramp up our expansion strategy with marketing campaigns being our first focus point.”

Ian Baker, Senior Fund Manager at the FSE Group which manages the TVB Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), says, “We were immediately impressed by MyFirstUK’s customer loyalty, the strength of their partnerships and the driven management team. They have created an effective service model that benefits one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK. We look forward to working with James and his team and wish them all the success for the future.”

TVB Expansion Loan Scheme is part of TVB Funding Escalator, an £11.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The escalator, which also includes a Trade Finance Loan Scheme and a Growth Equity 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.

For more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Ian Baker ian.baker@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608517.

£1million GLIF Loan for Growing Financial Services Technology Business

A business leading the way in supporting providers of financial services with their digital transformation by simplifying the process of understanding the financial DNA of small businesses, has secured a £1million loan from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF).

Validis has created Software as a Service technology, ‘Datashare’, which connects to existing accounting platforms used by small businesses. This enables banks and accountants to automate the reporting and analysis of business financials, allowing them to improve the quality and speed of audits and intelligence of lending decisions for small business customers. 

Validis has already achieved considerable growth and the £1million GLIF loan will be used to support an increase in headcount as well as further product development.  The management team, led by Non-Executive Chairman, Don Robert, have considerable experience of the data market having all previously worked together at Experian.

Joel Curry, CEO of Validis, says: “We talked to a number of venture debt providers but we chose GLIF because they offered straightforward and transparent terms which were the best fit for our business. As we continue to develop our business it is comforting to know that we are working with a patient debt provider who will work with us and support us with our growth ambition. The whole process ran very smoothly and we are grateful for the support provided.”

With four of the ‘Big 5’ high street banks and all of the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms already signed-up, Validis is primed for a period of substantial growth which will be supported by the 12 new staff members it is set to take on, thanks to the GLIF loan.

David Booth, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages GLIF Debt Fund on behalf of Funding London, comments: “We were hugely impressed by the Validis management team and the considerable commercial traction they have been able to demonstrate to date. The opportunity for growth in their chosen markets remains high and we are pleased to have been able to support their growth ambition.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “We are delighted to welcome Validis to the ‘Greater London Investment Fund‘. In these times of uncertainty, we are delighted Validis is providing a service beneficial to the ecosystem during these challenging times.”

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies.    

Supporting SMEs Through Covid-19

Whilst the national situation regarding Covid-19 continues to change on a daily basis, we want to provide some clarity around how The FSE Group will continue to support SMEs through this period of unprecedented uncertainty.

Our teams, working to deliver support to scaleup enterprises across all the funds we manage, recognise that the months ahead will be challenging in ways we could not have predicted. But we also know that UK businesses are both resilient and creative and that, for many, this period will provide an opportunity to focus on how to strengthen their proposition when we come through this global crisis.

To that end our team is now working remotely, like much of the UK, so that we can carry on providing growth funding and support to SMEs across Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, the Midlands, the East and South East of England and Greater London.

Our teams can be contacted via email as follows:

Greater London Investment Fund: glif@thefsegroup.com

Midlands Engine Investment Fund: meif@thefsegroup.com

Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund: ciosif@thefsegroup.com

Herts LEP SME Growth Loan Scheme: gordon.brock@thefsegroup.com

East of England Regional Growth Loan Scheme: stuart.ager@thefsegroup.com

Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator: tvbfunding@thefsegroup.com

Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator: em3funding@thefsegroup.com

Coast to Capital Funding Escalator: c2cfunding@thefsegroup.com

If you are working with any businesses that are looking ahead and for which our funding could be relevant, please do get in touch. We know there will be businesses that may have previously thought they could use their own retained cash/capital to fund future growth, but which will now be used to trade through this difficult period and therefore, in order to grow again, they should consider external funding. The funds we manage are directly related to growth.

In the meantime, as you know, the Government is regularly updating its package for supporting businesses through this difficult time and that includes the Business Interruption Loan Scheme. More details of the support being provided can be found here.

Miappi Secures Expansion Funding with GLIF Loan

An AI enabled SaaS platform that empowers brands to discover authentic consumer stories, manage the digital rights to that content and to distribute the most impactful media to marketing channels and e-commerce has successfully secured a £750,000 expansion loan from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF).

Miappi launched their platform in 2013, in response to the founders drive to enhance content marketing for businesses. The platform uses machine learning and AI technologies to collect and curate brand owned, and user generated content from feeds including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Slack. Miappi’s software helps boost the digital marketing traction of companies and their unique platform is now used by 20 Unilever brands in more than 25 countries and other major brands such as Camper, Heineken & M&S.

Andrew Foyle, CEO at Miappi, said, “Getting this backing from GLIF is not only going to support us as we look to expand and grow the business internationally from our London base but it’s also a great endorsement and validation of the progress we’ve made to date. It is bound to help us when we talk to new clients and partners as they can see we have been strongly backed to drive the business forward.”

David Booth, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, commented: “We are delighted to support the growth and development of Miappi in London. We were impressed by the strength of the management team and the growing commercial traction that their platform has been able to demonstrate in 2019. We look forward to supporting their on-going development and wish them all the success for the future.”

Maggie Rodriquez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, added, “I am delighted Miappi has received investment from both our London Co-Investment Fund (LCIF) and now the GLIF. This is a testament to the excellent team and business being built at Miappi and we are delighted to support them on their international expansion journey.”

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies.

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS

Greater London Investment Fund

The Greater London Investment Fund (“GLIF”) operates as a £100 million fund of funds, managed by Funding London. GLIF supports economic growth by providing loan and equity finance for London’s SMEs, through its investments in three sub-funds. For more information please click https://glif.co/   

European Regional Development Fund

The GLIF will receive up to £35 million from the England European Regional Development Fund (EDRF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. In London, Greater London Authority is the Intermediate Body responsible for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regeneration. 

Funding London

Funding London was established in 2004 to provide venture capital and loans, on behalf of the Mayor, to SMEs that have previously found it difficult to secure such funding. So far, the organisation has invested more than £66 million into 672 SMEs, secured £400 million in outside investment for small businesses and created or safeguarded more than 5,900 jobs.

The FSE Group

The FSE Group is a community interest company providing fund management services to investors from both the private and public sectors, delivering debt and equity gap funding to high growth SMEs.

To contact David Booth email David.booth@thefsegroup.com or call 0207 9530 261

European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the lending arm of the European Union and the world’s largest multilateral lender. The GLIF will receive £50 million from the EIB.

Berkshire Business Secures Expansion Loan

A company that specialises in the supply, installation and maintenance of energy and grease management systems is the latest company to be supported by the Thames Valley Berkshire Expansion Loan Scheme. Quintex Systems provide innovative solutions designed to enable energy users to meet their environmental targets, improve profitability and add value.

Keith Stevens, Managing Director at Quintex Systems, said, “We are world leaders in smart technology for commercial kitchens, focused to drive energy and operating costs down, across hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and commercial catering operators. We also very proud to offer a UK manufactured service with everything done in house from design to installation and ongoing monitoring and maintenance. We operate from our base in Finchampstead, Berkshire and have clients across the UK, throughout Europe and the Middle East. This funding comes at an exciting time for the development of Quintex and our products, as we look to rollout our services to South East Asia, Australia and the United States.”

The £300,000 Loan will be used to fund the sales and marketing expansion of the Quintex team, with the creation of two new sales associate positions. The funding has also enabled the company to focus on their brand image – with a new website developed, that went live earlier this year.

Cheryl Weeks, Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the TVB Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments, “We are delighted to be supporting Quintex in this next phase of their expansion and development. Keith has built up a management team that is highly skilled in the retail and food industry. The company have an impressive client base of blue- chip customers, including major supermarkets and hotel and leisure operators. We are pleased to be able to provide funding support on this exciting journey and wish Quintex all the best for the future.”

TVB Expansion Loan Scheme is part of TVB Funding Escalator, an £11.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The escalator, which also includes a Trade Finance Loan Scheme and a Growth Equity 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.

For more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Cheryl Weeks cheryl.weeks@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607303.

CIOSIF loan helps Padstow pooch business grow

A Padstow business specialising in wholesale dog care products is expanding into new markets with the support of a £32,000 loan from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund as part of a £97,000 package of support.

Slickers Doghouse has developed its own range of dog wear and dog pharmacy products, including branded dog slings and blankets, plus skin and coat care treatments, hygiene drops and sprays.

The business was founded by former telecoms director Lisa Hope in 2016 who saw the market potential for a range of high quality eco-friendly and where possible organic dog care products, which are mostly British-made.

The £32,000 CIOSIF loan will support the development of more own-branded Slickers products, and wholesale and online sales through website development, the purchase of a commercial embroidery machine and attendance at major trade shows, including Discover Dogs.

A further £65,000 of loan funding is being provide by SWIG Finance to help Slickers build up stock for growing wholesale and online orders.

Lisa said: “As a relatively young business without a long trading record, we’ve found it difficult to raise finance from traditional sources. But with the support of CIOSIF and SWIG Finance we have now have the backing we need to grow our own-brand range and tap into new markets.”

The deal was led by The FSE Group, with SWIG Finance managing the process as they deliver the smaller business loans part of CIOSIF. Rachel Thomson, CIOSIF Business Manager at SWIG Finance, added: “From locally sourced high-quality treats to the latest fashionable dog wear, Slickers Doghouse has everything covered for your four-legged friend. We are delighted to be supporting Lisa and the Slickers Doghouse team and look forward to seeing how this CIOSIF loan will aid the development and growth of the business.”

Lloyd Brina, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “Young businesses like Lisa’s often struggle to raise finance from conventional sources and that’s one of the reasons why CIOSIF was set up, to help break down the barriers to accessing growth finance that small businesses face.”

LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “Slickers is tapping into a dog owner market worth £10 billion a year in the UK and Lisa has already shown how premium quality, innovative products can appeal to a wide range of owners.”

Lisa received support from Rebecca Bettin at Oxford Innovation to help develop her ideas for growth into a credible business plan with sound financial forecasts.

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.

£40 million unlocked for Midlands’ businesses as MEIF reveals new loan fund

  • Midlands Engine Investment Fund launches new loan fund
  • The FSE Group appointed to manage £40 million of debt finance
  • Fund to address regional demand for alternative debt finance options

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) has appointed a new fund manager and made £40 million available to invest in the region’s small businesses.

Appointed to address regional demand for alternative debt finance options, The FSE Group will manage the £40 million debt fund, with the capability to invest between £100k and £1.5 million in businesses based in the West Midlands and East & South East Midlands.

Forming the latest phase of investment released by the MEIF, the £40 million of debt finance brings the number of MEIF funds to eight, with the FSE Group set to work alongside six existing fund managers.

This announcement follows a successful period for the MEIF including hitting its £50 million invested mark. The FSE Group is set to build on this and invest in a range of businesses, adding to the portfolio of over 225 SMEs already receiving finance from the British Business Bank’s MEIF Fund.

Local Government Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, who is also the Government’s Midlands Engine Champion, said:

“As someone who grew up in the Midlands and is now fortunate enough to represent a Midlands constituency in Parliament, I’m very proud to be the Midlands Engine Champion in Cabinet.

“The region is home to some of the world’s most innovative businesses and dynamic entrepreneurs. Thanks to this further £40 million being made available through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, more businesses in the Midlands will be able to secure the backing they need to develop their ideas, grow their companies and create more well-paid local jobs.

“Opening up further investment opportunities for local businesses is just one of the ways that this new government is putting the Midlands at the heart of our plans to level up all parts of the country and create prosperous communities.”

Patrick Magee, Chief Commercial Officer at the British Business Bank, said:

“Since launch, the MEIF has committed to improving the regional finance landscape for small businesses. We have made strong progress, providing over 225 businesses with finance and helping them achieve new growth. Adding a new fund manager will help us continue delivering on this mission as we help to support driving the Midlands Engine forward.

“The FSE Group has an expert team and is well equipped to not only invest in businesses, but work with them in the long-term to help them create jobs, enter new markets and bolster the regional economy.”

Jon Corbett, Chair of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund’s Strategic Oversight Board, said:

“Collaboration between our fund managers, Local Enterprise Partnerships and intermediaries has played a key part in the success of the MEIF so far. As a board, we believe that The FSE Group will be a valuable addition to the team, boosting investment and business growth across the Midlands.”

Robert Spencer, Executive Chairman at The FSE Group, said:

“We are delighted to be appointed fund manager for this new £40m debt fund and join the existing fund managers in providing alternative finance options from the MEIF. The FSE Group has been funding and supporting growth SMEs for over 15 years and we look forward to bringing our characteristic flexible more-than-money approach to the Midlands 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 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.


-ENDS-

Press contacts:

Lauren Tunnicliffe, British Business Bank

Lauren.tunnicliffe@british-business-bank.co.uk / 07557 205044

Tom Bradshaw-Smith, Story Comms

tom@wearestorycomms.com / 07432 460 225

Lewis Thomas, Story Comms

lewis@wearestorycomms.com / 07823 335 659

About the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF)

  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, will invest in Debt Finance, Small Business Loans, Proof-of-Concept and Equity Finance funds, ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
  • The Midlands Engine Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
  • The MEIF covers the following LEP areas: Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham & Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, The Marches, and Worcestershire in the West Midlands; and Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham & Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, and South-East Midlands in the East and South-East Midlands.
  • The project is receiving up to £78,550,000 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The programme will continue to spend to the end of 2023.
  • The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
  • The Government has guaranteed all funding allocated through EU programmes until the end of 2020.  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/funding-from-eu-programmes-guaranteed-until-the-end-of-2020
  • The European Investment Bank is providing £122,500,000 to support the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This follows backing for the Northern Powerhouse in 2017 and backing for the newly launched North East Fund. For further information visit www.eib.org

  • The funds in which Midlands Engine Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations in or planning to open material operations in the West Midlands and East & South-East Midlands.

About the British Business Bank

 The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank programmes are supporting more than £7.0bn of finance to over 91,000 smaller businesses (as at end of June 2019).

 As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:

  • The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb.
  • The new British Business Bank Finance Hub provides everything high-growth businesses need to know about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The new site also features case studies and learnings from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

 British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries. 

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.

The Bear is Back – Hofmeister Brewing Company Completes Funding Round

A world-renowned brewing company who are on a mission to bring back the bear are the latest company to be supported by the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator. Hofmeister has successfully completed their latest funding round, and raised a total of £720,000, which included £200,000 from the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund.

Hofmeister has a rich and fascinating history within the alcoholic drinks sector. Initially launched in 1976 by Courage, the Hofmeister brand was best known during the 1980s and 1990s. Its famous “follow the bear” Hofmeister adverts featuring George the Bear were the final directorial works of Orson Wells and remain much loved to this day.

The beer remained popular until lower alcohol lagers fell out of fashion in the nineties. Luckily for beer lovers, this is now changing with a surge in taste for premium lagers.  Relaunched in 2017 as a premium world lager, the new Hofmeister has been crafted to meet this growth in appetite for great quality lager. The relaunch of this historic beer is being expertly steered by two friends, Richard Longhurst and Spencer Chambers who bought the brand and have revamped the recipe for new-age beer drinkers. Now the beer is a genuine Helles lager brewed in Bavaria using the Reinheitsgebot or Purity Law, a traditional brewing method dating back to 1516. Beers brewed with this method only contain barley, hops, and mineral water.  Both men held senior positions at Beams, the UK’s leading branded alcohol gifting company. Ocado, the 5-star Connaught Hotel and the Ritz are just two of Hofmeister’s big name collaborations and more exciting partnerships are in the pipeline for the coming year.

Richard Longhurst, CEO at The Hofmeister Brewing Company, commented, “The past few years have been utterly phenomenal at Hofmeister and we are thrilled that The FSE Group has joined us on our journey. From winning contracts for in-house lager deals at prestigious venues to being the first ever lager to receive five stars at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, our relaunch has achieved so much already. With this funding round we will be opening up new facilities in Surrey and also expanding our talented team, so that the 2020’s carry on the momentum we have already built into the company.”

Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund on behalf of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, adds, “We are delighted to add Hofmeister to our investment portfolio. The company’s high level of success in such a short space of time is incredibly encouraging and can be credited to the team’s expertise and love for their product. They went to great lengths to find the right brewing partner and found the award-winning, privately-owned family business Schweiger Brewery in Bavaria to produce Hofmeister. Choosing a brewery partnership of such calibre has resulted in a fantastic high-end and critically acclaimed product. We are excited to follow the journey of Hofmeister…by following the bear!”

The Enterprise M3 Growth Fund is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, 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.

For more information about the Enterprise M3 Growth Fund please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator/ or contact Avent Bezuidenhoudt at avent.bezuidenhoudt@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608526.

Martin Macey Joins The FSE Group

The FSE Group has recruited a new fund manager to join their team in Cornwall.

Martin Macey, who has 16 years’ investment experience will be based in the Truro office.

Martin started his career at Deloitte, progressing from their graduate scheme to the position of assistant director. It was during his time at Deloitte that Martin qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

He joins the FSE Group from Succession Wealth, which is backed by Inflexion Private Equity. He was responsible for leading the financial acquisition & integration team. During his time at the Succession, Martin completed over 50 multi-million-pound acquisitions in addition to capital raises from HSBC and Ares. He also played a key role in the company winning Insider South West Company of the year in 2016.

At The FSE Group, Martin will be working with Ralph Singleton and the Cornwall team to deliver the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF).  His role will comprise evaluating, executing and managing equity investments from the £40m fund.

Ralph Singleton, Head of Funds Cornwall, at the FSE Group, commented, “We are delighted to welcome Martin to our team. Martin has been based in the South-West for the vast-majority of his career and his background in corporate finance advisory and private equity, will bring valuable experience and support to our investments across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”

The FSE Group manages funds on behalf of public and private stakeholders, providing debt and equity finance, ranging from £25k to £2m. The FSE team focuses on business potential and works alongside entrepreneurs and SME business owners to help them achieve their growth ambitions.

For more information about The FSE Group visit: www.thefsegroup.com