A London based direct-to-consumer online plant retailer has secured a £1million loan from the Greater London Investment Fund (GLIF) to support business expansion.
The loan, which is backed by the Government’s Recovery Loan Scheme, will support the company’s growth ambition through sales and marketing activity, the creation of new jobs in London and allow for an investment in product development.
Established in 2015, Patch initially concentrated on the London market before a nationwide roll out in March 2020, thus benefitting from an increase in the ecommerce plant market during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a direct-to-consumer supplier of indoor and outdoor plants and accessories they were the first to offer a broad range of quality plants delivered direct to the home, as well as a unique system of professional aftercare in the form of YouTube tutorials from plant experts.
Patch will look to broaden their product offer to capitalise on the growing trend towards urbanisation and the demand for wellbeing products. This will be achieved through expanding the product range to include a more material range of outdoor plants as well as through retail partnerships.
Freddie Blackett, CEO and Founder of Patch, commented: “Thanks to this GLIF loan, we will be able to adjust to the increased transport and recruitment costs that the pandemic and other external factors have forced upon us. The loan comes at a crucial moment, allowing us to invest in both a strong workforce as well as increased marketing to really push forward with our growth plans.”
Currently valued at £4billion, the UK plants and accessories market is still growing. As the acceleration in ecommerce brought about by Covid-19 continues, online penetration of the plant market is rapidly increasing, with Patch’s market-leading position driven by its first-mover advantage.
David Booth, Investment Manager for The FSE Group, which manages the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, added: “We were impressed by the business momentum which Freddie has built since 2015 and the growth opportunity. We are delighted to be supporting Patch on the next stage of their journey and look forward to working with the team as they continue to execute their plans for expansion”.
Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “As a pioneer of the ‘urban jungle’ movement, Patch continues to drive the rise of this trend which has improved the lives of many city dwellers. We are extremely excited to continue supporting them as they launch in their next stage of growth.”
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 £1.5m, 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.
The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit http://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/recovery-loan-scheme.