Foresight Nottingham Fund ("the Fund”), the £40m regional fund for growth businesses in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, has led the investment of £350,000 in Idle Projects Limited, trading as online fashion start-up TheIdleMan.com, alongside proven business angel co-investors.
Founded by Oliver Tezcan, part of the original start-up team of Asos.com and latterly Head of Menswear, TheIdleMan.com is an e-commerce website, the only one dedicated exclusively to affordable men’s fashion, and will target primarily the 18-34 age range offering a collection of fast fashion brands as well as its own label range.
Oliver Tezcan commented: "We're delighted to have secured the backing of the Foresight Nottingham Fund to help realise our vision of the first online retail destination focusing exclusively on accessible men's fashion. With its rich heritage in textiles, considerable pool of talented labour and numerous Council-led initiatives to support young growth companies, Nottingham will be a great place to build TheIdleMan.com.”
The senior management team comprising CEO Oliver Tezcan, Marketing Director Alex Outlaw - the award winning digital marketer from Motilo.com, with Alan Wilson as Non-Executive Finance Director are joined by Simon Guild as Non-Executive Chairman. Simon spent 14 years with MTV Networks, latterly as CEO, and since 2007 has worked with several high growth e-commence businesses including WAYN.com and Spreadshirt.com where he is also Chairman. Darrel Connell of Foresight Group, manager of the Foresight Nottingham Fund, has also joined the company’s board.
Two interns are joining from Nottingham Trent University Fashion and Textile Facility. As the business grows the IT, Customer Care and a stand-alone warehouse functions will be located in Nottingham, representing the ideal centrally located UK hub with excellent transport links around the country.
Darrel Connell, Director, said: The Foresight Nottingham Fund has a mandate to support start-up businesses, alongside more mature fast-growth companies, and is committed to attracting the best entrepreneurial talent to the region. In both respects TheIdleMan.com represents a text-book opportunity - a dynamic proposition, in a market that is seeing explosive growth, with a proven management team led by Oliver and we are delighted to be in at the ground floor.
The Fund forms part of the Nottingham Growth Plan, an ambitious blueprint for strengthening the city’s economy. The Growth Plan comprises a suite of business support products, from equity funding and start-up loans to development programmes and free support with recruitment and training- aimed at helping local companies to flourish and bring further employment to the city. Combined with the city’s central location, large talent pool of graduates, great transport links and lower than average office and staffing costs, conditions are ripe in Nottingham for similar inward investment successes.
Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth at Nottingham City Council commented: "This investment illustrates that Nottingham is a prime location for innovative, digital businesses. The initiatives that form the Growth Plan are geared towards helping existing companies and also encouraging new investment into the city, like TheIdleMan.com. Seeing these kinds of companies choose our city to run their business tells us that the plan is working.”
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Notes to editors:
TheIdleMan.com is the trading name of Idle Projects Ltd and is an e-commerce website dedicated to men’s fashion.
TheIdleMan will sell a collection of fast-fashion brands and an own-label range under the TIM brand, as well as offering style advice, relevant content and news targeted towards the 18-34 year old males who have been accustomed to shopping at the sub-standard menswear ranges offered as an after-thought by women’s online retailers.
Yet to trade, the Company was founded in 2013 by Oliver Tezcan. In 2006 Tezcan launched menswear on Asos.com – currently the number one fashion apparel website in the UK for 16-34 year olds. Since then Asos menswear has grown into a £200m business with Asos’ men’s sales showing consistent growth year-on-year 10-20% faster than womenswear.
TIM’s market is Men’s Clothing, Footwear and Accessories.
The total UK menswear market was approximately £10.4bn in FY2012-13. It has grown by 12% over the last 5 years despite economic conditions, and is expected to grow by another 11% by 2017 (Source: Mintel report for British Fashion Council).
About Foresight Group
Foresight Group is a leading infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for 30 years.
Foresight has over £1bn of assets under management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).
About Foresight Nottingham Fund
Foresight Nottingham Fund is a £40 million dedicated regional growth fund that has been created to support SMEs specifically in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. The Fund exists to provide investment and support to businesses in the Nottinghamshire region, to stimulate enterprise, to create jobs and to attract inward investment to the region.
Foresight Nottingham Fund is a £40 million regional fund whose investors include the Nottinghamshire Local Government Pension scheme, and a number of high net worth individuals with deep ties to Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
The Fund invests between £100,000 and £2 million in SMEs which are either based in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, or are relocating to the region after investment.
It is a commercial fund, run on fully commercial terms, which should have the benefit of attracting further funding to the region and is a key part of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Growth Plans, developing Nottingham and Nottinghamshire as a place to do business and creating new jobs in the City and County.
The Fund is part of the £50 million Nottingham Prospectus, the city’s package to attract further investment to boost Nottingham’s economy. The Nottingham Prospectus is part of the Nottingham Growth Plan, a single source access point for all the financial and business support available for investors in the city. The full programme of support available to business can be seen at www.growingnottingham.com.
Foresight Legal Due Diligence: Austin Moore Partners LLP
Financial Due Diligence: Wilson Westfield Limited
TheIdleMan.com Legal Advisor: MBM Commercial LLP