Foresight invests £375,000 into fast growth equestrian products ecommerce business

NOTTINGHAM, 23 October 2018: Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) has announced a £375,000 investment into Equus Products and Services Limited (“Equus” or the “Company”) via the Midlands Engine Investment Fund ("MEIF").

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Equus is a niche ecommerce business focused on the equine sector, offering a broad range of clothing and specialist products for riders. In 2017, Equus became the UK’s fastest growing online equestrian products business and now has a dedicated customer database of over 34,000 members.

The Company was founded in 2013 by wife-husband team Kim Horton (CEO) and Steve Wood (COO), who were disappointed with the service and range in their local equine shop. They sought to create a customer centric online offering “by riders, for riders”, providing carefully selected products from an array of the best brands across the market. Kim and Steve together have over 15 years’ experience in the ecommerce sector, having worked at big names such as John Lewis, Tesco.com and Argos.

Foresight’s investment will enable the Company to focus on marketing, while also investing in broadening its existing product range and scaling the Equus brand throughout the UK. The firm has already appointed an online marketing specialist to help further develop its email and marketing campaigns – an important step in increasing its repeat client base.

Commenting on MEIF’s investment, Kim Horton, CEO, Equus, said: We are delighted to have received investment from Foresight and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. Equus targets a niche but reliable client base of regular horse riders who are looking for high-quality products through the ease of online shopping and this investment will support our ongoing growth in this market.

Additionally, Equus will be relocating to Wyboston in Bedfordshire, a move which will increase office capacity, support the hiring of additional staff and accelerate the growth of the business. It is predicted that eight new jobs will be created in the first year following the move.

On the completion of the deal, Ray Harris, Principal, Foresight Group, commented: Equus is the perfect example of the type of early-stage, niche business in the Midlands region which we look to invest in through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. Kim and Steve make a strong analytical force, as is apparent from Equus’ consistent year-on-year growth. We look forward to working with them and the team, watching the company grow from strength-to-strength.

Grant Peggie, Director, at the British Business Bank, added: “With the support of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and Foresight, it’s good to see that this business is now able to expand its ecommerce presence, supporting economic growth and creating new job opportunities.”

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

 

For further information contact:

Annabel Arrowsmith, Marketing Manager, Foresight Group aarrowsmith@foresightgroup.eu / 020 3667 8179

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):

Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.

Foresight has more thank £2.5 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs), Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Inheritance Tax Solutions using Business Property Relief (BPR).

Foresight’s Private Equity team, comprising 24 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight was voted ‘Best VCT Investment Manager’ at the 2017 Growth Investor Awards, having been previously awarded ‘VCT House of the Year’ at the 2016 Unquote British Private Equity awards.  Foresight was recently a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards as Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year.

Foresight is headquartered in London with regional UK offices in Manchester, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Leicester and Guernsey and international offices in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Seoul.

www.foresightgroup.eu

 

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 Department for 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 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 North East Fund to be announced in the coming weeks. www.eib.org

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

The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb

 

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 is currently supporting almost £5.2bn of finance to nearly 75,000 smaller businesses (as at end of March 2018).

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 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.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and 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, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.

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.