Foresight makes MEIF investment into software-based franking alternative business Postworks Limited

MILTON KEYNES/NOTTINGHAM, 15 October 2018: Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”) announces the investment into Postworks Limited (“Postworks” or the “Company”) on behalf of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (“MEIF”). This marks Foresight’s third MEIF investment since its launch in February.  

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Postworks is an online franking company providing small and medium sized businesses with a software-based alternative to franked business post.  Using Postworks’ software platform, businesses can ‘drag and drop’ their post for electronic sorting, printing and folding at Postworks printing centre before being handed over to the Royal Mail for delivery. 

The Northampton-based company was launched late 2016 by James and Marvee-Lisa Booker. With their extensive experience in the print, mail and media sector, they identified an opportunity to improve upon and disrupt the traditional franking model, using technology to deliver scalable mailing services to the SME sector.

Foresight’s investment from MEIF, will support the continued growth of the company with the recruitment of additional staff to add to their product development team.  Over the next five years Postworks plans to open eight strategically placed print centres to reduce the transport of physical mail items and take steps to making post a more environmentally friendly communication channel. Additionally, funds will be used to enable focus on operational development and the creation of new technologies to increase production capacity. 

Simon Moate has joined the business as Chairman. Simon has over 15 years’ experience working with SMEs operating in business support services and was formerly CEO of Office2Office Plc, a diversified business services group.

Explaining the implications of this investment James Booker, Founder and Commercial Director of Postworks, commented: “We are removing the barriers that the SME market face when sending post, like long franking contracts and complicated pricing structures. More importantly, we are giving the postal industry a much-needed push into the digital age and we are looking forward to working with Foresight and the wider team on this.”

Commenting on the deal completion, Rodney Appiah, Director at Foresight Group, commented: “We are very pleased to have made this investment into Postworks and look forward to working with James and Marvee-Lisa to scale this innovative and disruptive technology business. Postworks is a great fit for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and a good example of the vibrant start up community in Northampton.”

Companies using the Postworks platform will also be able to reduce paper wastage and reduce their carbon footprint as mail volumes are sorted and delivered nearer to their final destination.

Grant Peggie, Director, Venture Capital Solutions at British Business Bank, said:This MEIF investment by Foresight in Postworks is further evidence that the East and South East Midlands is a growing digital technology cluster. We are pleased that MEIF investment is supporting an increase in skilled staff and their wider growth aspirations.” 

Malcolm Johnston, Growth Hubs Manager, South East Midlands LEP said: “We met James when he contacted the Growth Hub and later joined our Investment Readiness Masterclass. It’s clear that business systems and processes are part of Postworks' life-blood and the firm is constantly innovating and developing its own systems as a result. Postworks is an incredibly switched on business, having already grown significantly, and with more to come. It is definitely one to watch. Clearly the fund managers think so too.”

This is the third investment to be announced from Foresight’s Midlands Engine Investment Fund. Foresight was appointed equity fund manager for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund in the East and South East Midlands earlier this year, (“BBB”) as part of the £250 million Midlands Engine programme. 

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 over £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 23 investment professionals, pursues four discrete but complementary investment styles: Venture, Impact, Growth and Replacement Capital through its growing regional office network.  

Foresight’s ventures team, comprising experienced investment professionals, invests between £250k and £2m in growth capital and venture capital investments in UK SME’s. 

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 and has been announced shortlisted finalist for Venture and Growth Capital House of the Year at the 2018 Unquote British Private Equity Awards. 

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

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.