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September 2019

The Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC) has invested £40k in a Bristol-based company with established international reach to support it in developing its European market.

Tom & Teddy, a beach-wear range offering matching attire for fathers and sons, was the brain-child of husband and wife team Jelle de Jong and Michelle L’Huillier who were inspired by the beach lifestyle of Australia where they lived from 1999-2008.

At that point they relocated to Singapore, from where they launched the range – first in Australia in 2012, and two years later in the USA.

Since then online sales worldwide have also taken off significantly and, having relocated their family to Bristol in 2016, the pair are now ready to tackle Europe, and to extend their basic range.

Michelle L’Huillier said: “We’re now relatively well established in Australia, the US and Singapore, and online sales have soared.

Tom & Teddy founders Michelle L’Huillier and Jelle de Jong

“Market research has indicated a clear demand for an extension to our product line, so in addition to swim-wear and rash vests we are now manufacturing and selling t-shirts and polo-shirts for big guys and little guys alike.

“We were entirely self-funded at the start, but we need investment for our next step – first for our European launch, secondly for our product extensions and finally for additional recruitment.

“We have raised 2.6 million US dollars since 2014, and this new investment will help finance our next stage of growth – that is launching Tom & Teddy in Europe, developing new product extensions and recruiting additional staff.”

Tom & Teddy currently employs six people in Bristol office and is likely to expand the workforce this year.

Jerry Barnes, one of BPEC’s founding members, said: “We are keen to support Bristol-based firms who are looking to grow their business. Tom & Teddy attracted investment from three of our members.

“We are always looking for investment opportunities: applicants need to show us a sound development plan that will convince us their proposed strategy will indeed take their business to the next level.”

In the last three years BPEC has invested a total of £6m in 19 Bristol-based businesses and has seen its own membership swell from 49 members in 2016 to 80 today.

Issued on behalf of Bristol Private Equity Club by Empica

September 2019

Investments by successful Bristol entrepreneurs into locally-based businesses have created a total spend in the city of just over £8 million and created 96 jobs in the last two years. 

The second annual Business Performance Survey carried out on behalf of Bristol Private Equity Club has revealed the impact the club’s investments have had on the wider Bristol economy and jobs market. 

There are 80 successful entrepreneurs and business people investing their own capital through the club. Since it was founded three years ago a total of £6 million has been invested into 19 businesses in the area to support their growth. 

The survey looks at how the investments benefit the wider business community and shows that a total of £8 million has been spent locally by those businesses, including wages.  

There are now a total of 176 people in jobs created in businesses that have been supported by Bristol Private Equity Club, earning in total £5.3 million a year. 

Jerry Barnes, the founder of the Bristol Private Equity Club said: “The club only supports businesses in the greater Bristol area and every investment does not just support an individual business but helps the whole local economy. 

“The annual survey looks at that impact. Successful businesses will be paying rates and tax to support the city’s infrastructure, giving people jobs and money that they will spend locally and spending with other local businesses. 

“Of course some of these businesses have received funding from other sources but it is exciting to see people who have been successful in Bristol re-invest in the city and support others with business ideas. Many of the companies that have received funding are technology businesses at the leading edge of tomorrow’s innovations. 

“Many have potential for fast growth and as well as money are receiving support and advice from our investors, who are pleased to be passing on their knowledge and expertise.” 

Issued on behalf of Bristol Private Equity Club by Empica.

September 2019

A Bristol-based company, which has developed faster and cheaper ways to identify harmful bacteria has received financial backing from eight of the city’s successful entrepreneurs.

FluoretiQ, based in Unit DX, Bristol, is a two-year old business that is using novel technology to identify bacterial infections in hospitals, clinics and care homes. It sourced some of its latest financial support through Bristol Private Equity Club.

Chief executive, Neciah Dorh, who has a PhD in nanophotonics and a background in fluorescence technologies for bio-sensing, leads the team who have developed the techniques.

He said: “This support will enable us to push forward with our ambitious growth plans to revolutionise bacterial diagnostics. We are passionate about our research and development and have invested in building the team we need to deliver this technology to people all over the world.

“The technology can reduce clinical decision-making time from 48 hours to 15 minutes, an accelerated approach to existing care pathways. At the moment we are working on a solution for urinary tract infections, to reduce recurrent GP visits, hospitalisation and unnecessary prescription of broad spectrum antibiotics.

“We have always worked closely in collaboration with the University of Bristol and to now have other Bristol-based entrepreneurs recognising the potential of FluoretiQ is a huge boost and encouragement to us as a business.”

Jerry Barnes, founder of the Bristol Private Equity Club, said: “Bristol is fast gaining a reputation for the number of companies like FluoretiQ that are using emerging technology to make a real difference to the world.

“We have 80 successful entrepreneurs and business people with capital in the club. They all want to support fast growing and successful businesses and to share the expertise and lessons they have learned over the years with those at the leading edge of development.”

Bristol Private Equity Club has now invested a total of £6 million in three years in 19 Bristol area businesses. FluoretiQ was developed with venture capital from Deepbridge Capital and now has a strong scientific team taking the research forward.

Issued on behalf of Bristol Private Equity Club by Empica

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