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Offering Local Produce on National Scale – Heartier

It may be surprising to discover that the real success story of UK manufacturing is food and drink.

Predicted to grow at three or four per cent annually, there are some 6,360 food and drink producers contributing to turnover of around £100bn, according to a London Stock Exchange Group report of 2016.

Much of the growth in the food and drink industry is taking place among smaller, specialist businesses and in artisan foods. It is into this booming sector that Heartier (recently re-branded – it was formerly Market Porter) has carved a niche. Pitching itself as a purveyor of “proper, tasty, local produce”, it connects small-scale food producers directly with consumers via its proprietary platform.

It is unique in offering local produce on a national scale – effectively like an online mega-market. Having begun in 2014 with ‘Meat Porter’, it now offers charcuterie, high-end chocolate, meat, and cheese from selected suppliers.

Founded by a couple of self-confessed foodies and university buddies, Stefan Porter (now CEO) and Nicholas Ford (CFO), Heartier’s proprietary algorithm matches customers with the most local supplier, while also managing availability, capacity and cost price. “We looked at models as varied as Deliveroo and Airbnb for inspiration,” says Porter, a former head buyer for Lidl supermarkets.

“We’re working with second or third-generation butchers and farmers who want to reach a broader consumer base,” says Ford. “They might not want to incur the cost of going online, which can be complicated. So we organise the logistics, and allow them to focus on the bit they love – food.”

Customers, perhaps jaded by supermarket stories of mislabelled meat or fake farms, get a direct line to a range of local suppliers – an approach hat has gained Heartier a 92 per cent Feefo customer satisfaction rating.

“The trust element is our USP,” says Porter. “I don’t believe supermarkets would do what we’re doing. We’re cutting out the middle-man. We’re offering domestic produce that is ever-changing and based on small suppliers. Supermarkets wouldn’t take this multiple-producer, fragmented approach. And the farms they are dealing with are often more like large manufacturers.”

Heartier also has the advantage of being the first of its kind nationwide: competitors exist, but they tend to be London-centric and costly to run, whereas Heartier’s technology allows it to scale up while keeping costs low. “Supermarkets might potentially be competitors for customers,” says Porter, “But because we cut the supply-chain fat, prices are comparable to [Sainsbury’s] Taste the Difference range or Waitrose, but no more expensive.” In that, Heartier is “determinedly mass market”, the co-founders add.

“We want to bring on more suppliers as we scale up, while keeping our reputation as trusted suppliers of independent, local produce. I believe we’re doing something completely game-changing in food marketing,” says Porter.

The founders have also stocked the board with advisers and directors with the strategic clout the business will need as it expands: Joanne Gunn of Majestic Warehouse, Stephen Evans of Tonkotsu and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and lead investor/angel Robert Durkin.

Board composition has been a chief consideration for the founders. “We’ve been careful to pick shareholders with complementary skills, even if they aren’t on board. We’ve even turned down investment companies because we don’t want to give away board seats, says Ford.”

Finding the right fit has also been the priority as the business builds its team: “Our aim is to scale up but we want our values to stay the same,” says Ford, “It’s about finding the right fit. In a growing business, no-one can hide or get carried along. You need to have a shared passion and a sense of urgency. You get a sense of that from people early on.”

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Sector experience is less important than attitude, he adds – in fact, specialists can be a hindrance in a start-up. “We all wear many hats. The main test is how comfortable you are doing something that is not strictly in your job description.”

If you would like to contact Heartier regarding their current raise then please contact the deal manager by through the platform login.

tamoco Bg

Building The World’s Largest Proximity Network

When you have Techstars mentor and entrepreneur Simon Andrews, investor and entrepreneur Brent Hoberman, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, and First Eastern Investment Group’s Victor Chu on your board, it’s easy to forget that the founders themselves bring some serious weight to the five-year-old business.

Founder Sam Amrani is a serial entrepreneur and one of Forbes’s 30Under30, CEO and serial entrepreneur Rune Bromer recently sold his latest venture to the largest retailer in Denmark, CCO Daniel Angel is a digital veteran, with roles at EE and the FT littered through his 20-plus year career, and Dimitrij Dennisenko is the founder of Blacksquare and was the lead architect for AOL in Europe.

Tamoco sets itself out as the world’s largest proximity network. It capitalizes on the near-universal use of smartphones to connect mobile devices with physical sensors for location-based promotions. It collects data in millions of locations around the world, partnering with WiFi providers such as Sky, as well as retailers and big brands, to create a highly scalable proximity network. This means it can provide data that is more precise (accurate with one metre) about an individual’s whereabouts, and provide insight into customer behaviour with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

Its global proximity network comprises over 1.1 billion sensors – WiFi routers and Bluetooth beacons, so it effectively partners with putative competitors such as Foursquare to aggregate data in its network. It also has an active mobile audience of some 40 million, which allows the company to access individual audience movements around the world.

And because its data hub is sector-agnostic, it can be used for, say, advertisements to a single individual, or to identify bigger trends –forecasting retail behaviour for the financial sector, for example.

It already boasts a roster of major multinationals among its customers– many focusing on location based advertising, or FMCG brands and retailers using it to reach consumers (through individual offers to people within proximity of a store).

But CEO Bromer sees it as becoming even more widespread in tracking behavioural and marketing trends and providing ground-level, financial insights or for urban planning. It could, for example, be taken up by Transport of London, or any organisation looking to capture ‘time-and motion’ style information for performance evaluation.

“There is growing demand from businesses looking to use location-based technology,” Bromer says. “We have two clear parameters we measure against: the precision of our data, and the time-lines of that data. We are pushing as much real-time information as possible. Part of our solution is helping customers with volumes of raw data through our insights platform.” The funds raised in this round will be used to expand into new markets and attract more revenue-generative customers.

With the potential demand for more accurate, context-specific data only set to grow, that global board makes a lot of sense. So what is it that Tamoco looks for from its non-execs? Says Bromer: “Chemistry. Most collaborations will break down without basic likeability.” They also have to provide value. “You want to work with someone whose reputation and values match the company’s and who brings something new to the business.” Founders need to listen as well as ask questions of potential board members: “When you meet, you can learn a lot about from what they ask you.”

Tamoco has now reached over £1m of their £1.3m funding raise. If you would like further information please login to the platform and contact the deal manager via their platform.

Envestors Meets McLaren

In May, a group of F1 and motorcar enthusiasts from within Envestors’Platinum Club spent the day at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, courtesy of McLaren and, in particular, George Farquar, VIP and affinity relations manager.

The group was treated to an in-depth telling of the impressive history of McLaren and had the chance to sit in the 570 GT (pictured below) before being stunned by the new 720 S (pictured), launched earlier this year. A guided tour of the centre was peppered with anecdotes from McLaren’s storied history, and showed how the business has evolved. From the first car that Bruce McLaren built and raced, aged 15, to the limited edition Super Series P1, there is almost a car for every year McLaren has been operating. The story is one of impressive innovation, swift progression and disruption to the market, and McLaren emerges as a truly iconic and fiercely British brand.

The tour ended with a view from the gallery of the McLaren Production Centre, where the cars are built in a spotless and mainly manually operated, spectacularly organised production line. The lack of automation was notable and somehow added to the feeling that we were spying on the future.

Following a delicious lunch in the Ayrton Senna suite, our guests departed suitably impressed and, in many cases, convinced that a British-made McLaren must take up a place in their automotive collection. But which model? Mine’s a 720 S Spider please!

If you would like to know more about McLaren and are interested in test driving one of their models, or taking part in one of their exclusive driving experiences, please get in touch with Jessica.wilson@envestors.co.uk and she will connect you with George at McLaren.

POLAR charging network to be powered with 100% renewable electricity

  • UK’s largest electric vehicle charging network switches to 100% renewable energy
  • Electric drivers benefit from a reduced emissions footprint from POLAR charging points
  • Cost of POLAR network membership remains the same with no price increase

 The UK’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging network, POLAR, which includes Charge Your Car sites, is switching to 100% renewable electricity from 1st August.

The electricity consumption of the POLAR network, operated by Chargemaster, will be certified and matched to energy generated from renewable sources; meaning every mile driven by EVs charging on the POLAR network will be matched by renewable energy.

Chargemaster, the UK’s largest provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, provides over 40,000 EV drivers with access to more than 5,600 public charging points in the UK across the POLAR and Charge Your Car networks. Combined, they represent more than 40% of all the charging points in the UK and, in the first half of 2017 supplied vehicles with more than 500,000 kWh of electricity.

The POLAR network is growing significantly, with Chargemaster installing more than 250 of its UK-manufactured Ultracharge rapid chargers this year. POLAR plus membership, which provides unlimited access to charging points in the network (over 85% of which are free to use) costs just £7.85 per month and will not increase with the switch to renewable energy. In addition, new members benefit from free membership for the first three months.

Electric vehicles already reduce local air pollution, as pure electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid and range-extender models running in electric mode, produce no tailpipe emissions.

Even when charged with electricity from the National Grid, the emissions footprint of electric motoring is still lower than the average new car in the UK. However, this benefit is increased if electric vehicles are charged using renewable energy, which ensures that electric motorists are truly ‘zero emission’, with no fossil fuel-generated electricity used when charging.

David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster said, “Switching POLAR, the UK’s largest EV charging network, to renewable energy is great news for EV drivers in the UK. It reduces the overall emissions of electric motoring, removing the upstream footprint of electricity generation in the same way as drivers have eliminated their tailpipe emissions.”

If you would like to register to invest or to raise finance with Envestors, please do so here.

Envestors China/UK Investment Technology Fund

We are delighted to announce the launch of the Envestors UK/China Investment Technology Fund: Selecting the best UK technology companies with relevance to the China market for the benefit of China.

INVESTMENT CRITERIA: We will be selecting the best UK technology companies through our extensive network in London, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. The Fund will focus upon high growth UK technology companies which have relevance for the China market for the benefit of China.

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: The Investment Committee is led by a highly experienced fund management team led by Modwenna Rees Mogg and will comprise investors from China and the UK.

INVESTMENT STRUCTURE: This is an opportunity for UK and Chinese investors to invest together. The size of the Fund is CNY \ 1 billion (Åí114m)

MORE INFORMATION: If interested in a prospectus, please contact Scott Haughton  Co-Founder and COO Envestors Limited with an expression of interest to be involved in the UK/China Investment Fund, by 30th September 2017.

Contact: Scott Haughton

scott@envestors.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7240 0202

wechat: scott_from_london

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Globalisation Under Fire – Smith & Williamson

First Brexit, then Trump and now the prospect of pro-nationalist parties gaining influence across Europe – globalisation is under fire across the western world.

Against the backdrop of a more challenging and unbalanced global economic environment and with people and businesses everywhere facing greater uncertainty, free trade has become an easy target for politicians and some sections of the media who blame globalisation for a widening gap between rich and poor.

The great debate

The rise of the populist, protectionist agenda is just the latest reaction to a global economic system that many believe still hasn’t recovered from the 2007/08 financial crisis. Western voters are trying to ‘take back control’ by electing governments that promise to put a stop to the perceived excesses of globalisation.

Yet in China and other emerging economies the appetite for globalisation and trade understandably remains strong, given the benefits these economies have enjoyed over the past few decades thanks to external demand for their cheap labour and goods. China’s rise has been fuelled by exports, so it was no surprise to hear President Xi Jinping at the World Economic Forum defending the ability of globalisation to lift people out of poverty in Davos.

New world order?

The impact of Brexit and Trump is still unfolding, but it’s clear that the established order of global trade will change. The rules, freedom and ease of trade with the EU are our immediate focus and businesses will have to adapt accordingly. But the benefits of trade are so strong for both parties that it seems implausible that the EU won’t continue to be the UK’s most important market, followed by the US, for many years to come. Even so, British businesses may need to rethink their focus.

Refocusing our exports

Once free of EU restraints on trade with the rest of the world, the UK will be able to negotiate new trading relationships. According to the Office for National Statistics, UK exports grew at a faster rate than total world export growth last year for the first time in over a decade, with businesses already increasing exports to non-EU countries.

UK exports to emerging markets are still much smaller than to the EU or US, but they’re already becoming more important, partly driven by the successful economic growth of these economies, their emerging middle classes and growing consumer spending.

The UK’s largest export sectors are machinery, transport and business and financial services, with services in general rapidly closing the gap on exports of goods. But there’s a world of opportunity out there for scale-ups across innumerable sectors and there are good reasons to believe that May’s vision of the UK as a hub for international trade may be realistic.

Building global trading relationships

In January, the government published its new industrial strategy green paper, which sets out how it will support businesses to develop in new sectors and increase exports. The paper calls for protectionism to be resisted and for global trade to remain free and open in order to support investment and exports – all integral to the UK’s industrial success.

The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy, with enviable businesses, scientific research and cultural prowess, enabling us to attract investment and talented individuals from around the world. China, Canada, India, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea have already said they want to discuss future trading relationships, and the Government has established working groups with key trade partners such as India and Australia.

‘Made in Britain’ still carries considerable kudos across the world and the UK’s long-established reputation for high standards, quality of workmanship, creativity and, increasingly, our technological know-how can give exporters a head start in new markets.

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Smith & Williamson LLP

Regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. A member of Nexia International.