Subscription service Brushbox secures over £770k in funding from nearly 300 investors on Crowdcube

  • Start-up raises investment for eco-friendly toothbrush subscription boxes
  • It has been 154% overfunded in its latest investment round
  • The funding will result in nearly 10,000 toothbrushes being gifted to disadvantaged children through its ‘Buy 1, Give 1’ charitable scheme

A Cardiff-based start-up providing an eco-friendly toothbrush subscription service has secured more than £770,000 investment in its latest funding round, exceeding its target by over £250,000 from nearly 300 investors.

Founded by former Deloitte advisor, Mike Donovan, Brushbox aims to be the world’s largest subscription brand for eco-friendly, cruelty-free and sustainable personal toothbrush, toothpaste and oral care products.

During the funding round, Brushbox has also strengthened its board and investor base with the addition of founder, former CEO and now vice chair of Cloudreach, Pontus Noren. A senior advisor to The Blackstone Group, he brings with him 24 years’ experience as a successful entrepreneur, with leadership expertise in the IT industry across sales, business development and product marketing from working for blue chip companies like Cisco, Ericsson, and Nokia.

Mike explained the Brushbox team has been overwhelmed by the support they have received in this funding round and said: “To have so many people willing to invest their hard-earned cash on our company is amazing and to welcome investors of the calibre of Pontus to the board has been phenomenal.

To exceed our funding target by 154% is just incredible and it has been truly exciting to have so many people who share and support our vision to create a step change in how we consume every day, typically throw away items, with an aim to vastly improve the UK’s oral health in a fun and different way, including young children in deprived areas who might otherwise not have the means to help themselves in the way that some of us do. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support and encouragement.”

On his investment and appointment to the Brushbox board, Pontus Noren said: “I met Mike a few months ago and his passion for Brushbox and his persistence to build the best consumer focussed subscription businesses was palatable.

This is an industry ripe for disruption and Brushbox is in pole position to drive the change we need to see. With a focus on health, eco-friendliness and giving back as a core part of the business, I believe Brushbox can look forward to an exciting and bright future.”

Brushbox is the UK’s first sustainable subscription box service and deliver 100% recyclable and biodegradable toothbrushes, including beautiful bamboo brushes, toothpaste and other oral health products direct to your door. With their focus on eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes one of their key aims is to combat the estimated *3.6bn plastic toothbrushes that end up in landfill or our oceans each year.

Since its launch in 2018, Brushbox has been listed as the number one start-up business to watch in Wales and, having delivered thousands of boxes across the UK last year, was named the second fastest-rising direct to consumer brand in the UK by Marketing Week magazine, just behind US razor subscription service Dollar Shave Club.

Explaining the inspiration behind Brushbox, Mike said: “We understand that actively remembering when to change your toothbrush may not immediately be at the top of everyone’s priority list, but we’re passionate about spreading the Brushbox ethos in order to improve people’s health.

“The awareness around the damage that plastics are having in our seas and environment means that there is an ever-growing population of consumers who are crying out for eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to the status-quo, and it’s important that this is done well.

“According to a report from Euromonitor, the oral care market exceeded sales of £1.3billion in 2017 in the UK alone, with traditional plastic toothbrushes and toothpaste making up 73% of those sales. Alongside this, the UK subscription market is one of the fastest growing sectors in retail and is forecasted to be worth more than £1billion by 2022. With more than half of 25-35-year olds in the UK already signed up to at least one subscription box, and with 40% of consumers saying they will join more schemes in the future, there is the potential for big, sustainable and eco-friendly business to be done here.”

Mike is committed to improving the oral health of the UK and to that end Brushbox has also fostered a partnership with Dentaid which means that, for every Brushbox toothbrush sold, another one is donated to a disadvantaged child who may not have the same means to replace their brushes when they’re supposed to. As a direct result of their most recent funding round an additional 10,000 toothbrushes will be donated in the coming months.

More information on subscribing to Brushbox can be found at www.brushbox.com.

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Notes to editors:

For more information, please contact Lynsey Walden or Bethan Rees at Front Door Communications on 02920 020360 or at knock.knock@fdcomms.co.uk.

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Dog food company Butternut Box raises £15 million led by Five Seasons Ventures

Fast-growing fresh dog food company Butternut Box raises £15 million of new investment to fuel European and product expansion

●  Investment round is led by Five Seasons Ventures and White Star Capital with existing backers Passion Capital and Literacy Capital also participating

●  Money will be used to launch into Europe and fund the development of new dishes, snacks and toys

●  New investment will see former SkyBet chief executive Richard Flint join the board

London, April 26 2019 – ​Butternut Box, the London-based fresh dog food business, has raised £15 million of new investment in a round led by European venture capital firms Five Seasons Ventures and White Star Capital. Existing backers Passion Capital and Literacy Capital have also participated alongside debt financier Kreos Capital. The investment marks the fast-growing company’s intention to launch into Europe and build a leading pet wellness business.

Since launching in 2016, Butternut Box has produced more than 8 million meals for dogs across the UK and last year saw revenues grow by 700 per cent. Dishes are cooked with fresh ingredients and portioned according to a dog’s breed, weight, sex and exercise regime before they are delivered to customers.

Founded by best friends Kevin Glynn and David Nolan, the company has continued to stress the importance of transparency in the pet food sector and believes strongly in quality ingredients with easy-to-read labels on packaging. The new investment aims to bring healthy, balanced diets to more pets across the UK and Europe. Alongside the funding, former SkyBet chief executive Richard Flint will join the Butternut board.

Ivan Farneti, partner at Five Seasons Ventures, said: ​“Last year we were actively searching for a pet food investment opportunity around two key trends: the humanisation of pets and the increasing shift towards natural food, with the connected premiumisation of the overall experience. The team at Butternut Box was spot on in terms of their product positioning, their direct-to-consumer model and strong commercial traction. This is one of the strongest teams we have seen in foodtech in Europe over the last few years: we had to back them”.

Eric Martineau-Fortin, co-founder and managing partner at White Star Capital, said: ​“We’ve been working closely with the team since our investment in early 2018. David and Kevin have created a product centric brand built on the foundations of an exceptionally strong community and a very special team culture. We’ve worked closely with companies such as Freshly and Dollar Shave Club to scale and Butternut Box is growing on a similar trajectory”.

David Nolan, co-founder at Butternut Box, said: ​“We’re so excited to have the backing of amazing investors to take Butternut Box to the next level and grow a leading pet wellness company in Europe. Even more exciting is that we will reach more pets and could help them to live healthier, happier lives. The transformation stories we hear from pet parents each day spur us on to make Butternut Box even better”.

Richard Flint, former chief executive of SkyBet, said: ​“A​lthough it might not seem that home-cooked dog food and online betting have much in common, I am learning that there are many parallels. Most importantly my passion is helping great teams to succeed and that’s why I am so excited to be joining the Butternut Box Board”.

About Butternut Box

Butternut Box was founded to bring fresh, nutritious and perfectly portioned meals to pets everywhere. Visit us at www.butternutbox.com to learn more.

Contact

Jodie Guildharry:​ ​Jodie@butternutbox.com

The Hut Group secures £770 million revolving credit facility from Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

The Hut Group Limited (“THG” or the “Group”), one of the world’s largest online Beauty & Wellbeing businesses, today announces newly improved Group banking facilities, in excess of $1 billion (USD). The enhanced facility will support upcoming major investments in Beauty, Technology and Infrastructure, enabling the Group to continue to deliver on its growth plans.

The enhanced facility increases and extends the revolving credit facility to a 4-year deal while the M&A facility has also been extended to become a 3-year deal. As part of this refinancing, the Group welcomes Shanghai Pudong Development Bank into the revolving credit facility, reflecting the significance of Asian markets which now accounts for over 20% of Group Sales.

Andrew Woods, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Relationship Manager commented: “We are delighted to join The Hut Group’s core banking facility at this exciting time in the company’s development. This transaction is in line with the banks strategy of facilitating UK corporates with their trade flows to China and underlines our confidence in the THG management team.”

In addition to the expanded facilities above, the Group has also agreed new property funding up to €40m with Intesa Sanpaolo to finance the freehold acquisition and fit out of the recently commissioned Distribution Warehouse in Wroclaw, Poland. The new 800,000 sq. ft. fulfilment and manufacturing facility will provide the Group with faster and more efficient access to almost 300 million online shoppers, helping keep pace with the continued global growth.

THG continues to grow rapidly, with 2018 sales in excess of $1.2bn. The Group continues to invest in its own brand proposition, particularly its ever-growing Beauty portfolio, which is powered by THG Ingenuity, its proprietary e-commerce technology platform. The platform, which generates global consumer demand insights, continues to grow and now trades on over 166 localised websites across 46 languages and 42 currencies.

Matthew Moulding, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of THG, said: “We are thrilled to build on the continued support shown by our banking syndicate and also very much look forward to working with our new partners. We value their support and the partnership we have developed with each of them.

“Our new property funding for our distribution warehouse in Poland, alongside this extension of our credit facilities are further powerful additions, for the Group and its business model, as we continue to deliver on our ambitions of becoming the global digital leader across the Beauty and Wellbeing sector and drive forward our expansion plans.”

Steven Estill, HSBC UK’s Relationship Director for Large Corporate, said: “We have been working with THG since 2014 and over that time we’ve seen the business grow rapidly in global online beauty and wellbeing markets. This recent refinancing will position the business perfectly to continue its search for acquisitions over the coming years. We look forward to working alongside the Group as they continue to deliver on their latest ambitions.”

Graham Holland, Barclays Relationship Director, said, “Barclays is once again delighted to support the ambitions of The Hut Group by taking a leading role in the refinancing of their capital structure. This provides financial strength and enables them to continue to pursue their growth agenda with confidence and capitalise on market opportunities arising from the current economic climate.”

The following banking teams executed the transaction: HSBC (Steve Estill, Will Rix & Jake Taylor); Barclays (Tom Johnson, Na Wei, Graham Holland & Atif Malik); Santander (Andrew Mulliner, Matthew Thomas, Charlotte Lees & Tom Bamber); Citibank (Sam Norton, Ula Malczewska & Ryan Ladwa); JP Morgan (Christos Kolimenakis, Zev Garell, Chris Wood & Richard Johansson); NatWest (Richard Smart, Howard Gillibrand, David Caunce & Kieran O’Malley); Bank of Ireland (Alastair Kenny, Harriet Castle and David Willis); Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (Tad Becchetti & Andrew Woods); Lloyds (Kate Grimoldby, Karen Mann, Andy DeVaux & Chris Lawrie); AIMCO (Peter Hutton & Peter Shen) and SVB (Rosh Wijayarathna, Van Tran, Jash Miller & Ryan Barnett)

The Hut Group was advised by Martin O’Shea, Jessica Burgess and Emma Parker from Addleshaw Goddard. Matt Morgan of Pinsent Masons advised the syndicate, assisted by Becca Labib and Sarah Greenwood.

For more information, please contact:
Viki Tahmasebi – viki.tahmasebi@thehutgroup.com
Group Communications Director – 07966 028340

Notes to Editors

About THG

The Hut Group (THG) is an international technology company, focused on beauty and wellbeing retail. Founded in 2004 by CEO Matthew Moulding, Manchester-based THG now operates 166 localised websites, retailing goods in 164 countries. In the year to 31 December 2017, the Group grew sales by 47% to £736m, with international sales growing 62% to £512m (latest available figures). Over half of THG’s sales now come from own brand products.

Pioneering Technology Platform
THG is a British technology success story. Its in-house team design, develop and build bespoke proprietary technology that is used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Its unique platform, THG Ingenuity, helps the Group dispatch 37 million items to customers across the world, and saw THG reach the top of the Sunday Times profit track for two consecutive years. The platform was recognised as E-tailer of the Year in 2016 by Retail Week.

Talent
The Hut Group is the #1 place for ambitious young talent, with over 1,800 jobs created in 2017 and the THG Academy working to build the next generation of business leaders.