BGF INVESTS £14 MILLION IN TECH-LED PROCUREMENT BUSINESS BLOOM
April 2021: Growth capital investor BGF has invested £14 million in Bloom (Bloom Procurement Services), based in the North East and headquartered in Gateshead.
Bloom is the UK’s only public sector procurement marketplace offering an end-to-end managed service procurement solution.
Founded in 2011 by Adam Jacobs, the executive chairman, Bloom provides a dynamic and open access marketplace for the provision of professional services to the UK Public Sector.
Bloom’s managed service enables public sector buyers to compliantly and transparently award public sector contracts and achieve significant savings. Buyers have access to a dynamic supplier base across a wide range of professional service categories. For suppliers of professional services, Bloom offers an efficient and effective route to market.
The Bloom marketplace is open access allowing all suppliers to register on the platform at no cost. It enables SMEs access to a market on a ‘level playing field’ alongside more established organisations.
To date Bloom has transacted over 7,500 projects with a value of £800 million, across all parts of the public sector.
Bloom founder and entrepreneur, Adam Jacobs, said:
“BGF stood out as the investment partner for us at this stage in our development. The team demonstrated a good understanding of our business and market and have a clear track record of successful investments in a similar space. They are backing a business with enormous growth potential and the BGF partnership emboldens our ambition to rapidly scale the business and create a great case study for entrepreneurship and growth in the North East of the UK.”
Amabel Grant has been named CEO, having joined the business in 2018 as CTO with significant public sector and technology experience, including Crown Marketplace Programme Director at the Cabinet Office. This deal will enable Bloom to invest in development of the next generation of its Pro-vide technology, enhancing the proposition for existing customers and unlocking significant growth potential.
Key to Bloom’s success to date, Diane Cheesebrough is non-executive director and will move to non-executive chair as part of the deal. Barry Jackson and Rob Johnson from BGF led the investment.
Barry Jackson, investor at BGF, said:
“Adam and Amabel are a powerful combination and Bloom is a unique asset, which has access to a large market and the potential to rapidly scale. This is a business offering a best-in-class solution, delivering results for its users and driving social value throughout the supply chain. We’re looking forward to working with the team to achieve our shared ambitions for Bloom.”
Bloom’s marketplace enables public sector buyers across Central Government, Local Government, Housing Associations, Blue Light, NHS, Universities, Schools and Non-Departmental Public Bodies to deliver against their social value goals. In turn, professional services suppliers are able to demonstrate how they will add social value and support delivery.
CEO, Amabel Grant, added:
“Our technology means we’re uniquely placed to offer the whole public sector an end-to-end managed service procurement solution for professional services. In addition, we help buyers evaluate social value when awarding contracts, which became a mandatory requirement for central government contracts this year. We’re also able to support the drive to open up public procurement to more SMEs because of our ability to onboard and work with any suppliers at any time. The Bloom team and I are incredibly excited to be working alongside BGF who bring invaluable experience of supporting scale-up businesses in developing and delivering a customer led tech road map.”
Advisors to BGF were Cavu Corporate Finance (Shawn Bone, Thomas Brunsnes) and Squire Patton Boggs (Paul Mann, Craig Pettit)
Advisors to Bloom were KPMG (Christian Mayo, Michael Downes) and Cooley (Stephen Rosen, Charlotte Lennon)
Michael Downes, Director in KPMG’s corporate finance team in Newcastle, said “It’s been a pleasure working with Adam, Amabel and the team at Bloom on this transaction. The deal is another example of the appetite from investors to back entrepreneurial tech-enabled businesses in the region. Bloom has an exciting future and the investment from BGF will help the team to realise the potential to grow significantly over the next few years”
BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested £2.5bn in nearly 400 companies, making it the most active investor in the UK. BGF is a minority, non-controlling equity partner with a patient outlook on investments, based on shared long-term goals with the management teams it backs. BGF invests in growing businesses in the UK and Ireland through its network of 16 offices. In 2018, Canada launched its equivalent – the Canadian Business Growth Fund – and in 2019, Australia did the same, both based on BGF’s funding model.