ISIS Equity Partners (“ISIS”) has completed an £8.5m investment in BathEmpire.com or (“the Company”).
BathEmpire.com is a fast growing online bathroom products retailer employing 96 staff at its Coventry based headquarters.
The Company designs and sources its own product, supplying direct to consumers via its website BathEmpire.com, which is the fastest growing online bathroom retailer in the UK according to Google and Hitwise data.
The business was founded in 2006 by Chris Li and Vicky Wang, and since that time has grown rapidly, turning over £14m in 2012, with revenues expected to reach £20m in 2013.
Chris and Vicky identified a gap in the online bathroom market after he started selling taps and showers on eBay from his home. They went on to launch BathEmpire.com in 2009 and it was recently ranked 37th in the league table of the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 in 2012.
The Company constantly introduces new initiatives and product lines to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the online bathroom industry. In 2012, the business was recognised as Small Online Business of the Year at the National Business Awards. Chris, currently 29, has also won numerous business awards and is the current holder of Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Growing Business Awards.
The investment by ISIS will support the business in its continued expansion as it looks to expand capacity and further develop its product range, building on the existing channel offering through BathEmpire.com.
Matt Upton and Charlie Robinson led the deal on behalf of ISIS.
The Company were advised by Convex Capital.
Chris Li, co-founder and CEO, BathEmpire.com, comments:
“We were looking for an investor with a proven track record in supporting fast-growing, online businesses and ISIS fit all those criteria for a fruitful and successful partnership.
“We will continue to challenge market leaders by continually innovating and growing. Our ambition is to be the largest business in the UK bathroom industry and this is a significant step in making that happen.”
Vicky Wang, co-founder and Director of Purchasing, Art & Design, comments:
“We have grown rapidly over the last few years through having a strong vision, innovation and a dedicated and hard-working team.
“This investment will allow us to continue that growth at all levels and allow us to realise the potential of the business.”
Matt Upton, Director, ISIS Equity Partners, comments:
“We are delighted to get the opportunity to support Chris and his team in building on the strong market position they have achieved in such a relatively short space of time. As consumer habits continue to change and more and more purchasing moves online, we believe BathEmpire.com can continue to differentiate itself through high quality, value for money products and a great customer experience.”
BathEmpire.com List of award wins:
• Small Business, Nectar Business Small Business Awards (2012)
• Small Online Business of the Year, National Business Awards (2012)
• Independent Site of the Year, Online Retail Awards (2012)
• SME and Business Start Up Award, Coventry Telegraph Business Awards (2012)
Chris Li List of award wins:
• Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Growing Business Awards (2012)
• Business Achiever, Nectar Business Small Business Awards (2012)
• Young Director and Overall Director of the Year, West Midlands Director of the Year Awards, organised by the Institute of Directors (2013)
• Emerging Entrepreneur, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards (2013)
• Midlands Business Person of the Year, Midlands Business Awards (2013)
About ISIS Equity Partners
• ISIS currently operates from offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
• ISIS applies a research-led, sector-focused approach to investment in unquoted companies in the UK and across Europe.
• Core areas of interest are: Business Services; Financial Services; Consumer Markets; Healthcare & Education; Technology, Media & Telecommunications; Energy & Environmental.
• ISIS typically invests in transactions where the transaction size is between £5m and £100m in value, in companies with profits in excess of £1m (typical ISIS investment between £2m and £40m).
• ISIS invests funds on behalf of both institutional and retail clients (ISIS V, ISIS Growth I and the five Baronsmead VCTs).
• This investment utilised funds from the Baronsmead VCTs and ISIS Growth I.
• ISIS is a Limited Liability Partnership with funds under management of £1.2bn as at 31 March 2013.