ISIS invests £4 million in online retailer

ISIS Equity Partners, investing funds from the Baronsmead VCTs, has completed a £4 million investment in Limited, a leading online retailer which sells personalised and unique gifts.

The South Manchester based business was established in November 2005 by John Smith and Giles Harridge with just one product, a personalised calendar. now sells over 4,000 items ranging from personalised cards, notebooks, mugs and chocolate to non-personalised items for general gifting. sells direct to consumers through its website and in 2009 had six million visitors and recorded sales of £9.6 million.

ISIS will support management to establish as the leading personalised online gifting retailer in a fast growing UK market. In doing this the Company’s focus will continue to be offering customers innovative gift ideas across a huge range of categories.

Commenting on the deal, co-founder and joint managing director, John Smith said: “The business has grown rapidly over the past five years and we still believe there is further scope for expansion in both product portfolio and our marketing capability. ISIS clearly has a firm understanding of the online retail space and we are very excited about working with them as enters the next phase of its development.”

David Cowan, who led the transaction on behalf of ISIS said: “John and Giles are exactly the sort of dynamic, forward thinking entrepreneurs that we love working with. They have taken a very simple concept and turned it in to a multi-million pound business in a very short space of time and, having worked successfully with many other leading e-tailers, we hope to be able to help management at with the next stage of its journey.”

Following the transaction Steve Richards will join the Board as Chairman. Steve’s background includes being CEO of the hugely successful online flower retailer Interflora. Commenting on the deal Steve said “I look forward to working with John and Giles, and am impressed with the Company they have built to date. I believe my experience of online retail will be beneficial to the team and see this as an exciting opportunity within the market.”

Location: UK, Manchester

Ref: F231109-516

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