Barclays funding for Prezola to explore growth opportunities
Barclays has confirmed their new working relationship with Bath-headquartered Prezola Ltd by providing a substantial innovation loan to help the online retail company explore further growth opportunities. Prezola Ltd is part of the multi-award winning Prezola Group, the UK’s leading independent wedding gift list and wedding website provider.
Founded in 2010 by husband and wife team Dom and Ali Beaven, the company helps couples to create stylish, modern wedding gift lists sourcing thousands of wedding gifts for newlyweds across the UK. Customers can access over 50,000 products from 500 of the UK’s leading high street and online retailers, many of which are unique to Prezola Ltd and not available from any other wedding gift list company. These include premium brands such as The White Company, Le Creuset, Jo Malone, Dyson and Habitat alongside more ‘quirky’ gift options including vinyl records, wall art and experiences such as Virgin Balloon Flights. The service includes bespoke gift wrapping and delivery.
The Prezola Group also owns Getting Married - the most popular wedding website in the UK. Getting Married provides a total solution for guest management for your wedding.
The company operates from its head office in Bath and a distribution centre on the Woodland Estate in Westbury, Wiltshire, employs 50, and has an annual turnover of £12m, set to rise to £20m in the future.
The firm plans to use the additional funds to accelerate organic growth by further developing its e-commerce both domestically and internationally and is the first in Bath to benefit from Barclays’ new ‘Innovation Finance’ product targeted towards high-growth and innovative businesses. The fund is providing innovative companies with additional financing as part of the bank’s commitment to supporting high growth businesses in the UK. The loan will be backed by a guarantee of the EIF, enabled by the InnovFin initiative with financial backing from the Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Dom Beaven at Prezola Ltd commented: “Following the investment by the BGF in 2017 Prezola has continued to rapidly expand and we were looking for a banking partner to support our continued development. We explored a number of funding options and felt that the local Barclays team in Bath were incredibly supportive and demonstrated that they fully understood our market proposition and recognised the potential of the business to achieve rapid growth. This latest funding also provides us with the opportunity to develop our new working relationship and we are pleased that Barclays will now be working with us to fulfil our future growth ambitions.”
Martin Crook, Corporate Relationship Director at Barclays, Bath, commented: “As part of our plans at Barclays to enhance our high-growth offering to the market, we are extending our lending capabilities and credit appetite in the retail sector for ambitious, entrepreneurial businesses like Prezola Ltd. The Innovation Finance enables us to offer greater support to the market by allowing earlier lending to the most promising of high-growth companies for all qualifying high-growth companies, allowing more funds to be re-invested into the business.”
Martin continued: “ Barclays is uniquely placed to support high growth businesses and entrepreneurs, from start-up, to scale up, to IPO. Lending to SMEs is at the core of our business and our joint-venture agreement with the EIF is now another way that our business customers can access funding when they need it most. The UK economy needs innovation and innovators need finance. In offering Innovation Finance it enables us to provide additional funding solutions, supporting more businesses in the UK with the potential to be future blue-chip companies.”
Alex Garfitt, an investor at BGF who sits on the board of Prezola added: “The additional support from Barclays is another strong endorsement of Dom, Ali and the team, and their future growth strategy. The Prezola website and brand has been gaining significant traction among customers and premium stockists and, along with the management team, we’re looking forward to the continued innovation and expansion of the business.”