10 Jul 2019 By By Hayley Cowburn
Founded in 2015 by Tony Cheetham and Hayley Cowburn, Oddsphere initially operated as a digital solutions company, offering web development and digital marketing support. The company branched out to offer shipping software solutions, developing its Shipster product in 2016.
The product integrates clients’ chosen eCommerce sales or warehouse management software with UK couriers, meaning that online orders are automatically booked according to the size, weight, product category and destination of the product. Through this software, clients have been able to save thousands of pounds on delivery costs, which has led to a 94 per cent client retention rate. The majority of the client base consists of eCommerce businesses, most notably the fashion retailers In The Style and Miss Pap.
The £50,000 loan provided by NPIF – BFS and MSIF Microfinance, delivered by GC Business Finance, has enabled Oddsphere to move into a larger premises at Carvers Warehouse, which will allow for growth in headcount. The company has also used the funds to appoint Damian Donnelly as a Customer Services Director, with further plans to hire a new software developer and ramp up marketing activity.
Tony Cheetham, Managing Director at Oddsphere, said: “The ability to employ more staff with the loan will mean even better focus in all areas of our business and greater growth. As a relatively new company, we don’t have the extensive financial history required by traditional lenders, so the NPIF was the perfect option for us.”
Mark Gibbons, Senior Loan Manager at GC Business Finance, said: “Oddsphere has performed strongly since its inception in 2015, having grown threefold to a six-strong team, but as is the case with many small companies, struggled to access funding through traditional means. With this in mind, it is important that we are able to match their ambition and provide the vital funding they need to grow and create jobs, providing a service to rival the banks.
“With the new office space, the company is much more scalable and this new line of funding has put Oddsphere in an excellent position for further expansion.”
Sue Barnard, spokesperson at British Business Bank, said: “Since its launch in 2017, NPIF’s impact on businesses has been wide-ranging, providing funding to launch new products, employ new staff, enter new markets and acquire new facilities. We are pleased that NPIF is continuing to unlock the North’s growth potential by supporting small growing businesses with vital investment.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
For more information, visit: www.shipstersolutions.com and www.oddsphere.com.
Callum Brookes, MC2
0161 236 1352
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium-sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
• NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.
• The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
• The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
• The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb
British Business Bank plc is a limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH. As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, it is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government which is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates under its own brand name through a number of subsidiaries, one of which is authorised and regulated by the FCA.
British Business Financial Services Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, registered in England and Wales, registration number 09174621, registered office at Foundry House, 3 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NH. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or FCA.
More information, including a legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries, can be found on the British Business Bank website
Release composed by MC2 Manchester.
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