Hot tub retailer soaks up soaring sales and secures funding from Santander UK

Export | Funding | North East | Retail

Hot tub

Newcastle upon Tyne-based Wave Direct sells inflatable hot tubs online, direct to consumers. It has benefitted from the soaring popularity of hot tubs during the pandemic, experiencing a sales uplift of 1800% since Covid-19 emerged.

With huge demand for its products, which it imports from China, the business wanted to buy in more stock from overseas to have on hand to fulfil sales quickly. Santander UK is supporting Wave Direct with a six-figure trade finance working capital funding package to help the company achieve its growth aspirations.

Specialist consumer sector investment firm and investor in Wave Direct, Growth Partner, has collaborated with Santander UK on the funding.

Wave Direct has recently diversified its product offering to include paddleboards, kayaks, e-bikes and a range of leisure goods. This year, it is moving beyond online sales to sell to customers through a number of retailers in bricks and mortar stores.

The company, which was established in 2017 and employs a staff of 25, is focused on increasing its international sales, particularly in the US. Santander UK is supporting its overseas growth plans with introductions to new sales opportunities in the US through the bank’s international desk, as well as by providing currency accounts (Dollars and Euros) and AirPlus corporate card facilities.

Wave Direct has moved all its day-to-day banking to Santander UK and the bank is additionally undertaking analysis of its online and social media presence, benchmarking it against competitors to provide it with business intelligence insights. This is part of Santander’s bespoke consultancy service benchmarking clients’ social media and e-commerce presence.

Daniel Luper, Wave Direct CEO, commented: “Our business has gone through huge growth and transformation over the past year, and it was crucial to work with a bank that is as excited about the opportunity ahead as we are. From the first conversations we had with the Santander UK team, it was clear they could see how exciting our future is. Santander has done a great job in establishing a facility that allows us to continue our growth in the UK, while developing into new markets including the US and EU.”

Laura Moorhouse, Relationship Director at Santander UK, said: “The seismic growth achieved by Wave Direct is a credit to the management team’s drive and passion. We are delighted to further support the business’ evolution by providing trade finance facilities enabling it to enhance its international growth plans. The investment from Growth Partner highlights the progress Wave Direct has made in such a short time and we are pleased to be working alongside this private equity firm.“

Alex Marsh, Investment Director at Growth Partner, said: “Growth Partner has been working with Wave Direct for some time now, helping to put in place an exciting growth strategy. A partnership with Santander is a big part of those plans. The team at Santander has shown strong belief and enthusiasm in Wave Direct’s exciting progress and strategy, and we’re delighted to have its support.”

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