Entrepreneur Peter Jones – known for his TV role on Dragons’ Den – has linked up with investment firm BGF in a £9m partnership supporting two rising retail firms.
Jones – the last original Dragon still involved in the show – and BGF have invested in Localised Group, an ecommerce platform for global brands which recently signed British retailer Boden as its latest customer, and Retail Services Group, a business that provides in-store end-to-end retail experiences for some of the world’s leading technology brands.
The collaboration between the investors brings together the joint networks, capabilities and financial firepower of two of the most significant voices in British enterprise, with the potential to further coinvest and collaborate to support even more scalable and high-potential businesses.
BGF has invested in more than 300 companies since 2011 and has announced a trio of successful exits in the past month, while Jones has personally invested in more than 60 businesses spanning publishing, new media, television, food products and more.
Jones said: “I’ve joined forces with BGF to find, invest and grow some of the most exciting companies in the UK today.
“Both of us see these initial investments as the stepping-stones to future opportunities.
“I couldn’t think of a better partner than BGF, one of the most respected businesses in the growth capital business. BGF has exactly the national footprint that we are looking for today.”
And Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, said: “Peter Jones is a campaigner for enterprise and one of the UK’s most admired entrepreneurs. The scale of his connections within the entrepreneurial community will be a huge benefit to both BGF and our portfolio.
“As like-minded investors, our joint mission is to find, invest in and grow brilliant businesses while doing all we can to help build the enterprise economy.
“This collaboration builds on the way BGF’s Talent Network operates, which is the now UK’s largest non-exec network, by working alongside one of the country’s most active entrepreneurs. We are very much looking forward to exploring even more new and exciting opportunities with Peter.”
Welton acknowledged the unusual and difficult circumstances facing businesses today, but says it’s important to keep the economy moving so confidence isn’t permanently damaged.
He continued: “These are unprecedented times for businesses but BGF remains committed to backing firms high-potential firms such as Localised and RSG. And as a committed investment partner we will do all we can to support our current portfolio of firms.
“In turn, we believe that the wider financial community has a vital and urgent role to play in helping businesses to access the funding and support they need and we will work within the sector and with government to achieve this.
“Remaining ‘open for business’ means continuing to back new investments which is critical to ensure that confidence is not irreparably damaged.”
As part of the new joint investment John Davison joins both companies as non-executive director. John is a serial entrepreneur and investor, is a former Global Head of Strategic Investments of RBS and serves as Chair of his family manufacturing business.