L-r: Lewis Stringer (MEIF), Jon Corbett (Barclays), Alan Wilson (Expandly), Sandy Reid (Mercia Fund Managers), Tom Gray (Fraser Brown) and Malcolm Johnston (SEMLEP)
Expandly, a Milton Keynes based company whose e-commerce software allows retailers to sell across multiple channels worldwide, has closed a £580,000 funding round led by Mercia Fund Managers.
The investment, which will create five new jobs, includes £250,000 from the MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund which is managed by Mercia for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, £250,000 from Mercia’s EIS Fund and the remainder from angel investors.
Expandly makes it more accessible for retailers to sell on different marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy by providing a central platform where they can manage all their product listings and inventory, and process and fulfil orders.
The company was founded in 2013 by Alan Wilson, an IT consultant who had seen the frustrations faced by small firms trading on different online sites. The software was launched three years later and is now used by retailers worldwide. Expandly is chaired by the former CEO of Tesco Direct, Steve Robinson.
Alan Wilson, CEO of Expandly, said: “This investment is a huge step in the Expandly journey for us, our investors and our customers. We'll be using the funds to develop the team, advance the product and accelerate our growth. It's an exciting time in the ecommerce industry and we're ready to take advantage.”
Expandly was recently selected by Microsoft for its programme to support start-ups and the software will be sold via some Microsoft resellers. The investment will allow it to expand its sales and marketing team and develop new channel partners.
Sandy Reid, Investment Manager with Mercia, said: “Expandly’s management team have demonstrated early market traction by generating revenue from customers around the world and are now seeking to grow the business substantially. This early stage investment will allow them to develop its full potential.”
Lewis Stringer, MEIF Senior Relationship Manager at the British Business Bank, added: “Securing the right type of finance at the right time is crucial to innovative technology businesses such as Expandly, allowing it to fully develop and scale-up by hiring new staff. We’re extremely happy to see MEIF funds flowing across the Midlands and would encourage other businesses looking for investment to contact our fund managers.”
Malcolm Johnston, Growth Hub Manager at SEMLEP, commented: “Expandly is another great example of the innovative businesses we have in Milton Keynes. Ensuring that successful business owners like Alan, who have the ambitions to grow their business, can access suitable finance is a key driver for SEMLEP and the Midlands Engine Investment Fund.”
Tom Gray of Fraser Brown in Nottingham provided legal advice to Mercia.
The Midlands Engine 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.