How we helped MagiKats raise a six-figure sum to support its investment in improving its KATS technology platform.
Founded in the early 2000s by ex-teacher, Jan Lomas, this family-run business continues to go from strength-to-strength as it rolls out its franchise model across the UK. The business provides out-of-school tutoring in Maths and English for any child, from pre-school to GCSE and National 5, using local mentors, workshops and multi-sensory teaching techniques to develop a pupil's thinking, studying and problem-solving skills.
Magikats identified a need to invest to provide franchisees with greater flexibility when working and easier access to support. The funding was arranged by Productivity Finance following an introduction from the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub in Guildford.
Jan Lomas said: "We have been working with Ian Martin at the M3 Growth Hub on our growth strategy for the past few months and it was Ian who suggested that the time was now right for us to take a longer-term view on how we grow the business. We knew we needed to invest in the platform and I, personally, had to start thinking about our succession strategy and handing over the reins to our daughters".
For the technology investment, Ian introduced Tamara Renshaw of Productivity Finance, a whole-of-market business finance arranger, which specialises in projects that help businesses maximise their productivity - an area in which the UK consistently lags behind its European neighbours.
We conducted a full review of MagiKats' finances relative to its exciting growth plans and developed a tailored funding strategy to support the succession and growth. In the past, businesses would have gone to their local bank manager for this level of support, but with experienced bank managers becoming an increasingly rare commodity on the High Street, now the role is fulfilled by finance arrangers like ourselves.
We packaged the proposal for presentation to what we felt was the most appropriate lender, in this case one of the main peer-to-peer lenders, and negotiated a level of support that was 20% higher than Jan and Director of Operations, Sarah Marsh, were initially looking for. We did this because we could see the extra capacity would provide valuable additional flexibility as the business grows.
Sarah Marsh said: “Having never applied for any kind of funding before, it was a scary prospect and a big leap forwards for a family business. I found Tamara to be really helpful and clear with the funding options. I was amazed at how quickly the process was completed and we now have the funds we need to complete the project, plus a contingency, which could potentially be used to find additional staff to begin to replace Jan’s roles in the business.
“I am really excited for the rest of 2019. There is so much doom and gloom in the press, especially around the Brexit issue, but we know that tutoring is always needed and that our new system will open up great possibilities, both for our franchisees and for us as a company”.
With the continued support of the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub and the right level of funding now in place, everything is adding up for MagiKats to have a very bright future indeed.