financial modelling

The Importance of Financial Modelling

The Importance of Financial Modelling

 

In this post, we share some advice on the importance of Financial Modelling and highlight 4 key points that you should be aware of.

 

Know what a financial model is

A financial model is a representation of a company’s operations expressed in numbers and typically comprises the past, present and forecasted future performance of the company.  

Financial models are essential decision-making tools that company’s use in a variety of scenarios to help advise business strategy. Financial models assist strategic planning when evaluating projects such as growing a business organically, making acquisitions, raising capital, capital allocation, setting/assessing bank covenants.  

Analysts and advisors use financial models to anticipate and consider the impact of certain events on a company’s performance. Both internal and external factors are considered when evaluating these models which in turn advises investment decisions and company valuation parameters. Financial models can be structured in a variety of ways to address scenario planning, investment appraisals and deal specific considerations. 

 

Know your business financials & growth drivers 

It is critical to have a strong understanding of your company’s financials, past trends, and underlying growth drivers.  

Credibility is a key component of a strong financial model. Whilst a financial model is unlikely to be 100% accurate, it is important to demonstrate credibility by ensuring that assumptions are well thought out and take a considered view of both internal and external factors which influence the business. 

Developing a ‘sensible’ set of assumptions around the expected growth drivers associated with the business is important. Ideally a company wants to outperform a set of forecasts as this will add credibility to an opportunity when it is being evaluated externally. 

 

Structuring your financial model 

Structuring a model effectively from the outset is important to ensure outputs are consistent, accurate and well considered. A typical financial model will produce a profit and loss, balance sheet and cashflow. 

Examples of best practice to follow: 

  • Create a plan from the outset 
  • Keep the model’s inputs, calculations & outputs separate 
  • Ensure data validation and error checks are incorporated 
  • Avoid links to external sources 
  • Include explanations where necessary 
  • Ensure the model can be rolled forward on a monthly basis for trading updates 

 

Look at it from a buyer/investor perspective 

It is important to consider what buyers/investors are evaluating when preparing and presenting a financial model. Some key aspects to contemplate include: 

  • Assumptions: how they have been derived and how credible they are 
  • Growth profile: how this compares against historic performance and wider macro trends 
  • Sensitivity analysis: “a what if” analysis assessing the impact that various scenarios have on the financial model and expected outcomes 
  • Cash generation: that there is sufficient cash generation to support all of the cashflow requirements of the business along with delivering investor expectations  
  • Financial statement analysis / ratio analysis: use financial and accounting ratio analysis to evaluate the financial performance of the business, comparing this with historical ratios and similar businesses in the industry    

 

Further information   

Whether you are looking to understand your overall exposure to risk, investment funding requirement, or future-planning, Velocity can provide you with the financial modelling support you need. Take advantage of our years of experience and speak to one of our expert modellers now.

 

Click here to watch a recording of our recent webinar on The Importance of Financial Modelling  


Research Analyst

Staff Interview: Oscar Draycott, Research Analyst

Staff Interview: Oscar Draycott, Research Analyst 

 

Research Analyst

What was your background prior to joining Bluebox Velocity as a Research Analyst? 

I had recently graduated from Exeter University with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. In November 2021, I went on to complete 2-weeks at an Investment Bank called KBW where I proofread sell-side decks and attended multiple strategy meetings involving directors and analysts. I began working for Bluebox Velocity in December 2021.

 

What were your motivations behind choosing a career in Corporate Finance?

Although it deviates from the usual path coming from an Engineering background, I learnt early on that the work shares a lot of the same characteristics. The industry seemed to fit my strengths well. I liked the constant harmonisation between the technical analytical skills alongside the softer more personable skills.

 

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Listen more than you speak.

 

What does a typical day look like for you at Velocity and what are you currently working on?

On a typical day, I spend most of my time constructing sell-side pitch decks and accumulating potential acquirers for our clients. Both these tasks tend to require the extrapolation of key market trends and the ability to paint a picture of the client’s landscape to investors or acquirers.

 

What do you find most exciting about working as a Research Analyst for Velocity?

The best part about my role is the access you get to a broad variety of sectors. I also get to partake in calls with experienced management teams, diving deep into how the company operates.

 

We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning £10 million. What would you do?

I would give half to charity as I didn’t own the ticket in the first place. The other half, I would invest in the UK’s Northern property market.

 

Other than London, where would you like to live/work and why?

I would love to move to Madrid. I spent a large majority of my 3rd year at University in Madrid, and I loved everything it had to offer, especially the food.

 

Rapid Fire:

  1. If you could only eat one thing for a month straight, what would it be? Spaghetti Bolognese
  2. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Ability to fly
  3. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be? Ant Middleton
  4. Favourite sport? Rugby
  5. Morning or evening person? Morning

people side of m&a

Why the people side of M&A should not be overlooked

Why the people side of M&A should not be overlooked

Twenty years ago there was a great deal of talk about the new economy and how it would change everything we do, how we think about business and creating wealth and how we could participate in this new world order. All this was driven by unimaginable technology innovations that fuelled a frenzy of cash being thrown at little more than half-page ideas.

 

Fear of missing out was the fuel behind this frenzy.

 

What became of this collective vision?

 

Well, it didn’t quite happen as we had all hoped. It did however kick off a tsunami of change that resulted in the business world we live in today.

 

So what changed in the world of Mergers and Acquisitions?

The motivation behind this type of corporate action has remained the same; it might be the economics arising from adding new market segments or territories or perhaps looking for an attractive exit or succession strategy.

 

I do think the emphasis of the essentials of sound M&A shifted from the excesses of LBO’s in the 1980’s to more holistic views of wealth creation.

 

While not all businesses are suitable for growth through acquisition, many are. Companies seeking alternatives to organic growth such as exploring opportunities for a joint venture or an acquisition (or to be acquired), it is most often the economics or vertical or horizontal integration that offers a compelling reason to move ahead.

 

But are there lessons we can learn from the past and apply now? For example look at the pharma industry over the past few decades. Acquisition by large companies was largely driven by the attraction of acquiring the innovation that comes from small, lean and nimble companies that were able to be creative and cheap in their endeavours. The tech world today is similar and is very much in focus now. Where the pharma’s were acquiring a novel molecule and perhaps a small team their focus was very much on relatively inexpensive R&D that someone else incubated. So too in todays tech world.

 

Beyond tech and very small companies, some industries are notoriously poor at merging even though their product offerings are pretty much homogenous. This is generally reflected in the due diligence and negotiation processes (on both sides) and highlights the importance of going beyond the numbers to the firm’s culture, ethics and values. It is these ‘soft’ elements of the company that can make or break what might seem like a wonderful opportunity on paper.

 

The negotiation process, allows both sides the opportunity to get to know one another while all the time thinking, ‘are we a good fit; can we work with these people?’ This people side of M&A is really important and can bring a great deal unstuck if not taken seriously or is ill advised.

 

Mature companies place a lot of stock in their recruitment process, most particularly at senior and board levels. Post acquisition, the acquirer ends up with a significant number of staff on the books that they didn’t have any input into in the recruiting process so they have to rely on their pre-completion conversations to form a view. It is not an afterthought. There are many reasons a merger/takeover/joint venture may eventually fail and mitigating those reasons makes sense. People, culture, different values and ethics can make what looked like a brilliant economic proposition fall on its face.

 

So what to do?

 

Get Advice!

To attempt to complete such a complex and delicate transaction without external independent advisors on your side is reckless. There are too many moving parts, which is why the people side of M&A is so important.

 

Advisors will not only guide you though the funding, tax, accounting , conditions precedent and subsequent and so on, they will also advise you on the people side. Through their network of executive and team coaches and mentors the people side is far more likely to be dealt with optimally.

 

Boutique firms have built their reputation on delivering; they can deliver because their staff have have built up a network of relationships and knowledge over the years they can draw on. While they are batting for you they are also independent and it’s that independence that is so valuable. Of course, at the end of the day it’s very much up to you, the buyer or the seller, who will make the final call but the resulting business will only prosper if the people, the board, the teams all want to make it happen.

 

So, the three P’s? People, People and People.

*Paul O’Donnell is a Bluebox Ambassador, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Author and Poet. His recent book ‘Humble Crumbles: Savouring the crumbs of wisdom from the rise and fall of Humble Pie’ is available on Amazon. Paul can be contacted on email at  paul@lisdoonvarna.co.uk

Case Study: FitBiz360

FitBiz360 'Pull Their Story Together'

 

Background

Fitbiz360, a creation of Transformance Business Solutions Limited, is a
comprehensive, self-service, digital consulting improvement platform that
connects small business founders and teams with expertise, tools andget to market
resources that will enable them to significantly improve financial performance. CEO & Founder, Michael Walters, had met with Bluebox Corporate Finance a few years earlier and was impressed by the advice offered then – which was completely free. This remained with Michael and when he heard of Velocity being a far more accessible entry point, it was a no brainer.

 

The Challenge

They had developed great software that had a lot of market potential but they needed a clear plan to move forward as they were unsure on how to get FitBiz360 to market properly. The team also needed to align their views in terms of what their target markets were and the channels they should be using in order to reach their
audience.

 

Why FitBiz360 Chose Velocity's 'Pull My Story Together'

Velocity was chosen as FitBiz360 needed to build their proposition in a way that would drive value and make the business more investable. After looking through the various products on offer on the Velocity site, they felt it was obvious they needed to go through the 'Pull My Story Together' exercise as a first step. They also felt that the Velocity team put a lot of time into being patient with them and gently selling the process.

 

Our Approach

  • Our corporate finance team had 3x ‘1-hour workshops’ with the FitBiz360 leadership team to truly get
    under the skin of their business.
  • We produced a 'Velocity Deck’ on the business, presenting the opportunity in the best possible way
    to investors
  • We presented FitBiz360 with a Profit and Loss Forecast Model which was created from the Opportunity Map that we built for FitBiz360
  • We presented FitBiz360 with an assessment of timing with concrete, commercial and realistic pointers
    as to how best raise funds

 

Results

  1. This process gave FitBiz360 a clear and consolidated path to present their business in such a way that would
    generate more value.
  2. After months of feeling like they were going sideways, they have now started to make progress. They are signing up more users with the plan to start converting them to monthly income.
  3. The workshops with Velocity were paramount as they allowed the FitBiz360 management team to become aligned on business goals as well as clearly demonstrated what steps needed to be taken to grow the business.

 

"The most insightful and intelligent team that I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I think the team also went above and beyond by organising a session that was outside the scope of the package." - Michael Walters, CEO & Founder

get to market

If you would like to get your business to market or are interested in exploring your options, get in touch with us today - info@blueboxvelocity.com


Case Study: Lime Global

Lime Global Discover the 'Art of the Possible'

 

Corporate Finance Expertise

 

Background

Incorporated in 2016, Lime Global's mission is to be a force for social good - by making private medical healthcare affordable and accessible to people underserved by traditional insurance companies. As featured in The Times, The Sun and The Telegraph, they are changing the way traditional insurance companies work.

 

The Opportunity

Lime was delicately balanced when they were introduced to the Velocity team. Lime did not have an infinite bank of resources, much like other companies, so deciding which opportunities to grab first was of utmost importance. Lime needed corporate finance expertise to validate and assist in determining the best pathway with the least risks.

Lime is considered a leader in their market so they wanted to implement clear objectives in order to stay ahead of the curb with their unique offering. Therefore, making sure their next steps were the right steps was crucial.

 

Why Lime Global chose The 'Art of the Possible'

Velocity was selected to bring the Corporate Finance expertise and objectivity to the decision making process providing an independent review and unbiased number of potential options on the path forward.

 

Our Approach

  • Our corporate finance team had 3x ‘1-hour workshops’ with Lime's leadership
    team to truly get under the skin of their business.
  • We gave Lime access to our proprietary Corporate Finance software, Diagnostix.
  • We presented Lime with a fully detailed and frank assessment of potential
    ‘options’ for their business.

 

Results

  1. This process validated Lime's trajectory and solidified their initial thoughts by providing a clear understanding of what needs attention in the short term for Lime to reach its goals and the wins they can achieve through this.
  2. Lime has plans to do a large fundraise towards the end year. This exercise will contribute to that fundraise in that it has solidified the steps they need to take now in order to be more investable when the time to raise comes.
  3. Shaun was extremely pleased with the report and felt he could trust it - stressing the value of trust and an unbiased professional opinion.

 

“The depth of experience and the no nonsense report gave me comfort of our current pathway and the steps we need to follow to realise Lime's full potential as a business and as its stakeholders. The team is very experienced, for me, much of the feedback validated our thoughts and crystallised some of the short term priorities we need to focus on.” - Shaun Williams, CEO & Founder

 

 

If you would like to see the same results for your business or are interested in exploring your options, get in touch with us today - info@blueboxvelocity.com


Entrepreneur Interview: Ken Geddes of CarsVansandBikes

Entrepreneur Interview: Ken Geddes of CarsVansandBikes

We had the pleasure of getting to know Ken Geddes, CEO and Founder of CarsVansandBikes.com, an online marketplace for vehicles. CarsVansandBikes.com recognises a consumer need for a convenient way of buying a used or new vehicle by showcasing the best new and used cars, vans and bikes deals on its user-friendly platform. The site also hugely benefits the dealers who work with CarsVansandBikes.com by allowing them to make the most out of their advertising spends and to modernise their selling practices in an ever-changing market. Ken founded CarsVansandBikes.com after setting up a very successful energy company and selling it to GoCo Group, which owns one of the largest comparison websites in the UK.

We chat to the entrepreneur about how the business started, what makes this platform unique in the market, and his future hopes for CarsVansandBikes.com. Ken also shares some pointers for entrepreneurs considering starting their own businesses.

carsvansandbikes

 

1. What was your background before setting up the company?

Before setting up CarsVansandBikes.com, I was responsible for founding and running Energylinx, the company that has transformed how we buy energy for our homes and businesses today. GoCo Group (the owners of GoCompare.com) approached us and subsequently bought the business for an eight-figure sum in 2018. Having stayed with GoCompare.com for a couple of years, Tom O’Neill (CFO) and several key members from the founding tech team at Energylinx also joined CarsVansandBikes.com ready to fully disrupt this market.

 

2. How did the idea of your business come about?

We had spotted what was happening in the automotive advertising space: that the motor dealer was being treated as the underdog – similar to how customers had been treated by energy companies. Motor dealers were/are in no way receiving value for their advertising spend and, worse, have to contend with outdated platforms and business models from the pre-Uber/pre-Costa/pre-Google era where everything being offered was a chargeable extra. The only parties really benefitting from the relationship are the incumbent advertising platforms generating the best part of a £0.3billion of profiteering per annum. This one-sided approach created two of the main drivers behind the launch of CarsVansandBikes.com: 1. To become the dealer champion with an ambition of saving them over £1 billion over three years, and 2. To radically modernise the underlying tech allowing dealers to leverage best practices in online selling.

 

3. What was most challenging about starting your own business?

With Energylinx, we had a vision of putting the power back in the consumers’ control, resulting in a lot of long-term strategic planning to break what had become over decades the only way to buy energy. This meant changing attitudes and in effect creating a market. Now with CarsVansandBikes.com, we have entered an active market controlled by a handful of players who have been treating dealers as their cash cow with no incentive to embrace best-in-class tech or selling practices.

 

4. What is unique about your business in the market?

Our entire team is fully committed to making a positive difference to the motor dealers we work with. Very rarely does a day go by without a new idea surfacing for our forward work plan – the key here is what can help the dealer as our fundamental principle is to build the absolute best solutions for the dealer and to do so in a way that doesn’t follow the apparent ‘norm’ where everything is an extra! From a cost viewpoint, we present an enhanced offering from existing incumbents at circa 85% less cost to motor dealers and for the private customer completely free of charge forever.

carsvansandbikes

 

5. How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected the business, and what contingency plans were put in place to ensure survival?
Whilst the Coronavirus has had a horrific impact on businesses and individuals across the globe, it has had no negative impact on CarsVansandBikes.com. It has destabilized our competitors who have had to learn remote working/remote buying techniques whilst we entered the market with nearly two decades of experience with hybrid/remote working and the remote ‘customer’ as the norm. If anything, the pandemic has been very positive in business terms for CarsVansandBikes both in terms of working practices but also of solutions we can provide dealerships.

 

6. What 2 personality traits do you believe make a good business owner and leader?

The number one trait is of course being a good listener. You’ve got to be able to listen to what your customers actually need and want. There is no benefit to offering features or even a business that is out of tune with the actual market. Everything we are doing, including the timing, wholly reflects the wants and needs of the market. On this point, we have been frankly astounded by the positive embracing of what we are doing – never a day goes by in which our sales team doesn’t hear feedback like “we are so glad you are here”. The second most important trait is a thirst for knowledge: surround yourself with people cleverer than yourself who challenge everything they do daily to ultimately create the absolute best service/product.

 

7. If you had the chance to start your business over again, would you do anything differently?

The importance of collaborating more was the main lesson we took forward from Energylinx to CarsVansandBikes.com.

 

8. What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur starting up their own business?
Remember to listen first then strategically plan and listen again. And, make sure you and your team have lots of fun on your journey.

 

9. Where do you see the business going in the future?

CarsVansandBikes is built on a country and market agnostic tech stack which provides a solid foundation to assist dealers/sellers across the globe in our core automotive market. We have fully scoped international and product expansion plans all funded from our balance sheet.

 

10. How can firms and individuals, who come across your business, support the business?

It’s simple: if you like what we do, tell everyone you know to have a look at CarsVansandBikes.com.

 

11. Any final words for our Bluebox community?

If you are an entrepreneur, follow your dreams but always listen.

 

Rapid Fire:

  1. If you could have one superpower what would it be? I would prefer to build an Iron Man suit at Georgia Tech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98nNpzE6gIs)
  2. Name 1 person, past or present you would like to have dinner with Warren Buffet
  3. Three things to take onto a desert island? Just my Iron Man suit!
  4. Sunrises or sunsets? Sunrises

                                           

Contact: Ken Geddes, CEO & Founder
Email:
Ken.Geddes@Carsvansandbikes.com                                                        Number: 07956 441983


unify payments

Entrepreneur Interview: Alex Dimitrakoudis of Jux

Entrepreneur Interview: Alex Dimitrakoudis of Jux

We chat with Alex Dimitrakoudis, at Jux, a brand designed to unify payments, loyalty and offers across all market segments. We learn about how his business started, what makes it unique in the market, as well as his hopes for the future of the business. Alex also shares some pointers for entrepreneurs thinking about starting their own business.

unify payments

1.  What was your backgrounds prior to setting up the company?

It was 3 of us, Manish, Mark and I, who founded Jux almost 3 years ago. We met when we worked on behalf of the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) at the Open Banking Implementation Entity, in the creation of the UK’s Open Banking Standards. We were responsible for defining the business requirements of the standards, meeting both the CMA’s objectives and the end users’ needs. Before that, all of us worked in various financial institutions, payments and technology organisations, with responsibility for payments and cash management products, digital channels, and product strategy and management. Apart from deep payments expertise, we all have extensive experience managing products throughout the product life cycle, from concept to successful commercialisation. Our partnership is ideal, since our skills, experiences and personal traits complement each other’s, providing a very solid base for Jux’s success.

 

2. How did the idea of your business come about?

In our time at the Open Banking Implementation Entity, we worked across the ecosystem helping many different ideas come to life. It was during this time, in conversations with the British Retail Consortium (BRC), that we saw the need to help merchants and consumers alike and how Open Banking payments could bring the two together and provide benefits to both. However, we also realised that to counteract consumer inertia and introduce behavioural change for adopting a new payment method, consumers had to be incentivised. Based on this and given the friction at the point of sale in relation to claiming loyalty rewards, we devised the concept of Jux and the unified payments, loyalty and rewards,

 

3. What was most challenging about starting your own business?

There are many challenges when starting your own business, such as finding the right partners, the right business idea, the right timing for the market and the most appropriate macro-environmental factors, just to name a few. But one of the most important challenges is self-sustainability. In the early stages of a fintech start-up, every single pound of funding raised needs to be used for product development. This leaves no money for paying salaries to founders and other people involved. So, unless significant personal savings exist, people involved may need to share their time with another job which is not ideal. In our case, we were fortunate enough to have built “bench time” savings, having worked as contractors for a few years, and therefore use these funds for our personal sustainability during the early stages. But this may not be the option for everyone and, definitely, is one of the major challenges that is to be faced by start-up founders.

 

4. What is unique about your business in the market?

Jux is unique in the marker for a number of reasons. First, Jux is positioned uniquely to be the only app that offers a ‘unified payments model’, combining payments, loyalty and offers in a single consumer proposition. Jux was designed from the start with this concept in mind, as opposed to other products who may try to ‘patch’ other value-add services into their core service. Moreover, Jux is the only app that is designed to unify payments and rewards across all market segments, enabling consumers to seamlessly get the best value and have the same experience regardless of whether they are buying from a small local business or a large national retailer.

Jux is unique because it addresses the consumer inertia when adopting a new payment method, by providing consumer incentives via the unified payments, loyalty and offers and the convenience of removing friction. Jux is also unique because it is the only app offering Open Banking bank account payments at the point of sale without requiring any hardware changes or acquisition by retailers and services companies. Finally, Jux combines its unique market position, with disruptive commercials, offering “volume-based” transaction charges as opposed to “value-based.”

unify payments

 

5. How did Jux get its name?

Jux gets its name from the word “juxtapose”, as our company is placing together the 3 inherently different services of payments, loyalty and offers, into the same mobile app proposition, with the intention to create a unique effect to our users.

 

6. How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected the business, and what contingency plans were put in place to ensure survival?

Like many businesses, the pandemic hit just as we were about to launch, causing massive upheaval and uncertainty. The required lockdowns meant people weren’t going out and most retailers were closed. This carried on through most of 2021, so we were unable to launch effectively, as a number of our signed up local merchants ceased trading during this period. More specifically, our original launch plan was for Q3 2020, but the pandemic meant we had to delay our launch, which then impacted our development and investment plans. We were fortunate that through our initial early-stage friends and family investment, we had sufficient funds to cover running the business during the pandemic, but we delayed all the marketing activity we had scheduled until our revised launch in November 2021.

 

7. What 2 personality traits do you believe make a good business owner and leader?

I can think of more than 2 traits that are very important for a good business leader but at the core, I think the 2 key ones are:

  • Business acumen and everything it entails, including not only spotting business opportunities, but also thinking how to generate business & financial value for everyone involved; your fellow directors, your employees, your shareholders & investors, your business partners & suppliers and of course, your business customers and consumers. You need a holistic view of all the above, keeping the right balance at all times.
  • Ability to execute plans and deliver results. This gives credibility and reliability on meeting commitments and make investors trust you. It also motivates people and encourages a culture of “target achievement”, irrespective of difficulties that may arise, giving confidence and determination to keep going forward.

 

8. If you had the chance to start your business over again, would you do anything differently?

I would say to choose a time when there is not a global pandemic, but obviously predicting the occurrence of force majeure events is impossible. Realistically speaking, it would be to vet better the people who are willing to participate in the project of a start-up. Many people tend to be very enthusiastic with a new concept without realising the difficulty of the first years in a start-up company. This results to valuable time and money lost when enthusiasm wears off, reality strikes, and the long-term commitment is no longer available.

 

9. What advice would you give to a young entrepreneur starting up their own business?

Make sure you understand your market and listen to your customers around what’s actually important to them. Never expect your plan to stay intact and be flexible to have additional plans available just in case.

 

10. Where do you see the business going in the future?

The Horizon 1 plan for Jux is to complete the current product roadmap, penetrate the market and establish ourselves as a 'unified payments' app and wallet across the UK, achieving our targets of Serviceable Obtainable Market. Longer term, Jux is looking to expand overseas, as the needs that Jux fulfils are not limited purely to the UK and can be delivered globally. The adoption of Open Banking standards across Europe and other parts of the world, creates a perfect platform for our global expansion, since our model can be easily replicated and launched in other countries that support Open Banking Standards and immediate payments. With the right partners involved, global expansion can be achieved rapidly.

 

11. How can firms and individuals, who come across your business, support the business?

Support for Jux at this stage is best provided by helping us grow. For individuals, this means downloading the Jux app and using the discounts that our current MVP product makes available via the Club, to save and make the most of their money. Users in areas where local shops have been onboarded to Jux, such as Reading, can also benefit from local offers and support Reading businesses, at the same time as saving money. Moreover, individuals can make referrals of Jux to their friends and family, helping us viralise the adoption of Jux and how you can start to unify payments. For businesses who are reliant on consumers, support for Jux can be given by signing up to become part of the Jux Retailer Community, placing their product offers on Jux and using it to increase footfall to their shops.

 

12. Any final words for our Bluebox community?

Thank you for reading this profile of Jux. I hope I have provided a useful insight into our business and who we are. If you are interested in finding out more about how we unify payments and rewards, or share our vision by investing in Jux, I would be delighted to hear from you. Now is the right time.

 

Rapid Fire:

  1. If you could have one superpower what would it be? The ability to see what happens in the future.
  2. Name 1 person, past or present you would like to have dinner with - Steve Jobs, because his passion for constantly challenging the limits of the ultimate customer experience and product quality is an inspiration to every technology entrepreneur.
  3. Three things to take onto a desert island? Survival kit, a few good friends and return tickets back home.
  4. Life motto? “Anything is possible if you dare to dream of it”

 

                               

Contact: Alex Dimitrakoudis, Chairman & COO
Email: alex@1cardsolutions.com                                                Number: 07795958597

 


Celebrating International Women's Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Tuesday, 8th March 2022, marked the 41st International Women’s Day. Since it was originally named International Working Women’s Day, we believe that it is imperative to recognise the importance of women in the business world. As a leading corporate finance boutique, we have worked with hundreds of professional women and are delighted to see the increase of women in powerful positions within the workplace.

To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, we partnered up with She Almighty and Home Grown to host an event that was centred around connecting aspirational and inspirational women, mission-led leaders and founders - to share their stories, challenges and experiences. Our aim was to allow for a space where we could discuss how we can raise one another, break the bias to further gender equality and help people and planet whilst doing so. The event also featured a particular focus on female entrepreneurial leaders who have been through the process of growing their own business, raising funds for their business, or had sold a business.

international women's day

Host Mikaela Jackson, award-winning coach and founder of She Almighty, was joined by four female entrepreneurs, two of which Bluebox has helped on their respective business journeys, to discuss their stories, challenges, and experiences. Kate Bell, Ariana Alexander-Sefre, Angel Noorbakhsh Ashman and Georgia Metcalfe highlighted their experiences as female-founders and mission-led leaders and shared the advice they would give to their younger selves. They also discussed how they had led, run their own, raised capital or sold a business and the challenges faced along the way and how they overcame these. An interesting recommendation from the event was to read the book ‘The Defining Decade: Why your Twenties matter and how to make the most of them now’ by Dr. Meg Jay.

It was fantastic to see so many women gathered in one room to listen to our speakers. As a private member’s club that provides entrepreneurial pioneers with unique resources to unlock their true value of their business potential, Home Grown was the perfect space for the panelists to intimately share their stories. The event was also a great opportunity to professionally connect with other women and reflect upon our own personal and professional journeys to date. All proceeds from the event went to support girls, women and worthy causes worldwide through B1G1. B1G1 is an inspirational organisation that helps businesses to give back in meaningful ways and have worked with over 3,000 businesses around the world, creating over 270 million giving impacts to date. Here is a summary of the B1G1 contribution we were able to make via our proceeds:

  • 300 dollars to provide emergency relief support in Ukraine
  • 20 days of support for a survivor of sexual abuse through performing arts
  • 30 days of support for local women ‘PeaceMakers’ to prevent domestic violence
  • days of empowerment for women leaders
  • 1,000 social media awareness to women at risk of domestic violence
  • 20 days of education for girls in Kinshasa
  • 100 days of vocational training
  • days of business training program to women in Zambia
  • 20 days of access to health awareness sessions
  • 30 days of access to training sessions for young parents

A key takeaway from the event is that you must find your own group of people who will support you through both exciting and challenging times. We find this to be extremely relevant to us as a business as we strive to ensure constant support and collaboration within our team. We hope that this will be the first of many Velocity women’s events that celebrate the inspiring work that women do all around the world.


insurtech

Sector Update: Fintech – InsurTech

Sector Update: Fintech – InsurTech

M&A Seed / Venture Stage Update

insurtech

Current Market and Predictions for 2022:

The pandemic has been one of the major disruptors of the insurance industry in recent years. And although pandemic-related restrictions have eased across the country, the future remains uncertain as new variants arise to threaten what little progress has been made.  All around the world, and in most industries, the pandemic accelerated digital transformation. For the insurance industry, the role of technology in all aspects of operations is now essential, especially as more people take up flexible working or decide to work remotely for the foreseeable future.  These new developments are forcing business leaders to re-evaluate how their business operations and user experience fit with what customers expect in a technologically advanced world.

In 2022, InsurTech will be key to modernising technology stacks to get the most value from IoT, data, and cloud. As such, InsurTech will become the norm; with SaaS-based solutions built on APIs put in place to deliver personalisation on a grand scale. Due to the level of competition in the market, the modernisation of the insurance industry will continue to grow at a fast pace. And its maturity will depend on the richness of solutions InsurTech makes possible. 

 

Recent Fundraising Activity -

  1. Laka provides insurance products for cyclists and their bikes. £8.85m fundraising secured from 1818 Venture Capital, ABN AMRO, Autotech Ventures, Business Angels, Creandum, Elkstone Capital, Local Globle and Ponooc. 26/01/2022
  2. Nimbla - develops software that provides SMEs with invoice insurance services. £5.10m fundraising secured from Barclays, Fin Venture Capital and undisclosed investors. 03/11/2021
  3. Zing Cover - develops an online platform and mobile app that provides insurance services for e-commerce businesses. £50k fundraising secured from undisclosed investors. 15/10/2021
  4. Coincover - develops security software designed to ensure users do not lose access to their digital assets, as well as providing cryptocurrency insurance services. £5.05m fundraising secured from Avon Ventures, CMT Digital, DRW Venture Capital, Element Ventures, FinTech Collective, InsurTech Gateway, Technology Venture Investments and Valor Equity Partners. 30/06/2021

 

Recent M&A Activity - 

  1. Kwalitas - provides a range of business services including finance, merchant, EPoS, insurance and accountancy. The company was acquired by DNA payments for an undisclosed sum. 01/02/2022
  2. Digital Fine Print – The company uses social information to enhance insurance provision, for example by using social information to automate underwriting or form-filling. The company was acquired by hubb for an undisclosed sum. 06/12/2021.
  3. Brolly – the company develops software that allows users to manage and assess their insurance cover policies. The company was acquired by Direct Line Group for an undisclosed sum. 16/07/2020.

We’ve worked with a range of Fintech companies on their investment journeys. If you’re thinking about raising finance or selling your businesses and would like to explore your options, feel free to get in touch with us via this link or email us at info@blueboxvelocity.com.


staff interview

Staff Interview: Emily Burdass, Customer Success Manager

Staff Interview: Emily Burdass, Customer Success Manager

 

staff interview

We sat down with our new Customer Success Manager, Emily Burdass, to get to know her a bit better. We chat about her background prior to joining Bluebox and what she enjoys about her role.

 

What was your background prior to joining Bluebox Velocity?

Over two years ago I completed a degree in International Business and Marketing. Prior to joining BlueBox, I was a Commercial Operations Assistant at Yorkshire Headingley Cricket Ground and then an Administration Assistant at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney, Australia.

 

What were your motivations behind deciding to join Bluebox Velocity?

My motivation for joining Bluebox Velocity was that I had never seen or heard something like this product before. It was very exciting to me and something I wanted to be a part of. The world of business and finance has always interested me so this way I got to be involved with both everyday.

 

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

Achieving a first class honours at University whilst also working at the same time is something I am very proud of.

 

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“There is opportunity in chaos” –  I really liked this as I do feel that when things may not be going how you would like them to be, you can still learn and take things from the experience. There is always something valuable to be learned and an opportunity to grow.

 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy the fact that everyday I get to hear about new business ideas and how/why entrepreneurs started their companies. I find it inspiring that they took the leap of faith starting their respective businesses and the motivation behind doing so is very interesting. I also enjoy when our clients have really positive meetings with investors we have sourced for them and the excitement for what’s to come.

 

What’s something you know now but didn’t know before working at Bluebox Velocity?

I knew very little about the various types of investors that can invest into companies. For example, Strategics/VC’s/Angel investors all of which I have learnt bring different aspects to a business.

 

What’s your ideal way to spend a Saturday?

With friends - going to some sort of gym class followed by drinks in the sun. I am new to London so every weekend I aim to explore a new area.

 

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Firstly, I would book a holiday to the Maldives. Then I would purchase a load of property and start renting them out. (I would also give some away to my family/friends & donate some to charity)

 

Rapid fire:

  1. Any hidden talents? – Sadly not
  2. If you could have one superpower, what would it be? –  Replication – so that I could have one Emily at work and one Emily on Holiday.
  3. Ketchup or Mayo? – Mayo
  4. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? – Steven Bartlett