Imbiba completes first close of £90m investment fund to support the UK’s leading leisure, lifestyle and entertainment growth brands
Imbiba makes first investment from the new Fund into Little Houses Group, a collection of desirable nurseries and family members clubs.
Imbiba, the UK’s leading leisure, lifestyle and entertainment investor in growth brands has announced the first close at approximately £70 million of its new £90 million fund, and completed its first investment into Little Houses Group.
Led by significant investment from the British Business Bank through its Enterprise Capital Funds (ECF) programme, alongside other investors including Asahi UK, the new fund will provide growth capital to support the expansion of leading businesses from across the leisure, lifestyle and entertainment sector.
Darrel Connell, Managing Partner, Imbiba said:
“The significant investment we have secured for our new fund is a huge vote of confidence for Imbiba and the wider leisure, lifestyle and entertainment sector in the UK. With our experience and track record, this new fund puts us in a unique position to support more leading entrepreneurs and high growth businesses than ever before, during a period of significant market uncertainly and volatility.
At a time when others are retreating from the sector we see this as the opportune time to support the brand heroes of tomorrow. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our investors who share our belief and passion for this great sector and recognise that times of turbulence brings exciting opportunity.”
Little Houses Group is the brainchild of Charlie Gardiner, founder of award-winning hospitality business, Incipio Group. The first venue, Kensal House Nursery and Jaego’s House, which launched in Kensal Rise earlier this year, features a nursery, creche, kids’ club, jungle gym and soft play, kids’ cinema and snug, as well as a waterside cafe & restaurant, gym and fitness classes, treatment rooms and co-workspace. With ambitious plans to scale the business and multiple new venues planned in the coming years, Imbiba will provide capital and support for the management team to expand the business
Commenting on the investment, Darrel Connell said:
“Little Houses Group is the perfect example of the kind of business we’re looking to invest in; highly differentiated, best-in-class and scalable with a highly credible management team. We’re excited to work with Charlie and his team as the business expands in the years ahead.”
Charlie Gardiner, founder of Little Houses Group, added:
“The dream for most parents is to find somewhere that they love visiting just as much as their children do, and Imbiba’s support will help us scale the business and make that dream a reality for more parents. We couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to create a long-term, sustainable partnership with such proven entrepreneurs and investors in the sector.”
As the only growth capital investor exclusively focused on the UK leisure, lifestyle and entertainment sector, Imbiba has developed and supported more companies in those sectors than any other UK investment firm. The group’s current portfolio includes a wide range of award-winning companies, including Pizza Pilgrims, F1 Arcade, Vagabond Wine, Clays, Farmer J, House of Gods, Leisure TV Rights, The Dream Corporation, Wireless Social, Purple Dragon, Big Fang Collective, Monkey Puzzle Nurseries and NQ64.
Ken Cooper, Managing Director, Venture Solutions, British Business Bank, said:
“The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme is key in helping to develop and maintain effective venture capital provision in the UK, lowering the barriers to entry for emerging fund managers and for those targeting under-served areas of the market. Following our support for Imbiba’s Growth Fund back in 2018, we are pleased to make a cornerstone commitment to Imbiba’s new Fund, supporting the expansion of leading businesses across the leisure, lifestyle and entertainment sectors.’’
Issued on behalf of Imbiba by Fleet Street. For more information, please contact Imbiba@fsc.uk.com
Notes to Editors
With over 25 years of investment and operating experience, Imbiba has developed and supported more companies in the leisure, lifestyle and entertainment market than any other UK investment firm. Imbiba invests into high growth, category leading businesses and builds long-term, sustainable partnerships. As proven entrepreneurs and investors in the sector, Imbiba provides all portfolio companies with capital to accelerate growth, in addition to support in key strategic areas such as property, operations, recruitment, procurement, marketing, social media and finance.
Imbiba investee companies, which include Pizza Pilgrims, F1 Arcade, Vagabond Wine, Clays, Farmer J, House of Gods, Leisure TV Rights, The Dream Corporation, Wireless Social, Purple Dragon, Big Fang Collective, Monkey Puzzle Nurseries and NQ64, are multi award-winning and recognised in their respective categories as best in class.
About the British Business Bank
The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.
As well as increasing the supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success.
The British Business Bank is also responsible for administering the government’s three Coronavirus loan schemes and its Future Fund, together responsible for delivering £80.4 billion in finance to 1.67 million businesses. These schemes are now closed to new applications.
British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. Wholly owned by HM government, the Bank and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at the British Business Bank.
¹ Figures as at end March 2022
² Figures as at end March 2022
The transaction described above does not constitute or imply any endorsement, warranty or recommendation by the UK government, the British Business Bank plc, its subsidiaries or any other party of Imbiba or its products or services.
The British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) are administered by British Business Finance Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Business Bank. The Funds are managed by experienced managers from a variety of backgrounds – including teams from the venture capital industry as well as entrepreneurs with a history of success in building early-stage UK companies.
ECFs are commercially focused funds that bring together private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses. The Bank’s rolling investment programme of commitments to new ECFs is a competitive process, with typically two to three investments made per year. The Imbiba Growth II LP is the 42nd ECF in the programme.