MEIF Debt Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”) has backed pop-up retail specialists, Rapid Retail Limited (“Rapid Retail”), with a £300,000 business loan. The loan will enable the Worcestershire company to accelerate its growth plans by expanding its portfolio of products, exploiting new growth opportunities overseas and support the creation of seven new jobs.
Rapid Retail designs a range of bespoke and high-quality pop-up shops, container conversions, kiosks and retail merchandising units (RMUs) for the sports, retail and event industries. The fully branded retail units host some of the world’s biggest brands at major sporting and entertainment venues. The firm has an impressive client base which includes many of the UK’s Premier League football clubs, with its units also used at rugby and cricket grounds such as Twickenham Stadium and Lord’s.
The pop-up retail concept contributes an estimated £2.3bn to the UK economy and is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the coming years. Pop-up outlets allow retailers to experiment with creative solutions, providing an immersive consumer experience and are a powerful tool to boost brand exposure.
Rapid’s highly experienced management team, led by Managing Director, Nick Daffern, has a wealth of experience in event merchandising and marketing at leading international event venues. Daffern also has over 25 years’ experience managing logistics across the world for Formula 1 and World Rally Championships. General Manager, Graham Handy, has over 37 years’ banking experience, with 10 years spent running a commercial banking team supporting a client base of over 600 SME businesses.
Chris Rogers, Investment Manager at Maven said, “We are delighted to support Rapid Retail as the company embarks on an exciting new phase in its development plans. The business boasts a high-quality client base and is run by a passionate, dedicated management team. We look forward to working with Nick and his team to help them exploit the opportunities in this fast-growing market.”
Nick Daffern, Managing Director at Rapid Retail said, “We are thrilled to receive funding from MEIF Maven Debt Finance. Our business designs pop up shops, kiosks and RMUs that deliver the complete customer experience with minimum fuss. We are extremely passionate about our product offering and the funding will enable us to expand both in the UK and overseas.”
Ryan Cartwright, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank added, “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set up to plug gaps in access to finance and support growing companies. This investment is a good example of how funding can be used to explore expansion projects and increase exporting. We would encourage other Worcestershire companies seeking to grow to explore the finance available from the MEIF.”
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said, “It is great to see Worcestershire business Rapid Retail secure key investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This opportunity to expand its product portfolio is fundamental for generating new growth opportunities, which will help to benefit the economy of the county as a whole.”
The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
The MEIF debt funds, managed by Maven, focus on providing growth funding to high-growth potential businesses located across the Midlands. Composed of two separate lots, of £50m for SMEs located in the West Midlands, and £40m for growth businesses in the East and South-East Midlands, the funds can provide finance of between £100,000 and £1.5million.
Pictured: Nick Daffern (Rapid Retail) and Chris Rogers (Maven Capital Partners)