A West Yorkshire-based online auctioneer secured a £750,000 investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance, managed by FW Capital and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Set up in 2010, BPI Auctions has grown into one of the UK’s leading online auction sites with over 400 auctions a year. The website sells items from one of the widest category ranges of any online auction site across business to business and consumer goods.
At the end of 2017, BPI moved into purpose-built premises comprising 28,000sq ft of warehouse space, offices and showrooms in Normanton, near Wakefield. This has allowed the company to host live auctions with online bidding and most recently to form a strategic partnership, leveraging its sales portal and storage capabilities with sister company BPI Asset Advisory, a RICS regulated machinery and business asset surveying firm.
BPI Auctions will now use the FW Capital investment to facilitate further growth by recruiting up to four members of staff across sales and marketing. With the additional capital, this will boost the company’s capacity to buy surplus stock to be sold alongside auctions hosted on behalf of its national corporate and private clients, returning higher margins.
Later in the year the company will innovate the business’ customer experience. This will include a new look website and the launch of an upload sales portal, bpimarketplace.com, where customers can list their own items.
David Boulton, BPI Auctions Managing Director, said: “The funding we have secured from FW Capital puts us in the best possible position to fulfil our ambitious growth plans.
“We would like to thank FW Capital for their helpful and supportive approach to providing us with this funding which will allow us to deliver our first-class auction experience to even more customers.”
FW Capital Investment Executives Steve Teasdale and Anne Blanden managed the deal, which was introduced by Garbutt and Elliott.
Steve Teasdale, Investment Executive at FW Capital, said: “BPI Auctions is an established business with a strong customer base of some 60,000 registered users.
“The experienced management team has a clear vision for growth and development. Our funding will support BPI Auctions with their plans and we have every confidence in their future success.”
Tony Farmer, Partner at Garbutt and Elliott said: “We are delighted to have introduced the deal to FW Capital and to facilitate the investment into BPI’s growing future. This funding is essential in cementing BPI’s expansion plans and ensuring employee growth levels and we are thrilled to have been a part of helping to develop yet another regional business and employer.”
Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides a mix of debt and equity funding (£25,000 to £2m). It works alongside ten Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the combined authorities and Growth Hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to support Northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development.
The Northern Powerhouse 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.
FW Capital Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a small authorised UK Alternative Investment Fund Manager under firm reference number 506719