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Back to News The Frank Olsen team with Sue Barnard

7th April 2022

Smart furniture company reaches multi-million-pound turnover


Northern Powerhouse Investment FundCheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise PartnershipNPIF - BFS & MSIF Microfinance

Cheshire-based Frank Olsen Furniture, has reached multi-million-pound turnover since its establishment in 2016.

The company, which designs and manufactures smart-technology integrated furniture, secured £25,000 of investment from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, which is managed by GC Business Finance and MSIF in August 2017.

In 2016, managing director and founder, Charlie Graybook, originally set out to integrate contemporary furniture with wireless charging functionalities.  Since funding, the company has gone on to expand its product range by integrating Amazon’s Alexa into their furniture, as well as incorporating voice-controlled LED lighting.

Frank Olsen Furniture now offers 50 different products and supplies major retailers such as Next and Argos, as well as 30 other retail partners. The company has grown in headcount since 2016, employing seven members of staff while remaining a family-owned business.

After coming out of the pandemic and overcoming recent challenges such as increased shipping costs, the business has maintained steady growth since its inception and plans to expand into European markets. Frank Olsen Furniture has also recently launched new ranges in market leading ‘click together technology’, shifting away from traditional cam & pin self-assembly.

Charlie Graybook, Founder and Managing Director of Frank Olsen Furniture, said: “The funding from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund was very much at the start of our journey and really enabled us to hit the ground running.

“When we first set up in 2016, securing access to finance was extremely challenging. NPIF enabled us to get our initial stock off the ground, and helped us fulfil our very first orders. With steady growth over the years and with the pandemic affecting businesses from all sectors, we’re excited for the future of the company, especially as we plan on entering European markets.”

Matt Robinson, Head of Lending at GC Business Finance, said: “The growth of Frank Olsen over the past six years is testament to the impact that accessing finance can have on businesses. Every day we speak to business owners looking for support to take on the next phase of development, and stories like this make us excited to see where the funding we’re providing can take them.”

 Sue Barnard at British Business Bank, said: “As one of NPIF’s first investments, and also as a recipient of a Start Up loan we’re proud to see Frank Olsen grow into the business it is today. Charlie and his team are now working with some of the country’s biggest retailers, and I’m excited to see how their plans to expand the company’s presence beyond the UK unfolds. As part of our goal in creating a stronger North, Frank Olsen is a great example of how access to finance can unlock opportunities for future growth.”

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.

The MSIF group of funds are managed by Alliance Fund Managers Limited which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the course of investment business. Financial Conduct Authority Registration Number is 180891.

BFS Funding Managers Limited is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Small Authorised UK AIFM under firm reference number 608682

Editors Notes

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