Foresight Group LLP announces the investment into Postworks Limited on behalf of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund. This mark’s Foresight’s third MEIF investment since its launch in February.
Postworks is an online franking company providing small and medium sized businesses with a software-based alternative to franked business post. Using Postworks’ software platform, businesses can ‘drag and drop’ their post for electronic sorting, printing and folding at Postworks printing centre before being handed over to the Royal Mail for delivery.
The Northampton-based company was launched late 2016 by James and Marvee-Lisa Booker. With their extensive experience in the print, mail and media sector, they identified an opportunity to improve upon and disrupt the traditional franking model, using technology to deliver scalable mailing services to the SME sector.
Foresight’s investment from MEIF, will support the continued growth of the company with the recruitment of additional staff to add to their product development team. Over the next five years Postworks plans to open eight strategically placed print centres to reduce the transport of physical mail items and take steps to making post a more environmentally friendly communication channel. Additionally, funds will be used to enable focus on operational development and the creation of new technologies to increase production capacity.
Simon Moate has joined the business as Chairman. Simon has over 15 years’ experience working with SMEs operating in business support services and was formerly CEO of Office2Office Plc, a diversified business services group.
Explaining the implications of this investment James Booker, Founder and Commercial Director of Postworks, commented: “We are removing the barriers that the SME market face when sending post, like long franking contracts and complicated pricing structures. More importantly, we are giving the postal industry a much-needed push into the digital age and we are looking forward to working with Foresight and the wider team on this.”
Commenting on the deal completion, Rodney Appiah, Director at Foresight Group, commented: “We are very pleased to have made this investment into Postworks and look forward to working with James and Marvee-Lisa to scale this innovative and disruptive technology business. Postworks is a great fit for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund and a good example of the vibrant start up community in Northampton.”
Companies using the Postworks platform will also be able to reduce paper wastage and reduce their carbon footprint as mail volumes are sorted and delivered nearer to their final destination.
Grant Peggie, Director, Venture Capital Solutions at British Business Bank, said: “This MEIF investment by Foresight in Postworks is further evidence that the East and South East Midlands is a growing digital technology cluster. We are pleased that MEIF investment is supporting an increase in skilled staff and their wider growth aspirations.”
Malcolm Johnston, Growth Hubs Manager, South East Midlands LEP said: “We met James when he contacted the Growth Hub and later joined our Investment Readiness Masterclass. It’s clear that business systems and processes are part of Postworks’ life-blood and the firm is constantly innovating and developing its own systems as a result. Postworks is an incredibly switched on business, having already grown significantly, and with more to come. It is definitely one to watch. Clearly the fund managers think so too.”
This is the third investment to be announced from Foresight’s Midlands Engine Investment Fund. Foresight was appointed equity fund manager for the Midlands Engine Investment Fund in the East and South East Midlands earlier this year, (“BBB”) as part of the £250 million Midlands Engine programme.
The Midlands Engine 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.