10 Fastest Growing Companies in the East Midlands
Sarah Cheesman, 14 december 2023
Nestled right in the heart of England, the East Midlands region is rapidly becoming a powerhouse of economic growth and business innovation. With a rich history, diverse landscapes, and a strategic location that connects the north and south, this region is a breeding ground for entrepreneurial success.
From the historic city of Nottingham to the industrial heritage of Derby and the cultural hub of Leicester, the East Midlands is home to a tapestry of businesses that range from pioneering startups to established industry leaders. In this article, we’re spotlighting the 10 fastest growing companies in the East Midlands that are reshaping industries and propelling this region into a new era of prosperity.
While there are many different ways to measure company growth, we’re focusing on the UK startups that saw the greatest turnover growth between 2021 and 2022. Each company on this ranking has met the following criteria:
There are a total of 26 companies in our list bringing in nearly £500m turnover in their latest financials. Let’s take a look at the companies leading the way in this area of the country.
10 Fastest Growing Companies in the North West of the UK
The top 10 fastest growing companies in the East Midlands, UK
We’ve ordered our companies from 10 to one.
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 6%
Pentaxia manufactures advanced composite materials and surface coatings. Since being founded in 2008, they have received three grants, totalling £375k. The first of these was through Derby Enterprise Growth Fund for £168k in May 2014, aimed at assisting them with purchasing high-tech manufacturing machinery and increasing production. Their most recent grant was in October 2022 through Innovate UK for £126k.
The company also went through a round of equity fundraising in March 2012, with undisclosed investors investing a total of £80k. Between the financial years 2021 and 2022, Pentaxia’s turnover grew by 6%.
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 10%
Blachford UK develops and manufactures acoustic components for automobiles, such as products to reduce audible vibration. To date, they have gone through two rounds of fundraising. The first, in November 2011, was a loan fundraising where Small Business Loan contributed £1.6m to help them expand into global markets and continue their product development plan.
In November 2013, Advent Technology contributed an undisclosed amount through a round of equity fundraising. Between 2021 and 2022, their turnover grew by 10%.
Sector: Financial services
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 15%
Oakbrook Finance provides consumer lending services, developing financial products such as Likely Loans, which uses data and technology to give loan applicants an instant decision. They have received £5k in grant funding to date through Innovation Vouchers in February 2016.
They went through a single round of equity fundraising in July 2022, where undisclosed investors invested £3.88m into the business. Their post-money valuation was listed as £48.1m. Between 2021 and 2022, the turnover of the business grew by 15%.
Sector: Waste management
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 16%
Based in Grantham, Environcom takes in or collects unwanted appliances and either repairs and resells them, harvests them for parts to repair other products, or reduces them to fragments of raw materials to feedback into manufacturing. They have gone through four rounds of fundraising to date, totalling £6.03m. The most recent of these was a loan fundraising in February 2023, where £700k was raised through Business Finance to purchase a Gas Energy Recovery Incinerator (GERI).
Their most recent round of equity fundraising was in December 2012, which saw undisclosed investors invest £969k into the business. Their post-money valuation was listed as £18.5m at this time. Environcom’s turnover grew by 16% between 2021 and 2022.
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 17%
Blackstar Amplification designs and manufactures amplifiers for guitars and smartphones. Since they were founded in 2007, they have received six grants (totalling £592k) and gone through three rounds of fundraising. The most recent of these was a round of equity fundraising contributed to by Foresight VCT in August 2012. This company also underwent an MBO/MBI in July 2017.
My 1st Years
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 40%
My 1st Years sells personalised clothes and gifts for babies through its online shop. Since they were founded in 2009, they have gone through nine equity fundraising rounds, between £50k and £5.6m. Their most recent round was completed in May 2018, and saw undisclosed investors contribute a total of £5m to the business. This gave them a post-money valuation of £62.3m.
Between the financial years 2021 and 2022, their turnover grew by an impressive 40%.
Sector: Food & beverage
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 45%
Based in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, Berkeley Inns purchases licenced property in the Midlands to operate them as pubs and restaurants. They were incorporated in 2014, and have since gone through six equity fundraising rounds. Their first was in May 2015 for a total of £260k, putting their post-money valuation at £1.22m. Their most recent fundraising round was through undisclosed investors for £125k, with a post-money valuation of £5.43m in September 2020.
Their most recent financials saw a 45% uplift in turnover from the previous year.
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 52%
ENSEK operates a SaaS accounting platform, designed for energy providers to use. They went through one round of equity fundraising which was completed in March 2014. This saw undisclosed investors raise a total of £1.01m into the company. ENSEK has also made one acquisition, of NrgFin in August 2020. This was part of their growth strategy to expand into new international territories within Western Europe and pursue wider growth opportunities in the UK.
The company also underwent an MBO in October 2017, backed by private equity firm LDC. Their turnover grew by 52% between 2021 and 2022.
Blue Light Card
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 92%
Blue Light Card offers discounts for people working for a range of organisations, including the emergency services and the British Armed Forces. Since they were incorporated in 2008, they have secured two rounds of fundraising. The first of these was in January 2019, with BGF Growth Capital contributing an undisclosed amount. Their second round of equity fundraising was in February 2022, this time contributed to by Inflexion Buyout Fund. The aim of this investment was to carry out research and development to develop their product offering.
Between the financial years 2021 and 2022, the company saw a huge 92% growth in their turnover.
Growth in turnover (2021-2022): 149%
Phenna Group operates as a holding company for a range of firms in the testing, inspection, certification, and compliance (TICC) sector. They have seen a whopping 149% increase in their turnover between the financial years 2021 and 2022, largely due to the number of acquisitions they have made.
Phenna Group has acquired 34 companies to date, including ASCT, ACI Reports, Labwest Minerals, South West Geotechnical and Trident Water Solutions, all within the latter part of 2023.
To date, they have secured two rounds of fundraising; one loan in March 2022 and one equity and loan in February 2021. Both of these rounds were to help accelerate their acquisition strategy, with the first round of fundraising also aimed at refinancing existing debt. Arcmont contributed to both funds, alongside the Inflexion Partnership Capital Fund in 2021 and on their own in 2022.
The East Midlands is not just a geographical heartland of England, but also a thriving epicentre of business innovation and growth. This article has spotlighted 10 of the fastest-growing companies in the region, each contributing uniquely to the tapestry of economic progress.
As these companies continue to expand and redefine their respective industries, they not only bring prosperity to the region but also set a benchmark for entrepreneurial success across the UK. To find more companies based in the East Midlands, sign up for a demo.
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