Blackpool stockbrokers help fund firm’s USA bid

Prince George  meeting the President of the United States Barack Obama (centre) and First Lady Michelle Obama (behind) at Kensington Palace, London, with the Duke of Cambridge (left), after the US president visited the UK to congratulate the Queen on turning 90 in April.
Prince George meeting the President of the United States Barack Obama (centre) and First Lady Michelle Obama (behind) at Kensington Palace, London, with the Duke of Cambridge (left), after the US president visited the UK to congratulate the Queen on turning 90 in April.
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Blackpool stockbrokers Hargreave Hale have helped fund the firm which made the dressing gown worn by Prince George when he met President Barack Obama.

My 1st Years was founded by Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton in 2009, and has since become a favourite with celebrities including Dannii Minogue and Elton John as well as the royals.

The £7m turnover company is new hoping to crack the USA on the back of the publicity when Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge met the Obamas in April.

Hargreave Hale has supported the personalised baby items company with £1.6m from investment funds as part of a £5m growth capital investment whihc also featured Beringea LLP.

Oliver Bedford, co-manager of the Hargreave Hale AIM Venture Capital Trusts said supporting private companies was a small part of the Blackpool company’s business, but they invest in around five a year.

He said: “John and Daniel have achieved a lot in a short period of time.

“They have a good market strategy and have brought in some great people around them

“Their next step needs funding to support them and to explore more fully opportunities in the USA.

“We decided to become part of that journey and hope that this si another classic British success story.

He said many companies find cracking the US more difficult than they expect due to many factors including the sheer size of the market but they had already got some high profile exposure for their brand, the Barack Obama dressing gown being a case in point.

He added: “The concept of the baby shower is fairly new in the UK but in America it is huge.”

Price said: “We always had a lot of faith in the potential of this company, but we’ve really seen that come to life in the last year or so, and it’s time for us to build on the success we’ve already had. Funding is key to the next step for us.”

HMT LLP led by Partner Andrew Thomson undertook financial due diligence on the deal.

He said: ““We are delighted to have again advised Beringea on their growth capital investment in another exciting ecommerce business. The Business has enjoyed impressive growth and the investment from Beringea and Hargreave will allow the management team to continue to achieve their exciting growth plans.”