The Business Investors Group has invested in excess of £25 million since it was formed in September 1997. Below is a testimonial for one of the investments carried out by members of BiG.
Eight years on and the BIG investment in Perfiliate (sold for an undisclosed sum as Buy.at to AOL in February 2008) remains the group’s most successful syndicated investment ever. The BIG investors took the plunge into an uncertain dotcom marketplace in 2000 and have reaped the returns!
Colin Coates, Chairman of BIG said: This investment has certainly had to dig deep and face many challenging issues over the past few years, but with great energy and endeavor, and with great team support, the business was triumphant in the end for all concerned.
Steve Brown and his co-founders, helped by BIG and Northern Enterprise Ltd, saw in 2000 what the marketplace has only just woken up to – that online marketing had the potential to become very big business. More than £2.1 billion of retail sales were generated through this channel in 2006. Back in the dotcom doldrums it was a different matter and Perfiliate was a different business, but Steve and his colleagues shifted the early emphasis from web-redirection to focus on growing a business that relied on the weaknesses of competitors in an emerging marketplace. Steve Brown is clear that that business wasn’t his idea, but that he joined it as a profit focused finance director looking for an exit.
Between 2002 and the sale in 2008 Buy.at grew to become the UK’s leading affiliate marketing company. At the time of the sale revenues had grown over 200% a year for the previous three years with the company reporting turnover of £19m for the calendar year 2006.
Not bad for a business launched into the quiet period and against established competitors and certainly not bad for the investors who followed a hunch and the management team!