High-flying UK toymaker Wow! Stuff has secured £4.8m funding from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) – the fifth investment made by BGF in the fast-growing business to date.
Wow! Stuff is the leading toy development company behind some of 2011’s most desirable Christmas presents, including Air Swimmers and My Keepon – both of which featured in Hamley’s top five toys list for the last festive period.
“BGF’s investment is great news for us,” said Wow! Stuff founder Richard North. “Their financing and the expertise they bring to us as a partner investor will help…maintain our position as one of the fastest growing privately-owned British companies.”
Wow! Stuff’s product range has expanded rapidly since the firm was founded in 2006, and are now available in the US, France and Germany. Turnover has hit £20m – the firm made the Sunday Times Fast Track list in 2010 – and North is targeting sales of £60m within three years.
Despite shaky economic conditions worldwide, the toy market is said to have held up comparatively well and sales in the UK are predicted to reach £2.5bn in 2015. North says his company’s price point of between £20 and £60 has helped it appeal to cash-strapped consumers.
Alistair Brew, investment director at BGF, added: “Wow! Stuff has a desirable new product pipeline that is exciting the toy market and enjoying significant early stage interest from global retailers. For all these reasons, it is a highly attractive business for us.
“It is also well placed to expand into the US, the world’s largest toy market. We are looking to back British businesses that have the means and ambition to take advantage of export opportunities and will work with them to make this happen.”