Funding boost for ethical retailer

EthicalSuperstore.com, a Newcastle-based retailer of fair trade and ethical goods, has received £1 million in a third round of venture capital (VC) financing.

The funding round, which brings total investment in the company to more than £2 million, was led by existing backer NorthStar Equity Investors (NSEI).

NSEI invested £550,000 from its co-investment fund, with a further £200,000 coming from angel investors as well as £250,000 from Bristol-based Rathbone Greenbank Investments.

The funding has enabled Ethical Superstore to move its 30 staff from a combined office and warehouse space of 4,500 square feet to a new facility of 25,000 square feet.

Ian Richards, a portfolio manager at NSEI, comments, ‘We’ve seen the company quadruple in size, increasing its turnover from £245,000 in 2006 to £2 million in 2008. We have every confidence in its future success.’

Ethicalsuperstore.com director Vic Morgan says the business aims to increase turnover to £40 million within the next four years.

NSEI’s co-investment fund has assets of £23 million and specialises in technology investments between £100,000 and £1.5 million in the North East of England. The sole investor in the fund is the European Regional Development Fund.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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Venture capital funding