A visionary new one stop shop for business supplies has received a £300,000 funding boost from Finance Yorkshire.
Frillo.co.uk, which was founded in Hull by experienced entrepreneur Gerard Toplass in 2013, will use the money to create a cost-effective and price transparent online store delivering goods directly to its customers.
It will also act as a market place where suppliers and manufacturers can reach new customers.
The investment from Finance Yorkshire’s Seedcorn Fund was offered in exchange for a significant equity stake in the new ecommerce project.
Mr Toplass, who has a vast experience of both starting and growing businesses, said:
“Companies are increasingly choosing to purchase essential office supplies online.
“While this is convenient, it does take time to co-ordinate the purchasing of everyday office supplies across multiple websites as there’s still a lack of transparency about what is a good deal and what is not because the mark-ups on different items vary wildly.
“Our aim is to provide a one stop shop where businesses can purchase 99 per cent of their everyday requirements easily. Think Amazon, but for business – and at a cost that our customers know is good value.”
Frillo is currently recruiting like-minded suppliers who see the potential in the innovative online supply and delivery business.
Finance Yorkshire investment director Ashwin Kumaraswamy said:
“Gerard Toplass is a company director with a vast experience of taking early stage companies to market, where stakeholder relationships play a key role in the success of the business.”
Alex McWhirter, chief executive of Finance Yorkshire, said:
“Finance Yorkshire invests across Yorkshire and Humber in small and medium sized businesses that show great potential.
“We are delighted to be backing this venture, which is both innovative and has great growth opportunities.
“Frillo has a great business model, an experienced board and we believe a bright future.”
Lord Chris Haskins, chair of the Humber LEP, said:
“The Humber is a great place to start a new business with good connectivity and plenty of support and opportunities.
“We congratulate Frillo.co.uk on starting its enterprise with support from Finance Yorkshire.
“We wish them well and look forward to seeing them contribute to the Humber economy.”
Finance Yorkshire provides Seedcorn, Loan and Equity Linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2million, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses meet the gaps in the market for the funding they need for growth and development.
To date Finance Yorkshire has made 515 investments totalling over £63 million.
Finance Yorkshire has been developed as a European JEREMIE* initiative and is capitalised by grants from UK Government (£15m), European Regional Development Fund (£30m) and finance from the European Investment Bank (£45m).