Last week saw the publication of this year’s The Sunday Times Hundred. A list of some of the fastest growing businesses in the country. We were delighted to see on there some companies from Nottingham. Cue chart music…

At number #13 Constellia Public, a procurement management specialist which enables businesses to buy better and manage category specific spend. Constellia offers procurement services to both public and private sector businesses. Its turnover is listed as £67m, seeing an enormous 181.99% growth.

At number #48 is Bigspark, the UK’s fastest growing data solutions consultancy, ‘creating a world where data pipeline, data management and AI models are seamlessly integrated and fully automated, allowing clients to manage vast amounts of data and redesign their business models, boosting productivity and deepening the customer relationship.’ According to the list, Bigspark turned over £7.9m, seeing growth of 102.72%.

In at #72 is BFY Group, providing consultancy and advisory services to the energy, utilities and financial sectors. Incorporated in 2004, BFY Group has grown sales to £8.3m, representing an increase of 77.11%.

Immediately following is our fourth Nottingham compan - at #73 Upperton Pharma Solutions. Upperton Pharma Solutions develops spray drying technology for use on pharmaceutical ingredients, and provides pharmaceutical development services. With turnover listed at £11.6m, Upperton Pharma Solutions has seen an increase of 76.77%.

We congratulate these businesses on their incredible growth journeys and look forwards to seeing what is next. By the way all 4 of these companies are actively hiring in case you are interested…

The list prompted me to look at other businesses that are exhibiting high growth or high growth promise in Nottingham. I delved around on the Beauhurst platform to build a picture of the landscape.

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have over 500 businesses being tracked for high growth. These businesses are responsible for a reported £9bn in turnover and over 92,000 employees. An overwhelmingly large proportion (37.7%) of these businesses have been categorised as ‘established’. Beauhurst has a broad scope of criteria for evaluating a business’s stage of evolution, and defines an established business as one which has typically ‘been around for 15+ years, or 5-15 years with a 3 year consecutive profit of £5m+ or turnover of £20m+. It is likely to have multiple (often worldwide) offices, be a household name, and have a lot of traction. Funding received, if any, is likely to come from corporates, private equity, banks, specialist debt funds and major international funds.’  

Examples of the established businesses being tracked for high growth include Bildurn, John Pye, UniDays, Freeths, Linsco and Pedigree Wholesale. An undeniably diverse list, backing up the longstanding observation that Nottingham has a varied economy that can withstand shocks.

While definitely varied, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire does have a clear strength in application software.

The other two largest categories from the list are ‘seed’ and ‘venture’. Beauhurst categorises a business as ‘seed’ if it is a ‘youngish company with a small team, low valuation and funding received (low for its sector), uncertain product-market fit or just getting started with the process of getting regulatory approval. Funding likely to come from grant-awarding bodies, equity crowdfunding and business angels.’. And ‘venture’ as a company that has ‘been around for a few years, has either got significant traction, technology or regulatory approval progression and funding received and valuation both in the millions. Funding likely to come from venture capital firms.’

16.5% of our high growth businesses in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are in the seed phase of their evolution, and 16% are in the venture phase. We can hope that these businesses are going to continue their high growth trajectory and provide an exceptional pipeline of established businesses for the future economy.

Trends in equity investments have been showed decline across the country last year, both in number of deals done and amounts raised. According to Beauhurst’s The Deal report, deals were down by 25% in 2022 compared to 2023, and the amount invested reduced by 42% from £20.6b invested in 2022 to £12b invested in 2023 (and the East Midlands only received 2.6% of this). But ever the optimist I wanted to draw out some examples very recent activity from local businesses that you may or may not have heard about:

True Position Robotics, an independent UK SME specialising in high accuracy robot metrology and End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) technology, focussed on aerospace and high value manufacturing. True Position Robotics raised £1m in July 2024 in an equity deal. 

Pipeline Organics, a company that develops enzymatic biofuel cells, enabling it to generate renewable electricity from wastewater, secured £200k in equity fundraising in June 2024.

Percayso Inform, develops intelligence software for the insurance industry. In June 2024 it raised £1.14m, taking its fundraising to £8.77m.

Now with the election behind us and a new Combined Authority, we may see confidence grow, giving our varied and interesting local businesses additional opportunities to grow.  




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