By Daniel Hunter

Business Growth Fund (BGF), established to help the UK’s growing small and medium sized businesses, today announced that it has invested £3.92 million of growth capital in Magmatic Ltd, which trades under the “Trunki” brand name. BGF will take a minority stake in the company and a seat on the board.

Stuart Rose, the former Chairman of toy group Hamleys and ex-Managing Director of The Body Shop, will join the Trunki board as non-executive Chairman. This introduction was made by BGF through its Talent Network.

Trunki is the first Bristol based company to secure investment. This brings the total amount of growth capital invested by BGF in the South West of England and South Wales to £30m.

HSBC’s Bristol and Bath Commercial team has separately provided a comprehensive finance package to support the firm’s growth and which marks the start of a new banking relationship with HSBC.

Trunki designs, distributes and manufactures branded, multifunctional travel products for children. Founded by Rob Law, the company started trading in 2006 when it launched its original ride-on suitcase product. Turned down by Dragons’ Den, the company is on track to sell two million units of its suitcase worldwide and its travel products are stocked in over 2,500 stores across the UK, as well as 97 countries overseas. The company expects to achieve revenues of £10 million this year.

Trunki has won a number of awards including the 2012 SME of the Year at the National Business Awards. Rob received an MBE for services to business in 2011.

Since the launch of its original suitcase, Trunki has steadily expanded its portfolio of unique products, with the introduction of BoostApak (car seat/back pack), PaddlePak (water resistant character back pack), Travel ToyBox (ride on toy box), SnooziHedz (travel pillow and blanket) and a range of accessories. The company currently holds license agreements for Gruffalo, Moshi Monsters and Lotus.

Most of the company’s manufacturing is outsourced, although it acquired a factory (Magma Moulding) in Plymouth in December last year to supply its ride-on suitcase product in the UK.

The company is based in Bristol where it employs 30 people, with a further 44 employed at the factory in Plymouth. The team at head office is expected to grow by 25% in the next twelve months.

Trunki is a market leader in the UK and significant growth opportunities for increased product sales exist overseas, particularly in China, Japan, Germany, France and India.

BGF’s £3.92m investment will fund the development of new products, accelerate international sales and support development of the Trunki brand through above the line marketing.

Trunki plans to expand the number of ways its products can be used by children to cover their core needs while travelling. It also intends to triple the size of its addressable market by developing products for a wider age range, including children of under three and 6-12 years.

Paul Oldham, BGF’s Regional Director for the South West of England and South Wales, commented: “Trunki has pioneered a new children’s travel product category and over the last seven years has very successfully developed its position as the UK market leader. Rob and his team have recognised that there is a real opportunity to grow the business further - by expanding its range of unique products and by exporting them to overseas markets. They have sought our help to accelerate this and we are delighted to be working with them as a partner and minority investor.

“Trunki is a great example of the kind of business that BGF is committed to supporting. It operates in a growing market, driven by higher birth rates and increased travel. It can boast strong performance as a national success story. But why should it stop there? Rob and his team are keen to take the next step, developing Trunki as an international business, and our injection of capital and wider operational support will help them to achieve this.

“At BGF, we believe that this level of ambition and aspiration is critical for the recovery of the UK economy and that it should be encouraged, applauded and properly supported.”

Rob Law, Founder and CEO of Trunki, commented: “We’re delighted to have BGF as a partner to help rapidly grow our business and enable us to build Trunki into a truly global travel brand for children’s travel gear.

“The fundraising process attracted much interest and offers from some significant private equity investors. It was hugely rewarding to see Trunki - a company which I and my team have created - so highly regarded. BGF’s long-term view with no stipulations over exit and access to their talent network was instrumental in my final decision making process.

“We believe travel is about new experiences, creating memories and making every journey just as enjoyable as the destination. With BGF on board, we can deliver more products to a wider global demographic more quickly and smoothly ensuring parents and children can get set and go on any adventure.”

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