Our consumer sector investments span over two decades, empowering leading management teams as they navigate a pathway through the fast-changing marketplace. From our first consumer investment in retailer Fat Face, to our most recent in online travel agent loveholidays, our sector expertise has enabled us to ask the right questions and de-risk uncertainty. It means that our investees can be confident in making the most of every opportunity.
The power of data
Data is the most valuable commodity that consumer businesses have. Operating in dynamic trading environments, where technology is changing consumer behaviour and margins are often thin is super challenging. By harnessing the data in your market and your business you can better serve the customer; attract them efficiently, deliver what they are looking for in the right way, at the right time and price, delight them and retain them. Data enables you to win.
We have built our own Insights team that focuses on just this; enabling our management teams to surface, analyse and use the right data to drive growth and build the stand-out business in their market.
Livingbridge demonstrated its understanding of our market from day one. They could also empathise strongly with the challenges we faced as a fast-growing business. We knew they were the right partner for us.
I’d taken the business as far as it could go without external investment. I thought my only options were to carry on as before or to sell the company and disappear, until I met Livingbridge. They gave me the backing I needed to take the business to a completely new level, while holding onto majority control.
They’ve provided that challenge, but also support. There are times when we’ve been beating ourselves up because something hasn’t gone quite as we wanted it to go, and actually, they’ve said, “Let’s take a step back and work out how we navigate through this.” They have delivered that balance of challenge, but also support for us as a team. It’s been a great journey for me as the CFO
CFO, Sykes Holiday Cottages
When choosing a partner to help grow our business, Livingbridge was the obvious choice, given their clear entrepreneurial and cultural fit plus their longstanding track record of backing other high growth online travel companies. We look forward to working with them and growing the business over the coming years.
How we can help
Whether you’re thinking about how to expand into overseas markets, build a world-class leadership team, or acquire customers more efficiently, we’ve designed our in-house team to equip you with the tools you need. Our growth acceleration team includes experts focused on customer acquisition and retention, talent, pricing and data science.
We expect the pace of transformation in the consumer sector to accelerate as the digital revolution gathers even greater speed. Only those businesses that are prepared to evolve at pace will be able to keep up. Great customer propositions and high-quality management teams will remain as important as ever, but those that can leverage new technologies to best understand their customers will have the edge on growth.
Investments in the online travel space
Livingbridge is Europe’s leading private equity investor in the online travel space with an outstanding track record and an enviable network of the best talent in the market. We have worked with some of the most successful OTA’s in Europe over the last two decades across car rental, beach holidays, theatre, vacation rental, ski holidays and ferry tickets. We are normally the first PE firm that these businesses have worked with, helping their founders and leaders to build their teams, cultures, technology platforms and success stories.
Sykes Cottages was a fantastic example of how our in-house expertise could equip a fantastic business to grow even faster. During our initial investment period, Sykes grew profits five-fold, completed 11 UK acquisitions and acquired its first overseas acquisition, embarking on an international expansion plan.
loveholidays, the short-haul beach holiday provider headquartered in London, is the fastest growing OTA in the UK.
Superbike was founded in 2010 as a digital-first business which combines retail and sourcing online with a physical showroom operation in Macclesfield, Cheshire.
rhubarb was originally established in 1996 as an events business but expanded its activities in 2003 to include the operation of lease and concession contracts at iconic, high footfall locations.
Direct Ferries is the world’s largest online ferry ticket aggregator. Founded in 1999, it sells ferry tickets on behalf of companies like P&O Ferries, Stena Line and Brittany Ferries.
BoilerJuice was founded by a group of friends in 2004 with the aim of making ordering heating oil easier, cheaper and more convenient. The website matches customer orders with supplier capacity in …