Scottish tech firm secures multi-million-pound investment from BGF
The UK and Ireland’s most active investor – has invested £2.6m in Edinburgh-based MRM Global, a high growth industry-leading provider of marketing technology to the global drinks and hospitality sector.
MRM’s technology platform enables global drinks manufacturers and wholesalers to dramatically increase the level of marketing support they provide to their independent hospitality and retail customers. Its Brand Creator app enables sales reps and customers to quickly and easily create on-demand marketing materials that increase brand visibility and product sales.
In the last three years, MRM has expanded internationally to over 34 countries and works with world-leading spirits and beer brands.
The investment will be used to fund further international growth with a focus on expanding MRM’s presence in North America where the business is seeing strong traction due to the disruptive nature of their technology. In response, MRM will be investing in recruiting a local team in the USA to support their customers, develop new business and expand their print partner network.
The business will also invest heavily in the development of its technology platform with plans to triple the size of its Edinburgh based software engineering team to accelerate the product roadmap. This includes the further development of a Digital Creator module, which was developed and launched during the Coronavirus pandemic to help hospitality outlets adapt to the new trading environment.
Craig Letton, chief executive of MRM Global, said: “Our mission is to make it easier and faster for sales teams to support their customers with customised, on-demand and brand-compliant marketing. With the significant impact that Covid-19 has had on the hospitality industry, our mission has never been more important.
“MRM has grown rapidly over the last few years because of our focus on solving a real problem for our customers and being able to meet the requirements for a global solution. In 2019, we doubled the size of our business in both revenue and headcount which was a real challenge for a business that has been boot-strapped since day one. We realised that if we really wanted to achieve our vision of supporting as many customers as possible, we needed to take on growth capital. More than just the capital, we wanted to bring on board an investor that shared our vision and values, with the expertise to help us scale. After speaking to several investors, it became clear that BGF was the best partner for us to realise our ambitions.”
Euan Baxter, an investor at BGF who joins the Board of MRM Global said: “This partnership has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to back a disruptive and high-growth technology business that is changing the way global drinks brands drive visibility at the point of purchase.
“Despite the hospitality sector being negatively impacted by Covid-19, we are committed to backing companies in this space that have market-leading solutions and a clear opportunity to drive shareholder value. We have been really impressed by the way that the team at MRM have responded to the challenges posed by the global pandemic. They have adapted their business model, rapidly developed new product innovations, and won a number of new customers. BGF’s investment in MRM demonstrates the confidence we have in their team and the recovery of the hospitality sector. We believe MRM has a clear growth opportunity in front of it, underpinned by strong customer demand, and we look forward to extending its reach even further.”
MRM Global has also appointed Andy Fennell as non-exec chairman. Andy has a wealth of industry experience including 18 years at Diageo where he was president of Smirnoff, Global Chief Marketing Officer and, latterly, president of Diageo Africa. Andy has spent the last five years supporting founder-led businesses, including as non-exec chair of another BGF investment, Off-Piste Wines.
The deal, delivered from BGF’s Edinburgh office is its third new investment since lockdown began and follows another recent high-profile announcement, which saw the team invest £2.7m into Stirling-based business The Paint Shed.
The advisors to the MRM Global transaction were:
BGF: Burness Paull.
MRM GLOBAL: MBM Commercial, Alan Watt from Reference Point Advisory.