Gusto telecom has secured £200,000 of funding from Lloyds Bank to help it expand into North America and Europe. The Oxfordshire-based mobile accessories manufacturer has its sights set on opening new bases in North America and Europe with the support of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.
Gusto, which designs and manufactures mobile phone products, has increased its turnover by £4.5m to £6.5m since starting-up the business in 2012.
The company now plans to invest in international growth, opening two new bases abroad to increase its foreign customer base, following a recent relocation from Coventry to larger quarters in Banbury to house staff and products.
Gusto’s ‘Juice’ branded mobile charger launched the company into the UK mobile technology market in 2012, selling 2,000 units in its first week of sale. The company has since expanded its product lines to include phone covers, portable chargers and speakers.
Gusto sells its products across 5,000 retail stores in five countries worldwide and has plans to increase its range of products further, with six new lines being developed in time for Christmas.
To support the firm’s increasing order book, owner Jolyon Bennett (pictured), plans to increase his members of staff by more than 25 over the next six months, in addition to the 12 already employed.
Bennett approached Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking for a £200,000 overdraft facility in June, which supplies the manufacturer with a safety net, offering extra flexibility over any unexpected costs during its expansion. The bank has also provided Jolyon with a foreign exchange facility which supports the purchase of product parts bought from his suppliers in China.
Bennett said: ‘I have the ambition to make Gusto the largest seller of mobile phone accessories in the world and I am continuously looking for ways in which the company can grow. Through the overdraft facility provided by the bank, the firm is supported if any unforeseen costs occur.
‘As Gusto regularly deals with suppliers in China, I have the peace of mind that any exchange rates are locked in on a contract through the foreign exchange service. With Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking dealing with payments my time is freed up to concentrate on other areas of the business. Peter, my relationship director, has been supportive from the word go and could see the company’s potential for success.’
Gusto also uses an invoice finance facility from Lloyds Bank, which enables customer invoices to be raised in advance, bridging the gap when waiting on payments which can take from 60-90 days.
Peter Rogers, relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: ‘Jolyon took an idea and made it happen, and it is thanks to his business plan and Gusto’s unique products and packaging that the company has even more ambition for growth. As part of our latest SME Charter pledge, we plan to help 100,000 start-ups like Gusto to get off the ground, and we will grow our lending to SMEs by at least £1bn net.’
Adrian Philp, client manager at Lloyds Bank, said: ‘Businesses such as Gusto are fundamental contributors in our continuing economic recovery and Lloyds Bank is committed to working with them to provide and tailor the backing they need to drive growth. Invoice finance can help firms access working capital tied up in unpaid invoices which can be useful when taking on new projects or waiting for payment.’