Design Graduate Jenny Kate secures £350k in Angel Funding to scale Luxury home brand
Jenny Kate creates luxury British homeware products inspired by nature to bring the outdoors into your life and home.
Article: Development Bank of Wales
Jenny Evans started her luxury homeware brand, Jenny Kate, whilst studying Textiles at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She won the national Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award in 2018 and has been massively supported by her University and Santander on her start-up journey. Post-graduation she secured a place in the Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator in Cardiff and was in the audience at the #PitchIt event hosted by Cardiff Met, organised by BeTheSpark and delivered “dragon’s den style” by the InspireWales Angel consortium.
Jenny said “It was a really inspiring event, and I was struck by the knowledge of the Inspire Wales investors and their willingness to back entrepreneurs in Wales with both investment and expertise. I approached Caroline Thompson, BeTheSpark CEO, and asked for an introduction. She “encouraged” me to introduce myself which I did, and that started a world-wind funding journey for Jenny Kate. I pitched to the Inspire Wales Investment Committee the week after and they agreed to fund me. Four of their group (Hayley Parsons, Ashley Cooper, Richard Calvert and Roger Gambarini) all agreed to personally fund in addition. I am so thrilled to be supported by the Inspire Wales Consortium, by the Angels Invest Wales and the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund, and by some of the most experienced Angel Investors in Wales alongside increasing corporate banking support from Santander. I am so privileged to have recruited a fantastic initial team working in the business, and to have such an amazing wider stakeholder group. We have huge plans and see a real gap in the market for our fresh nature-inspired British brand.”
Hayley Parsons, Founder GoCompare, member of Inspire Wales and Angel Investor said, “I was immediately drawn to Jenny. The product is so glamorous, and she is just fabulous. I am really looking forward to working with her. There is an awesome future ahead for Jenny Kate.”
Richard Calvert member of Inspire Wales and Angel Investor said “I was very impressed with Jenny’s business vision, entrepreneurial spirit and the talented team she has put together for this exciting journey, and was therefore delighted to invest in Jenny Kate”
Ashley Cooper, Angels Invest Wales Lead Investor said “I was part of the Inspire Wales team when Jenny pitched. She was highly compelling and hence I agreed to back Jenny Kate personally. Having assembled an impressive angel syndicate, as a Lead Investor, I was then able to approach Angels Invest Wales to secure match funding from the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund. Jenny has both the vision and execution abilities to make Jenny Kate a huge success. A brilliant example of the young entrepreneurial talent we have here in Wales.”
Steve Holt, Director Angels Invest Wales said: “This is a great opportunity for the Development Bank of Wales to support the investment in to Jenny Kate and a perfect fit for the Wales Angel Co-investment Fund.
“This deal effectively represents the fourth transaction concluded by the co-investment fund all of which have been very different in terms of sector and founding teams. Jenny Kate showcases superb design talent, a strong start-up team and an experienced investor group who will certainly be hands on in helping to drive the business forward.”