While many businesses struggled in the unique and unprecedented conditions, 2020 threw at them, some have battled through to become unlikely success stories.
There is no question 2020 has taken its toll on business across the globe. With the global economy facing a recession, it’s never easy to make money. However, many elements determine if a business will succeed, such as if it is effectively marketed. Still, one of the oldest adages in the businessman’s handbook is that challenges create opportunity, and four London-based companies have certainly embodied that sentiment.
The first example, Graphite Capital, a mid-market private equity specialist, is probably is the most surprising. Private equity is one of the sectors that have not fared well this year, to put it lightly. While deals are beginning to return to the market, the middle of the year saw a considerable decline in private equity investments.
While many of its peers were considering how to deal with a depressed market, Graphite was looking to expand. This was achieved with the acquisition of software services provider Ten10. The company’s large customer base consists of around 100 blue-chip businesses and adds some much-needed diversity to the Graphite Capital portfolio in a time of uncertainty. Ten10 was already forecast to continue growing throughout 2020 and into next year. With the support of Graphite, it’s a success story in the making.
Another company that has focused on expansion when many others have been going the other way is the London-headquartered bookmaker William Hill. A long time staple in the British gaming market, William Hill has introduced many innovations to its offering, such as its online casinos offering free spins, which has allowed it to dominated the UK market and set its sights across the pond to the United States of America via a partnership with New Jersey-based operator Evolution.
“We very much look forward to achieving the same high levels of success for William Hill in the United States,” said Evolution’s chief executive and chief commercial officer of the Malta division, Johan Nordstrom.
Next on the list is London tech start-up RideHub, which provides users with a one-stop application to check and compare the price and availability of all ride-hailing services within a given area. Aaron Kendall created the app after he got frustrated at having to manually check every single ride-hailing app to find the best deal.
The app began to gain users organically on both the Apple and Google stores without any marketing. When Kendall started to receive waves of positive feedback and requests for new features, he teamed up with investor Tariq Khan to create the supermarket of ride-hailing applications.
RideHub has been dominating its competition because Kendall recognised early on that price wasn’t the only determining factor for potential riders so created functionality to allow users to filter options by whatever parameters they deem to be most important.
The final company on the list is also the most surprising. Before November 2019, Alphagreen wasn’t even trading. It is now Europe’s market leader for cannabidiol (CBD) and alternative healthcare products.
In the beginning, Alphagreen had four brands and 50 products under its banner. Now, just a year later, it offers over 100 brands and 1 200 products on its website. The growth has been, quite simply, staggering.
The fact the company is growing is not so much of a surprise because the entire alternative healthcare industry is booming in 2020. Still, their absolute dominance of the competition has forced people to sit up and take notice.
According to LondonLovesBusiness, Alphagreen saw sales rise by 41%, revenue and orders by 30%, with an average customer value of £51.47. Unsurprisingly, the most popular products were those that helped with anxiety, sleep and self-care.