Ruth Mitchell

Ethical marketplace receives cash boost

A £200,000 investment from NorthStar Equity Investors is set to help a Newcastle company develop its online marketplace for fair trade and ethical products.PointOV is an ethical products and e-commerce company that helps firms sell fair trade and ethical products. Set up by fair trade veterans Andy Redfern and Vic Morgan in 2004, PointOV currently has 2,500 customers and stocks over 700 products in connection with its e-commerce sales activities.The cash injection, from the NorthEast Co-Investment Fund, will be used to develop an Amazon.com-type marketplace to connect ethical producers and consumers, which will be an extension of the firm’s existing ZeroPointZero webshop. The funding will also be used to develop fair trade products where there are current gaps in the market. The firm has already started this process by launching its Fair Trade Media product range and entering into a joint venture with a major sports personality to develop Fair Trade products.Gerry White, director of NorthStar Equity Investors and manager of its North East Co-Investment Fund, said: “As venture capitalists specialising in investment in technology-based businesses, we’re committed to supporting ambitious entrepreneurs and PointOV has identified some real opportunities to scale-up its business over the next couple years.” Andy Redfern, director at PointOV added: “Our mission is to empower an ethical world of e-commerce, linking the best ethical products with consumers. Fair trade and partnerships are at the heart of our business operations and the venture funding will help us to develop revolutionary new e-based solutions and products for ethical companies and consumers.”

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