Tom Keighley

IT refurbishment business secures £150,000 investment

North East computer refurbishment business, RefurbThat.com is eyeing up international expansion after securing a £150,000 investment.

The Cramlington-based firm buy equipment buy used equipment from large corporations who have reached the end of their leasing agreement with a supplier.

Investment comes from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund, administered by fund management firm NEL Fund Managers.

RefurbThat’s work on the equipment can add more than three years to the life of each item before the firm sell it on via their website.

As one of only five Microsoft Authorised Refurbishers in the whole of the UK, the firm is now regularly receiving shipments from domestic companies as well as from those in France, Germany and the US.

Managing Director Mark Harrison, who has recently returned to the UK after several years in the US computing industry to join forces with his brother Mick, said: “Revitalising the equipment that we purchase makes sense from an environmental sustainability point of view, as well as from a commercial viewpoint, and we believe we’ve only just started to realise the business’s potential.

“Having Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher status gives us a tremendous advantage over our competitors in terms of the guarantees of quality and authenticity that we can give to our customers, as well as around the price differential we can offer, and we’re the only UK firm to have achieved this standard that isn’t a large corporation.

“As the numbers of items in the lots that we buy has grown, the amount of money needed to pay for them all has done the same, and we have to be in a position to secure deals quickly if we’re to get the equipment we want at the right price.

“The additional capital we’ve now secured gives us the flexibility we need to grab purchasing opportunities as they come up, and to also look in detail at the markets into which we can grow in the future, so we can see how we can get the best available returns.

“We’re very proud to be a north east company, and finding an enthusiastic investor within the region like NEL fit in very well with how we want to work.”

Jane Siddle, investment executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: “The RefurbThat.com management team has very quickly secured a strong position in a lucrative specialist market and now has the financial flexibility required to support its further commercial development.”

Matt Collen, Partner in the Commercial Group at law firm Sintons, who advised RefurbThat.com during the investment process, added: “We were delighted to help RefurbThat.com in relation to its investment.

“Sintons is always happy to work with early stage businesses and this one in particular seems a business very much of its time, driving commercial value from its products as well as helping the environment. We look forward to working with Mark and the management team at RefurbThat.com for many years to come.”

The Growth Fund is part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund, which will see £125m of investment capital injected into the North East by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13.

More information on the criteria for investment can be found here, or you can contact the NEL team on 0845 111 1850.

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