North East ecommerce outdoor leisure specialist secures multi-million pound investment

A Newcastle ecommerce retailer has completed a multi-million pound investment into an outdoor and leisure products specialist.

Growth Partner has acquired a “significant” stake in Wave Direct and will support its founders with their plans to expand internationally and launch new outdoor and leisure products and brands.

This investment follows the success of Wave’s first product category Wave Spas which achieved £10m sales in its first full year of launch into the UK market in 2020.

Set up by friends and entrepreneurs, Daniel Luper and Tom Jeffrey, the pair identified the rising global demand for portable hot tubs, after having tested the market in 2019 in their spare time, with an initial order of a container of 300 inflatable hot tubs, which sold out almost immediately.

Wave Direct founder & CEO, Daniel Luper, said: “It’s been great getting to know Alex and the Growth Partner team over the last few months and although the deal has only just been completed, both sides have already built a good relationship.

“We’re very excited about executing on all the great ideas we’ve identified together and we have an ambitious business plan for the next few years, including further international growth.”

The growing team has continued to make innovative improvements and expand its range of hot tub products, with new additions such as its Osaka and Swift rigid foam hot tubs.

Following a successful market test in 2020 the team will also launch an exciting range of stand up paddle boards later this year under a Wave SUPS brand.

Wave Direct founder and chief operating officer, Tom Jeffrey, said: “Today marks a significant milestone for Wave as we welcome Growth Partner to our business. I am looking forward to working with a team of like-minded people who can bring a wealth of experience and insight to our brand.

“With Growth Partner’s help, we are more ready than ever to upscale our product development plans and expand across the globe.

“It’s exciting to be presented with such a fantastic opportunity and we truly value the relationship we have built with Growth Partner already.”

With Richard Harpin’s strategic insight and experience of growing a global consumer business and support from the Growth Partner team, this investment will help Daniel and Tom accelerate their plans to scale internationally and launch new products, with the goal of establishing Wave as a leading global brand for leisure and outdoor products.

Growth Partner investment director, Alex Marsh, led the investment and joins Wave as non-executive director and said: “Growth Partner’s goal is to identify, back and support the UK’s most talented and ambitious entrepreneurs to grow market leading consumer businesses and brands.

“Daniel and Tom certainly fit into that bracket and they have had an exceptional start with Wave Spas. In a very short space of time, they have launched a really innovative range of products, that are fun, affordable, and experiencing strong online growth in demand.

“We are delighted to be working with them as they scale up and implement the next stage of their exciting and ambitious growth plans.”

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