Date founded: 2006
Founders: Matt Barker
Bluechip company eBay is currently the world’s leading online marketplace, with more than 200,000 businesses said to have been trading through the platform in 2014. But other markets are quickly playing catch-up, including Etsy and notonthehighstreet.com, giving small businesses access to a wide and international audience.
Right on the heels of the giants, however, is MPB, which was created on the back of Matt Barker’s time at university. He established a model whereby he bought used SLR camera sets, broke them down into lenses and bodies and sold them separately through eBay.
The company now operates an online platform for trading high-end cameras and lenses, with a team comprised of 27 imaging experts in Brighton.
In the past year, MPB has grown its revenue to £7.4m, with a year-on-year growth of 44 per cent – an achievement which has seen it ranked in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 league. Yet increased revenue isn’t the only area which has seen success: there has been continued investment in technology, as well as a move into higher-end photo and video equipment such as Leica and Hasselblad cameras.
But while 40 per cent of firms on the Sunday Times league table received venture capital backing, MPB had achieved its growth to-date without taking any external equity funding –an incredible feat given that is has been profitable since day one. In fact, revenue is expected to reach £47m by 2019.
Following its success in the UK, the business is now hoping to replicate its model overseas – a European rollout of the trading platform began in Germany at the end of 2015. A new office in Manhattan also opened ahead of a full US launch in January 2016.
But in order to maintain its impressive growth rate, MPB is seeking to raise £500,000. As such, the company is offering investors 4.76 per cent of its equity on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube in return for the cash.
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