Samarkand Group to raise £10 million by listing on Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market

LONDON: Samarkand Group Limited, the cross-border eCommerce technology and retail group, expressed intention to apply for admission of its Ordinary Shares to trading on the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market.

The Company is proposing to raise approximately £10 million by way of a placing to institutional investors and a subscription to qualifying investors.

The Company will be listed on the Apex segment of the AQSE Growth Market. Admission is targeted for March 2021

David Hampstead, Co-Founder and CEO of Samarkand said: “The Chinese eCommerce market is larger than the next 10 markets combined and more than 50c of every dollar spent online globally happens in China, yet many Western brands have struggled to penetrate this market effectively. Since 2016, Samarkand has been helping these brands penetrate and maximise their exposure in this key territory.

“We established Samarkand to provide a more direct-to-consumer route to the world’s largest eCommerce market reducing the risks, costs and barriers to entry that have discouraged Western brands from entering the Chinese market for so long.

“With the recent global events and the full impact of Brexit starting to be felt by brands and retailers it has never been more important for companies to reach new markets. In the first few months of 2020 China added 92m new eCommerce consumers, more than the entire population of Germany, bringing the number of active consumers to 715m.

“With our suite of solutions we are ideally placed to take advantage of the rapid market expansion and the macro-economic changes that are taking place. We have achieved 166% like-for-like growth in recurring revenue in the 8 months to 30 November 2020 vs the prior period and grown our list of brand partners and number of deployments of our technology.

“The listing on Aquis will enable us to access capital which can accelerate our momentum, maximise the opportunity ahead and deliver outstanding results for all stakeholders. We look forward to welcoming new investors at an extremely exciting time for the Group and to sharing a highly prosperous future.”

Alasdair Haynes, founder and CEO of Aquis Exchange said: “We are delighted about the prospect of Samarkand listing on the Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange growth market. Samarkand is a compelling story, supporting retailers in expanding their online presence at a time when a strong eCommerce strategy has never been more relevant.

“We believe that this is a very exciting story which will appeal to both quality institutions and private investors alike. Aquis is proud to have made it possible for private investors to participate in the listing process.

“AQSE offers growth companies, like Samarkand, a great home to develop, underpinned by best in class trading technology, high governance standards and proportionate rules and systems. A listing on Apex is ideal for a fast growth technology business with its narrow spreads and restrictions on short selling. We look forward to seeing where Samarkand goes next on its exciting journey.”

Samarkand Highlights:

  • Headquartered in London, Samarkand is a cross-border eCommerce (“CBEC”) company focused on connecting Western brands with China, the world’s largest eCommerce market.
  • The Board of Directors on Admission will comprise a team that is highly experienced in retail and eCommerce, including; Tanith Dodge former group HR Director of Marks & Spencer Group Plc and Value Retail (Bicester Village Collection) who is also a member of the advisory council of PwC and serves on the Board of Robert Walters Plc and; Keith Higgins who served as eCommerce Director at P&G for 10 years before heading up Unilever’s global eCommerce strategy for a further 10 years leading to his current role as Chief Customer Development Officer at Unilever plc.
  • The Group’s proprietary software platform, Nomad, covers commerce, distribution, logistics, payments and analytics.
  • For the year ended 31 March 2020, the Group’s revenue was £6.8 million (2019: £4.5 million), its EBITDA loss was £0.8 million (2019: £1.0 million) and its loss before tax was £1.3 million (2019: £1.2 million).
  • For the eight-month period ended 30 November 2020, the Group’s revenue was £16.0 million (2019: £3.8 million) including exceptional revenue of £5.8m, its EBITDA profit was £2.3 million (2019: loss £0.8 million) and its profit before tax was £1.8 million (2019: loss £1.1 million).
  • The Group achieved a turnover of approximately £1.8 million for the month of November 2020 alone.
  • Samarkand works with a growing list of leading European brands such as 111SKIN, Shay & Blue, Omorovicza, ICONIC London, Philip Kingsley, Temple Spa, Zita West Products, and Planet Organic.
  • The Group has successfully grown its own brand, Probio7, acquired in December 2017. Using its technology, distribution and market intel revenues have grown from £1.2 million for the 11 months prior to acquisition to £3.5 million for the 12-month period ended December 2020.
  • Samarkand has its own fulfilment operations and partners with global logistics providers into Asia.
  • The Group currently employs over 90 people across its UK and China operations.

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