Leicestershire and London-based dating site Lovestruck.com, which matches city singles who work near to each other, has successfully raised £285,000 in Series A funding from several business angels and the East Midlands Early Growth Fund.
The investment will enable Lovestruck, which is based in Quorn, Leicestershire with an office in London, to consolidate its position as the dominant player on the London dating scene and to expand its offering in major cities around the world.
“This financing will provide the capital to grow Lovestruck rapidly” says Managing Director, Brett Harding. “2010 is a pivotal year for our industry, as mobile dating is still uncharted territory. Lovestruck’s USP is proximity to other singles that work close by, so we are uniquely placed to capitalise on the latest location-based features of the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android platform. We are absolutely delighted to have secured such an experienced group of investors.”
Nick Wright of the East Midlands Early Growth Fund adds “The Lovestruck team impressed us with their commercial acumen, technological understanding and their success to date. The company is already profitable and the model is readily scalable. We expect to make Lovestruck.com a truly global brand very shortly.”
In preparation for this round of investment, Lovestruck was involved with Connect Midlands, which provided the company with investment readiness training as well as opportunities to pitch finance before both Midlands and London-based investors.
The solicitors firms of Nelsons and Geldards worked to conclude the investment, along with advisers from RSM Tenon, who provided tax advice.
Chris Rees, corporate partner at Nelsons says "This was a complex job. There were 9 different investors (including EMEGF). Nelsons worked closely with Tenon (which gave tax advice to the company) to make sure the structure dovetailed with the tax considerations whilst at the same time trying to keep 9 investors happy."
“The tax breaks available for Business Angels are significant and can include tax free share disposals and income tax relief on the costs of investment. Consequently, it was very important to ensure the transaction was structured in such a way to enable this relief to be unlocked for the investors in Lovestruck,” says Mike Tuhme, associate tax director at RSM Tenon.
The timing of the funding coincides with Lovestruck’s nomination for the ‘Best up-and-coming dating site’ at the World’s first Annual Online Dating Industry Awards, to be held in Miami, USA, later this month.
The East Midlands Early Growth Fund and Connect Midlands are both funded through the East Midlands Development Agency (emda). For further information from Lovestruck.com, please contact Justine on +44 (0)1376 320906 or email email@example.com
For details about the East Midlands Early Growth Fund, Connect Midlands and other funding and support available for businesses, contact Business Link on www.businesslink.gov.uk/eastmidlands, or telephone 0845 058 6644.