Business Loans Case Study

Left to right; Ian Atkinson, Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager and Simon England, Managing Director, ALA IB

The Company

ALA IB is a North Yorkshire GAP insurance provider working with personal and corporate clients.

The company’s success selling and brokering insurance products has seen it become the largest online supplier of GAP insurance to corporate and retail sectors in the UK. ALA IB has also started selling truck, tractor and plant GAP insurance.

ALA IB works in association with Auto Trader and, alongside a specialist insurance underwriter, has also designed a unique GAP insurance product for JCB Insurance Services.

ALA IB has become the first Malton-based company to receive an investment from Finance Yorkshire.

The Challenge

Managing Director Simon England said: “We were being approached by large insurance brokers who wanted to supply our new truck, tractor and plant GAP insurance products to their own commercial clients and were aware that this would be a good route to market.

“However, like many companies, we found access to the finance required to support our growth extremely difficult.”

The Solution

In order to develop the company further, Managing Director Simon England turned to Finance Yorkshire to help.

“Finance Yorkshire understand the issues facing developing companies and their requirements – especially in rural areas like ours where historically that support hasn’t been so easy to come by,” said Simon.

“After a series of knock-backs trying to access funding, knowing that ALA IB fitted the profile for Finance Yorkshire and that they believed in the company’s vision gave us extra confidence that we were on the right track with our business plan.

“The funding has helped us to develop a leaner and much more cost-effective approach.”

The Investment Rationale

Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager Ian Atkinson said: “ALA IB is an experienced and established business looking to expand and they fitted our exact profile for the type of fast-growing rural businesses across North Yorkshire that we are keen to invest in.

“It is also encouraging to hear that our support will help them not only create jobs for local people but keep this growing business, which is increasingly working on a national scale, right here in the region.”

Future Expectations

ALA IB is now creating a Business Development role within the company and is looking to fill the new vacancy in the first quarter of this year.

The funding will also enable ALA IB to develop new online systems, as well as being used for a marketing campaign and initial cashflow to set up more commercial contracts with large insurance brokers.

Said Simon: “In the first two months of this year we are expecting turnover to be up 60 per cent compared with the same period in 2011 which will enable us to drive the growth forward, as well as diversify and add to our insurance product portfolio.

“We can now really explore the commercial market and in the next three years we expect to create up to five more jobs, which will in turn help us keep the business here in Malton.”

Note: this case study is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire

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