Finance Yorkshire fills funding gap — for GAP insurance provider
A North Yorkshire GAP insurance provider is looking to bring new products to market and create more local jobs after becoming the first Malton-based company to receive an investment from Finance Yorkshire.
ALA IB, has received a £75,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire which has helped the company boost turnover and realise its expansion plans.
In recent years 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.
Research conducted jointly last year by ALA IB and YouGov revealed that more than three quarters of UK motorists risk being financially caught out in the event of a vehicle theft or write-off.
Managing Director Simon England explained: “GAP insurance ensures that policyholders are not left out of pocket because it covers any shortfall between the insurance pay out and the amount outstanding on the finance agreement.”
ALA IB is already working in association with Auto Trader and, alongside a specialist insurance underwriter, has also designed a unique GAP insurance product for JCB Insurance Services.
But in order to develop the company further, managing director Simon England turned to Finance Yorkshire to help.
“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,” said Simon.
“However, like many companies, we found access to the finance required to support our growth extremely difficult. Fortunately, Finance Yorkshire were very easy to deal with. We appreciated their common-sense approach and found them to be very knowledgeable.
“Finance Yorkshire also 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.
“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.”
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.
Simon said: “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.”
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.”
Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.
The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.
For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com or ring 0845 649 0000.
For further information about ALA IB, please visit www.ala.co.uk
Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire