Worcester-based OLPRO Ltd has secured a £1,075,000 investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF) through the MEIF West Midlands Equity Fund managed by Midven, part of the Future Planet Capital Group to promote growth and increase operational capacity.
OLPRO has a reputation for creating and distributing exceptional outdoor leisure products and will use the investment to further establish itself in the UK camping market. By securing funding the company will be able to bolster its team, adding 10 team members by 2025, across its sales, marketing, customer services and warehouse departments.
In a UK market lacking in stand-out camping brands, the company is an industry-leader offering products direct to consumers through its website. While a vast majority of sales are through its website, OLPRO supplies retailers including Halfords, B&Q, Argos, The Range and Wayfair, increasing its access to the market.
The Covid-19 pandemic was the catalyst for explosive growth in the camping market. As a result, the existing market of outdoor enthusiasts and festival goers expanded to many more younger and older consumers prioritising outdoor recreation. 42% of England’s adult population went on a camping or caravanning holiday between 2018 – 2021, 38% of which were newcomers who took their first ever camping or caravanning holiday during the pandemic.
The company has more than tripled its turnover in the last six years. OLPRO satisfies the growing demand for camping and outdoor leisure products through its direct-to-consumer strategy, offering good quality options at an affordable price point. This positions the company as the go-to in the UK camping market, which is projected to reach £700m in 2023.
Daniel Walton, Managing Director at OLPRO, says, “OLPRO is fast becoming the recognised go-to brand for stand out camping and campervan equipment. As a British-designed and innovative brand, we’re now selling into more countries as OLPRO products have become more readily available. This funding allows us to invest further into the team, our product development, and to hold more stock so we can cover demand.”
Surjit Kooner, Investment Director at Midven, says, “OLPRO’s management team are the main driving force behind the business. They are experienced and well connected in the outdoor leisure industry, and they have a clear growth trajectory for the business. By securing this investment the OLPRO team has the potential to significantly accelerate growth in a rapidly growing market.”
Keira Shepperson, Director at the British Business Bank, says, “The Midlands Engine Investment Fund backs businesses that are innovative with growth potential – OLPRO has seen such growth with its turnover tripling over the last six years. This funding will support the creation of 10 new job roles which will ultimately have a wider positive impact on the region’s economy.”
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, says, “It is fantastic to see OLPRO securing investment from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund to expand and grow their organisation with new employees. OLPRO is a fast growing Worcestershire business which has seen a plethora of success over previous years with numerous local, regional and national awards for their growth, products and ingenuity.
“This is welcomed news for the county as this investment will help to bring more jobs into the county and further support our local economy over the coming years.”
The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.