Business Growth Fund backs youngest company to date through telecoms deal

The bank-backed Business Growth Fund has made its second telecoms investment through a backing of Bullitt Group.

Mobile phones: Bullitt works with the likes of JCB to produce rugged devices

Mobile phones: Bullitt works with the likes of JCB to produce rugged devices

Mobile and audio products business Bullitt Group has secured £3.5 million of equity investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF).

Reading-based Bullitt provides mobile and audio products for companies such as Caterpillar and JCB. It claims to have a 'commanding position' of the rugged mobile devices category.

The transaction represents the BGF's fourth South West investment while Bullitt becomes its second telecoms portfolio company and youngest to date. By injecting £3.5 million into the business the BGF has now been responsible for providing £120 million to 21 SMEs across the UK.

According to a statement, Bullitt operates an integrated model for the brands it works with, working from product conception through to distribution and marketing of products. The company was founded in 2009 by David Floyd and Colin Batt, who have previously had roles at Motorola, alongside Richard Wharton.

Batt, co-CEO, comments, 'Bullitt has enjoyed rapid growth over the last three years and has now reached a critical juncture in its development.

'There is significant opportunity to build on our reputation as a leading developer of rugged products for the world's largest global brands.'

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The BGF's previous telecoms investment came back in February 2012 when it backed GCI Telecom through an undisclosed deal, its fourth transaction since formation.

Bullitt will now use the capital it has secured to build its portfolio of products and brands on top of stimulating the firm's growth into global markets.

James Austin, BGF Investment Director, says that despite Bullitt being a young company, the 'quality' of its products and its management team mean that it has already demonstrated an 'impressive record' of achievement.

Austin adds, 'In just three years, it has secured licensing agreements with some of the world's biggest brands, developed a strong network of top tier distributors and built relationships with leading electronic design manufacturers.

'This is an industry prone to constant change. New technology continues to drive for new handsets and this in turn generates sales. Bullitt has seized the opportunity to establish itself as one of the leading developers in this space.'

The rugged segment of the mobile phones market is estimated to be somewhere between $700 million and £1 billion, with some 20 million handsets sold per year, according to a study by IDC and GFK.