tenUK expands with GBP5m

tenUK (Time Energy Network), a lifestyle management company, has raised GBP5 million in a second round of funding.

Two German strategic investors, RWE and Henkel, have supplied the majority of the capital. Forty of tenUK’s staff also participated in the round with Ariadne Capital and a number of business angels. The money will be used to accelerate the company’s global expansion.

Based on the concierge concept, tenUK bought the US idea of home and lifestyle management to the UK in 1998 and is the first company to offer this type of product globally. The company offers a range of services to its customers, busy professionals, who either pay an annual membership fee or receive the service as part of a benefits package from their employer. Each customer is allocated an account manager who organises access to facilities ranging from dog walking to interior design and beyond. The main categories are home improvements and services, travel, family, entertainment, motor, financial & business, shopping, body & mind and property.

tenUK has expanded its individual membership from 300 in early 2000 to over 10,000. It now has 30 corporate clients including investment banks, technology and telecommunications companies and law firms. The company is active in Germany and Australia and plans to expand into France, Benelux and Switzerland next year. With this funding it aims to consolidate its market position and continue its aggressive customer acquisition programme. This round will enable tenUK to recruit further staff and strong management teams for it’s new European offices.

The company is confident the investors who have backed it are ideally placed to ensure its future success. Alex Cheatle, CEO and co-founder of tenUK, said: “RWE and Henkel will be long term partners and will be able to provide the management with industry knowledge, expertise and hands-on advice. The funds raised will also provide our suppliers and our existing and potential customers with extra confidence that, despite operating in an unsettled market climate tenUK will continue to provide a fantastic service for the long-term.”

RWE is a multi-utility group, focused on energy and environment, which also has strategic shareholdings in young innovative e-business companies. Henkel is a global consumer goods business. Ariadne Capital’s commitment is described as primarily a “relationship investment”. The company is the new venture group of Julie Meyer, co-founder of the First Tuesday network.