Business Growth Fund invests £4.2m in fancy dress Morphsuits

Earnings at Morphsuit makers AFG Media have soared from £1.2m in 2010 to £11m in 2012.
Earnings at Morphsuit makers AFG Media have soared from £1.2m in 2010 to £11m in 2012.

Business Growth Fund (BGF), established to help Britain’s fast-growing smaller and medium sized businesses, has made a £4.2m investment in AFG Media, the fancy dress and party fashion company behind the Morphsuits phenomenon.

AFG Media was founded in 2009 by Edinburgh University graduates Gregor Lawson and brothers Fraser and Ali Smeaton, who gave up their day jobs to sell the outfits, after witnessing the dramatic reaction generated at a fancy dress party.

With backgrounds in sales and marketing, the team recognised the potential of the product and in only three years, revenues have soared from £1.2m in 2010 to £11m in 2012. The company has experienced growth of 300% year on year on the back of a marketing campaign that has been driven by social media and now boasts over one million fans on its Facebook page. The business received a major boost last year when US retail chain Party City, which has over 1,000 fancy dress stores, placed an initial order of Morphsuits during the run-up to Halloween.

The global market for retail party goods is estimated by operators within the industry as being worth $10bn per annum, while the Halloween market alone is valued at $6bn.

AFG Media has recently expanded to include party wear under the name Foul Fashion and a brand of highly patterned and colourful golf clothing under the name Royal & Awesome.

Ralph Kugler, chairman of AFG Media, the makers of Morphsuits.

Ralph Kugler, chairman of AFG Media, the makers of Morphsuits.

The Business Growth Fund investment will enable the company to bring new product lines to market; to expand the potential for existing products (such as the development of Morphsuits for children, a market expected to outstrip the adult market by over four times); and to develop its supply chain. The company is also looking to further penetrate the US market and target overseas expansion opportunities in Europe, Mexico, Russia, Japan and China.

In addition to funding, BGF will contribute guidance and operational support to the company, introducing Ralph Kugler as Chairman and connecting the business to its broad network of contacts. Ralph Kugler has held board positions at a number of global companies including InterContinental Hotels plc and Unilever plc.

“This investment will step-change AFG Media and will allow us to drive our thriving business globally. Having Ralph Kugler as our Chairman, with his proven track record of building global brands with Unilever, means we will benefit from his invaluable experience as we build brands on a similar scale within the fancy dress market.”
Fraser Smeaton of AFG Media
INVESTMENT DATE: June 2012
REGION: Scotland
PEOPLE: Duncan Macrae, Patrick Graham, Ross Hamilton
SECTOR: Consumer goods
EQUITY INVESTMENT: £4.2m
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 7
TURNOVER: £11m
COMPANY LOCATION: Edinburgh

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Related Sector Article

An innovative product for keeping mobile phones, tablets and laptops safe from wiping or tampering is securing the fortunes of a Tamworth technology business.

The Faraday Bag was produced with the assistance of the Manufacturing Advisory Service.

Related Sector Article

Somerset-based leather manufacturer Pittards is to begin producing and selling its own UK-made range of bags.

A tote bag from Somerset-based leather manufacturer Pittards England.

Related Topic Article

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to maintain interest rates at 0.5% on Thursday.

International finance

Related Topic Article

A Coleshill manufacturer of pressed metal components has secured a £560,000 finance package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to expand its manufacturing space and meet growing customer demand for high volume metal presswork, stamping and deep drawing, creating five new jobs.

HT Brigham have been able to expand their production thanks to a loan from Lloyds Bank - Picture by Sam Bagnall

UPCOMING EVENTS

Reports

  • SmartestEnergy Entrepreneurs Report

    The latest Energy Entrepreneurs Report compiled by SmartestEnergy shows a 36% jump in the number of commercial scale projects in operation across the manufacturing sector in Great Britain since last year’s report. In total, an

  • University Collaboration 2014

    The amount of money available for R&D in the UK is quite staggering: over £26bn, from public and private sources. The organisations involved from the public sector can begin to look like an alphabet soup, and just as confusing,

More reports

Advert

Manufacturing Jobs

View all jobs

Advertisements

Advertisement

Tracking