E-Scooter firm Ginger has secured a £500,000 investment from NPIF – FW Capital Debt Finance to expand its operations across the Tees Valley.
Ginger launched the first e-scooter rental trials in the UK within Tees Valley in July after months of successfully campaigning alongside mayor Ben Houchen.
Since the launch in mid-July, the trial has been rolled out in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar, whilst Stockton and Darlington are to follow in the coming months.
To date, journeys totalling around 63,000 miles have been made using the eco-friendly scooters.
The NPIF – FW Capital investment will allow Ginger to set up a base in Hartlepool, creating 12 jobs in Tees Valley and safeguarding a further 10.
It will also enable it to grow its in-house customer care centre and continue to work in partnership with other local companies.
The customer care centre in Hartlepool will support existing e-scooters activity and enable the company to expand its operations to new cities around the UK.
Ginger was introduced to FW Capital by Alex Conroy, chief operating officer of Pomanda, a UK company information and search platform, who work with businesses to help them raise finance and connect with investors, lenders and advisors.
Alexandra Gent, investment executive at FW Capital, said: “Working with the team at Ginger has been a real pleasure. They have achieved so much in such a short time and I cannot wait to see the company continue to grow and evolve.
“As e-scooters become a more prominent feature in the UK transport landscape, I am pleased to have been able to work with a company that is so passionate about integrating them safely and responsibly into our lives.
“The fact that Ginger has sought to establish a base in Hartlepool is a reflection of the collaborative business networks in place in the region and will provide great opportunities for expansion and employment in the future.”
Paul Hodgins, Ginger CEO, said: “The introduction of e-scooters into the UK has accelerated significantly by the need to provide people with a means of socially distant transport during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the added bonus of them being eco-friendly.
“We are delighted to set up our base here in Tees Valley, the area which first led the way in adopting this revolutionary new mode of transport. We are grateful to NPIF and FW Capital for their support in making this a reality.”
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “Since launching in the Tees Valley earlier this year, e-scooters have proved to be an extremely popular, clean, alternative form of transport, and the data shows we have a large proportion of people using them regularly for commuting.
“Ginger have been a fantastic company to work with and I am delighted they are setting up a new base in Hartlepool, creating local jobs for local people, which is more important than ever before as we continue to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on businesses.
“This e-scooter trial is another example of the way we’re doing things differently across the region putting innovation at the heart of everything we do, and having this centre in Hartlepool shows once again it is the Tees Valley that is leading the way.”
Mark Wilcockson, of British Business Bank, said: “This investment exemplifies the work that NPIF is doing across the Tees Valley. By supporting ambitious businesses with funds to take on new staff, move premises and establish themselves in the market, we are creating a more prosperous regional economy for the future.”
Operating from the British Business Bank’s Sheffield head office, the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund provides a mix of debt and equity funding (£25,000 to £2m). It works alongside ten local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), the combined authorities and growth hubs, as well as local accountants, fund managers and banks, to support northern-based SMEs at all stages of their development.
FW Capital provides loans in the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund region with a focus on the North-West, Cumbria and Tees Valley.
The Northern Powerhouse 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.