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Efficient model, strong investment, tested management and growing online commerce trend

LONDON - 5 December 2007 - ( the award-winning online fashion retailer specialising in lingerie, swimwear, accessories and fragrance, has raised its first round of funding from the YFM Group managed South West Ventures Fund, Private Investors and online retail entrepreneur Quentin Griffiths. Ariadne Capital arranged the deal.

The funding for the Poole, Dorset-based company comes from the South West Ventures Fund, and a group of private investors who are also well-known web entrepreneurs. They include some private investors out of the fashion industry; Colin Black, an experienced angel investor, chartered accountant, and a key member of the SWAIN Business Angel Network, who will join the Board of Directors; and Mark Blandford [the founder of Sportingbet, and AIM Entrepreneur of the Year]. They are co-investing alongside Quentin Griffiths, a co-founder of various online retailers including EBTM, YourSchoolUniform & ASOS. Quentin initially backed the founders, James and Sarah Akin Smith in early 2006. has already begun to use the funds to: move to larger premises; relaunch its website; introduce new ranges and new season products, as well as hire Matt Stevens [formerly head of marketing at which is a 35 m turnover firm] as director of marketing. Andrea Hart joined from Figleaves to work with Sarah Akin-Smith as a Buying Director. has developed a lean model for efficient online retailing which leverages the best of technology without complicated or costly processes. They pass on these efficiencies by selling great ranges at competitive prices to their customers.

James Akin Smith says: 'Our buyers scour the world for the best in sensual, stylish and fun fashion and bring it to our growing following at BeCheeky. We're meeting the tastes and needs of an increasing group of men and women who want to find something unique on the web. More and more, they are making their first stop to shop.'

Sarah Akin Smith says: ' is for the woman who wants something special for herself, or whose partner wants to surprise her with something she won't find elsewhere. We make it fun to shop online at It's your 'me' time - less a catalogue and more like a spa weekend or a hen's weekend party.'

Colin Black said, 'Involvement by Ariadne is a testament to the strength of the management team. This business will be driven by their enthusiasm and a strong investment in technology.'

Nick Simmonds, Investment Manager at YFM Group Limited, added, 'James and Sarah have made excellent progress with BeCheeky to date, they have put together a talented team and have two highly experienced non-executives in Quentin and Colin. The team is now well placed to take the business to the next stage. We are now seeing real growth in internet retailing and believe that lingerie and swimwear is ideally suited to the model'.

Julie Meyer, the founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital adds: 'Quentin asked Ariadne to get involved by bringing in some of our key investors into the deal. Many of Ariadne's investors had made money by backing Quentin at ASOS, so his next deal was very interesting,' said. Quentin's got an instinct for good marketing, and that combined with founders James and Sarah Akin Smith's track record as entrepreneurs and the new round of funding we've been able to bring to the company means's future looks very bright indeed.'

About YFM Group - South West Ventures Fund

YFM Group - is the UK's most active investor in the small and medium enterprise marketplace. YFM Group manages in excess of 300 million of funds with investment sizes ranging from 50,000 to 5 million. Principal offices are located in Leeds, Manchester, London and Bristol with over 45 investment professionals being employed across the UK.

The YFM Group managed South West Ventures Fund is a 25M fund t

Publisher Contact Information:

Ariadne Capital

Company profile of Ariadne Capital
Past press releases of Ariadne Capital.


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