The UK’s first online marketplace for building supplies is relocating to Wales having completed a seed funding round with £500,000 secured from the Development Bank of Wales and BSKG Holdings.
Established in 2016 by the late Rami Naori, Go Banana has relocated from London to Brunel House, Cardiff. Featuring an online platform where tradesmen can buy building supplies from hundreds of trusted merchants, the rapidly growing tech business already lists over 100,000 products on its platform and has over 10,000 customers.
The software developed by Go Banana imports and updates thousands of building products simultaneously saving users up to 35% with every purchase. Users can search, compare and buy across a whole range of building and DIY supplies, including building and hardware; tiling and flooring; plumbing and heating; painting and decorating and kitchens and bathrooms.
The £250,000 equity investment by the Development Bank of Wales and matched funding from BSKG Holdings will be used to fund the next phase of growth including the development of new technology tools, customer acquisition and marketing. The product development teams will all be moved in-house and strengthened with the appointment of a team of new technical specialists.
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Phoebe Bull said: “We are on a mission to consolidate the highly fragmented trade professional supplies market. The sector often relies on personal relationships to procure equipment but we are now offering a primary market aggregator that is proving very popular. Our aim is to not only offer a one-stop shop for trade professionals, but to also support local independent merchants by offering an online selling solution that is needed now more than ever.
“Price, speed of delivery and ease of use are the three major factors contributing to our growth. The equity investment by the Development Bank will help us to achieve sustained competitive advantage with long-term patient capital that has been tailored to suit our needs from our new home in Cardiff. Relocating comes with many benefits, including having access to a great talent pool to start building an exceptional team. We’re looking forward to being part of a supportive community and having better access to attractive and flexible funding.”
Colin Batten of the Development Bank for Wales said: “Construction is one of the UK’s largest economic sectors, but despite the size of the building materials and home improvement market, estimated to be worth around £70 billion per year, there has been no way to compare and contrast the vast ranges of products on the market until now.
“Go Banana is changing the way building materials are purchased in the UK, with their innovate ecommerce platform. Their one-stop shop allows trade professionals and DIYers to buy building supplies and compare multiple merchants right across the UK. This means that the building supply market is therefore ripe for technology driven disruption that offers sellers and buyers greater transparency, as well as time and cost savings. Go Banana is leading the way and we are delighted to now be supporting their growth as an innovative technology venture as long-term equity partners.”
The Development Bank of Wales can invest equity in start-up, early stage or established companies looking to develop and exploit technology with entry investment from £50,000 to £2 million. Follow-on investment for established companies up to £10 million is available along with access to a large network of co-investors and business angels through Angels Invest Wales.