Bridges Community Ventures backs School Stickers Birmingham based business led by former teacher

Bridges Community Ventures (Bridges) the mission-driven venture capital company announces its investment in School Stickers, a Birmingham based manufacturer of customised motivational stickers and postcards for schools. Bridges has committed £1.42m to the development of School Stickers. This is Bridges 2nd investment from its new fund, Bridges Community Development Venture (CDV) Fund II and its 23rd investment overall.

School Stickers was founded by Daniel Laurence who built the business based on his experience as a secondary school teacher where he used merit stickers to motivate his pupils. The largest supplier in its field, the business produces over 50 million stickers annually and supplies them to schools across the UK. It also produces postcards for teachers to send to parents recording good work or merits by their children.

Products produced help teachers motivate their pupils in their work and also support a range of initiatives such as healthy eating and anti-bullying. Children are encouraged to build credits from the stickers they gain to enter and participate in a web community organised on the School Stickers website where they can play games and win prizes.

Bridges was founded in 2002 to invest in ambitious businesses in the most under-invested parts of the country and generate attractive financial returns as well as making a positive social impact. Investors in Bridges funds include HSBC, Barclays Business Banking, Citigroup, 3i, Doughty Hanson & Co, Lloyds TSB Scotland, RBS, the West Midlands and South Yorkshire Pension Funds as well as wealthy individuals and families.

School Stickers is located in the most deprived 2% of wards in England and over 60% of its employees are living in under-invested areas. The company will be hiring additional staff following the investment.

Antony Ross, Director, Bridges Community Ventures, joins the board as a Non-Executive Director. Commenting on the investment Antony said,

“We are delighted to support entrepreneur Daniel Laurence with the growth of School Stickers. Based in one of Bridges target areas and reaching schools throughout the UK, School Stickers is an excellent fit for Bridges.

Daniel Laurence, Managing Director of School Stickers said,

“This is an extremely exciting time for School Stickers with the launch of our new MyStickers site. The additional expertise that Bridge’s bring onboard will help the business achieve its goals.”

Bridges has appointed Stephen Garman as Chairman. Stephen has worked with Bridges on several of its portfolio companies.

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Notes to editors

Bridges Community Ventures

Bridges Community Ventures (Bridges) is the mission-driven venture capital company, established to invest in ambitious businesses in under-invested areas in the UK.

In October 2002, Bridges CDV Fund I raised £40m worth of funds, £20m from the private sector and £20m in the form of matched investment from the Government. Bridges Community Ventures’ founders were Sir Ronald Cohen, co-founder and former chairman of Apax Partners, Tom Singh of New Look and 3i. The first fund was backed by a range of blue chip institutions and individuals.

In June 2006, Bridges announced its second fund, Bridges CDV Fund II, which it is raising entirely from the private sector. Bridges has so far raised almost £40m for this fund towards its target of £50m.

The backers of the new fund include HSBC, Citigroup, Doughty Hanson & Co and the West Midlands and South Yorkshire Pension Funds, all of whom invested in Bridges first fund. The new fund has also succeeded in attracting new investors including Barclays Business Banking, the charitable trust SHINE: Support and Help in Education, All Souls College and a number of family trusts, foundations and individuals.

Bridges seeks growth companies at the early and expansion stages, as well as management buy-outs, buy-ins and property-backed businesses. Bridges invests up to £5m+ in terms of our portion of a transaction. Entrepreneurs can find out whether their business is eligible for investment by going to the website www.bridgesventures.com or calling 020 7262 5566.

The Company School Stickers Daniel Laurence (Managing Director) www.schoolstickers.co.uk

Funders Bridges Community Ventures, Antony Ross. Director led the transaction on behalf of Bridges Community Ventures; Aleem Remtula, Associate also worked on the transaction. www.bridgesventures.com

Advisors ER Consultants Martyn Sakol (management due diligence); Tenon Group Plc Julian Clough (financial due diligence); Wragge & Co, Baljit Chohan (legal advice to BCV).