Investor interview: BRAN Investments

Could you tell us about BRAN Investments?

BRAN Investments is a family office. Fairness, honesty, ambition and graft are the values that built our business. They’re the values we look for when we invest in businesses. 

What does your portfolio look like and do you focus on a particular industry?

We support people ahead of specific industries, however, we do have strong knowledge of the healthcare, retail, health wellbeing and real estate sectors - given our backgrounds. 

The selection of our 20 portfolio companies range from education where we are supporting One Third Stories which is on a mission to inspire children across the world to learn languages using exceptional original stories, to Olio, an App which is on a mission to help tackle the world’s food waste epidemic, it already has more than 500,000 subscribers.

As well as the above, we have supported fantastic entrepreneurs within the FMCG, healthcare, marketing and, of course, the plant-based sector.

What do you think is the biggest hype or trend at the moment and why?

We do not really focus on investing in hype’s or trends as we are long-term investors, however, of course, the market opportunity is extremely important to us. The plant-based movement is something we believe in and have invested within. Secondly, health and wellbeing including mental health is something we feel will continue to grow due to people becoming much more self-aware, this is the main reason as to why we are supporting Bloombox Club

When assessing a new opportunity - what do you look for?

We first look at the individual(s) behind the businesses and understand their drive and ambition to grow their company before anything else. Second to that, we look to understand the market opportunity and assess whether we feel those individuals who run these businesses have the ability to capture the market opportunity presenting itself.

Pictured left is Dr. Katie Cooper founder of Bloombox Club and pictured right is Lana Novak, co-founder and CMO.

How did you come by Bloombox Club and why did you invest?

As part of the highly successful Dragons Den type event we put together “pitch and plant” for plant-based businesses alongside Crowdcube, Vevolution and Bright Zine, Dr Katie (CEO of Bloombox Club) decided to apply. After meeting Dr Katie and the team, we were highly impressed with Katie’s background as a Doctor in Psychology, and the fact that the business has achieved so much, within such a short period, with little budget. We also have a substantial investment knowledge of subscription businesses and feel that the highly unique plant offering, as well the plants playing a pivotal role in wellbeing is something we wanted to be part of. We feel not only does the business have an excellent opportunity to expand within the business to consumer arena, however, we also feel the business to business opportunity will be substantial.

To close this off, we support Dr Katie’s opinion that the stress of urban living and technology is encouraging people to seek the antithesis to reduce stress in particular mindfulness and activities that involve connecting with nature. 

And finally, do you offer advice and support to the businesses you back post-investment and if so, what do you do?

Yes, we do. Post investment above a certain threshold we play a key role in setting and confirming those key metrics we think are of the most importance to ensure the continued growth of the business. We are also keen to follow on in subsequent rounds, and invest alongside other co-investors (other Family Offices and also Venture Capital Funds) that we have solid relationships with. Given this, we understand their criteria as well as ours, and therefore, we work with the entrepreneurs to meet those to ensure more capital inflows and further growth. 

Second to that, we work with a network of advisors that can often provide operational and more hands-on support to our portfolio companies due to their sector-specific knowledge.

You can read more about Bloombox Club and how much they've raised so far by heading over to the pitch page.

Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. Please invest aware.

Manish Karani

Guest author: Manish Karani Investment Manager at BRAN Investments

Manish leads the investment offering for BRAN Investments Seed and Early Stage Investments, as well as works with Co-Investors within the venture capital and private equity arena to capitalise on new investment offerings. Manish has over 10 years investment experience through working at Coutts private bank in London, Switzerland and Singapore where he invested High Net Worth Individuals funds, as well as advised Family Offices on structuring new investment opportunities.