Lingerie e-tailer gets VC backing, an online retailer of 'hard-to-find' women's underwear, has raised £630,000 from venture capitalists (VCs) and angel investors.

The backers included regional VC fund South West Ventures, which contributed £200,000.

The Poole-based company, which has a turnover of nearly £1 million, was founded by husband and wife team James and Sarah Akin-Smith in 2005. It offers over 1,200 individual items of ‘mainstream’ lingerie and swimwear from brands such as Bracli, Lola Luna, Morgan, Princess Tam Tam and Sensualle.

CEO James Akin-Smith says: ‘There is a growing demand among mature and increasingly self-confident consumers for affordable pleasures such as high-quality sensual women’s lingerie.

‘We believe we have identified a niche in the market for a supplier of the best branded lingerie and swimwear from around the world.’

Nick Simmonds, investment manager at YFM, which manages South West Ventures, comments: ‘’s rigorous and professional business approach means that it is well-positioned to take advantage of the growth of the lingerie market and the growth in the online shopping market in general.’

South West Ventures has £25 million to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises in the South West of England. Its maximum initial investment is £333,000 and it has invested £7.1 million in 25 companies to date.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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