Group of people sitting around table, drinking and chatting while charging their phone

ChargedUp: How ChargedUp pivoted to address new opportunities

The global pandemic has tested many great businesses. When ChargedUp found their business model challenged, they pivoted to address new opportunities. Read how they partnered with Advances to seize the day and grow an incredibly successful product in a matter of weeks.

Forward Advances Success Stories

Our series of Success Stories highlights companies that Forward Advances have helped with our funding, expertise and experience to grow their business, increase revenue share and expand brand recognition. These are just a few of the hundreds of businesses that we have helped, and we hope their successes can inspire other businesses and start-ups looking to achieve more.

Who Are ChargedUp?

ChargedUp is the brainchild of Hugo Tilmouth, a business that offers users a network of easy to access power banks across venues, pubs and stations across the country. Hugo’s experience of a day out at Lord’s cricket ground three and a half years ago, where he paid £20 to charge his mobile, made him swear to never use an overpriced power bank again. And so ChargedUp was born.

After a year spent developing both hardware and software, the business spent the next two years successfully scaling and had a strong presence in over 3,000 UK locations and had started to roll out the ChargedUp product across Germany and the Netherlands. Like many businesses, the pandemic caught the company by surprise. But rather than see a problem, Hugo and his team saw an opportunity to help. Because the business had built up so many strong relationships with venue owners, pub landlords and building managers, the company pivoted to creating hand sanitiser stations and launched CleanedUp.

The business approached Forward Advances for capital to grow the new venture and within just three days a team in Loughborough had made a prototype and the company had 150 sales of the new unit. With government regulations introduced stating that every pub must have a hand sanitiser, the business grew rapidly and now counts Transport for London (TFL), Leon, Costa, Hilton and Holiday Inn as customers. A contract with Diageo soon followed and the company started producing 10,000 units a week to meet surging demand. The business had little experience running an eCommerce platform and with a growing list of clients and cashflow still an issue, they turned to the Forward Advances team to help.

“It can be incredibly difficult to raise money quickly when things are exploding around you and Forward Advances was a perfect fit. It was a no brainer for financing our ads and inventory.

Growing the business rapidly with Revenue Based Financing.

Because there was such an immediate demand to scale the business rapidly, Hugo and the team at CleanedUp needed fast, flexible access to capital to meet demand and maximise growth opportunities. With a positive ROI and a fast-growing business, the traditional Venture Capital route with its 3 - 6 month application process felt outdated, clunky and simply too slow.

So the business turned to Forward Advances and a Revenue Based Financing model and has not looked back since. Hugo called RBF a “no brainer” that has allowed his company to increase inventory and stock spend, rapidly scale the business and meet surging demand. The expertise and experience of the Forward Advances Studio Team has helped take the business to the next level, giving CleanedUp the flexibility and support it needs to invest in inventory and digital ad spend.

“I’ve enjoyed working with Forward Advances, they’re very responsive and very nice people. It’s been great, the system online is easy to use and the Studio Team are a great part of the proposition.

The results

  • Forward Advances provided fast working capital to meet 10,000 unit orders per week
  • The business has delivered over 33,000 dispensers already with more planned
  • Growing client base including Leon, Pure, the NHS, Pizza Express and more
  • Helped support new Diageo contract for stations in 1 in 3 pubs
  • Forward Advances supplied capital immediately, so the business significantly upped inventory spend
  • The Forward Advances Studio Team is already helping the business plan the next stage of growth

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