Cheeky Chompers embarks on fundraising round as sales soar in China

From left - Mike Welch, Amy Livingstone and Julie Wilson (by Stewart Attwood)
From left - Mike Welch, Amy Livingstone and Julie Wilson (by Stewart Attwood)

Baby care brand Cheeky Chompers is experiencing a soar in sales in China via online sales on the Tmall.com platform.

In addition, the Edinburgh-based exporter has a strong presence in China’s other leading retailers with over 250 stores stocking the brand across the country.  

Cheeky Chompers has just embarked on its first external fundraising round as its founders plan to further scale the business and build its global presence.  Founded in 2012 by Julie Wilson and Amy Livingstone, who were both on maternity leave with their first children at the time, the Edinburgh-headquartered business has established itself as an internationally recognised premium baby care brand with distributors into 34 countries worldwide, with China and USA being its biggest markets and 1.3 million products shipped to date.

The company, who won a Queen’s Award for enterprise for international trade last year, has well-developed retailer relationships and its customers include John Lewis, JoJo Mama Bebe, Fenwicks, Tesco, Boots, Nordstrom and Buy Buy Baby.  It launched its award-winning Neckerchew product, the world’s first chewable dribble bib for teething babies, in 2013 and has since launched an additional 8 products.  The overall baby products market is growing rapidly, particularly through online sales, and the fundraise will be focused on digital growth, new product development, brand building in key markets and infrastructure. 

Edinburgh-based corporate finance boutique Quest has been appointed to lead the fundraising, with corporate advisory firm Full Circle Partners providing support.  Full Circle Partners’ Founder Chairman, Mike Welch, who sold online tyre retailer Blackcircles.com to Michelin in 2015 and also chairs fashion site Atterley, is working alongside the management team in a strategic advisory role.  

Cheeky Chompers Founding Director, Julie Wilson, said: “While we have been self-funded from the start and grown organically to date, we think the timing is right to accelerate the business so we can get to the next level.  We see strong growth opportunities through both existing and new channels to market, and we’re excited to have Mike Welch on board as we enter the next phase of growth.” 

Mike Welch, Full Circle Partners Founder Chairman, said: “Julie and Amy have created a global brand with loyal big name customers in a relatively short space of time and I’ve got the utmost respect for what they’ve been able to achieve.  There is a real opportunity for Cheeky Chompers to scale into one of the main players in a fast-growth market segment and the capital raise will help them grow at the kind of pace necessary to get there.”  

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