Our preparations for our IPO continue to progress well and we remain on track to list on the Aquis stock exchange ahead of the summer holidays. Our IPO documentation and due diligence are now significantly advanced and we expect to commence investor meetings shortly.
Thank you to those of you who signed and returned last week’s written resolution so promptly and you will shortly receive a second, and final, written resolution as we complete our re-registration as a PLC. (For those of you who invested via Seedrs, they will handle this on your behalf).
New Board of Directors
I am pleased to let you know that Nikki Cooper and Jill Overland have agreed to join our board as independent non-executive directors. We expect to conclude their appointment in the next two weeks so that they can take up their roles ahead of our IPO. Between them they provide experience in branded consumer products and financial controls, both of which are essential for our continued growth.
Nikki is a qualified solicitor and chartered company secretary, whose career to date has spanned multiple roles, including as a general counsel at Ora Capital Partners, and in corporate finance at N+1 Brewin. Nikki founded her own health supplement brand, Inner Me, following her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in 2009. The brand successfully gained entry into major retailers, including Boots, Holland and Barrett, Selfridges, Ocado and on the free-to-air television shopping channel QVC.
Jill has more than 25 years of experience working in senior finance roles and is currently responsible for finance and corporate services at Cuadrilla. Previously, Jill was the Head of Finance for BHP Petroleum’s UK and Algeria business unit. Within BHP, Jill covered numerous roles including leading its global Sarbanes Oxley compliance programme.
At the time of Nikki and Jill’s appointment, Paul Mendell and Kyle Swingle will step down from the board. Paul and Kyle have both been hugely supportive of Voyager’s development, not only as founding shareholders but also as a source of advice and assistance in our growth, and they remain very much part of the Voyager story going forward.
Head of Sales
A further appointment to the team in recent weeks is Mark Underwood who has joined us as Head of Sales. As shops begin to reopen following the easing of lockdown, our strategy will develop from our initial focus on online sales to selling our products through stores. Mark previously worked at Celtic Wind and is one of very few people with a successful track record in placing CBD products in national retailers, including Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy. It is early days yet but, since his arrival a few weeks ago, he has already enhanced our sales strategy and engaged us in conversations with several independent stores and a national distributor.
Excluding the board, the Voyager team now numbers five and we are reaching the point where we have the resources and talent to compete with companies far larger than us.
As with any consumer product business, distribution and building brand awareness are two of our biggest challenges and we intend to tackle that head-on by opening our own stores. We have signed a lease on a shop in St Andrews and fit-out is already underway with opening planned for mid-June. A combination of a business rates holiday in Scotland along with our acceptance onto the Kickstart scheme means we can operate a shop in a premier location very cost effectively and we will look to modestly extend this strategy if it proves successful.
With the launch of our Paw Balm we have increased our product range to 17 in total. We have a further six products planned for launch in the near term and a further six at the formulation stage so we anticipate the range increasing to 29 during the summer.
Voyager products are now available on over 20 third party websites and this week we are joining the Amazon Prime scheme (for our hemp seed oil products only).
Finally, we are currently reviewing our branding. Our packaging and labels have served us well so far but, as we grow and before our new products launch, this is the right time to reset our image. Expect to see an evolution rather than a revolution as the “Voyager green” and evidence of our products’ origins in the hemp plant will remain a core feature of our brand. We hope to have this exercise completed during June.
Proactive Investors Interview
For those who have not yet seen it, my interview with Proactive investors was published on Tuesday of last week and you can watch it here.
As always, if you have any questions then please do get in touch (you can reach my assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org) and, most importantly, please continue to support us on social media to help generate further interest in Voyager. As I have said previously, please tell your friends, family and colleagues about us. Like all young businesses, word of mouth and personal recommendations are essential to build trust in our brand and our social media will rank higher with the more likes and interactions we get.
I look forward to writing to you again soon.