31Dover owner unveils ambitious growth plans

31Dover owner DMD Ventures has unveiled plans to grow turnover to £50 million by 2022 after completing two private investment rounds and investing in new technology.

Turnover grew 98% to reach £11.9 million in the 2017/18 financial year and the firm sees plenty of scope for further growth in the years ahead.

It raised £5 million last year and it has used this cash injection to improve the ecommerce platform on its 31Dover site.

31Dover now uses a platform from German developer Shopware AG. “We develop innovative solutions so that disruptive companies like 31Dover can bring their ambitious digital strategy to life,” said chief executive Stefan Heyne.

James Bagley, chief executive at DMD Ventures, believes the new and improved site will help the company meet its ambitious growth targets.

He said: “We want to provide customers with a truly emotional online shopping experience and by using Shopware we can bring brands to life. Making better, data driven and trend-led recommendations to customers of 31Dover to help them discover new, unique and craft drinks is at the heart of our promise.

“We have invested in a new ecommerce platform to better cater for our needs, aid increased engagement with customers and allow us to stay ahead of the competition. Already we are enjoying significantly improved performance, having lifted conversion rates by around 30%.”

The firm has also just appointed former Diageo executive Alicia Thompson as its new chief financial officer.

The 36-year-old Australian has previously worked for PwC and she handled the Tesco account during her time at Diageo.

“I was attracted to DMD because of its nascent and fast-growing position within the drinks’ industry, agility as a small start-up, focus on digital, moving the industry online, and the ambition and direction that James Bagley has set for the business,” she said. “From previous roles at PwC, Deloitte, Diageo and recently running my own business, I will be able to bring finance, strategy, M&A and commercial experience to the position and will be supported by James and the team to be a key leader within the business.

“Now is a particularly exciting time to join with UK drinks purchases still hugely under-penetrated within the online market and many changes and consolidations occurring within the wholesale industry. There are many untapped opportunities on the digital side and DMD is positioned to become the market leader; we are primed for growth, have a great team in place and the opportunities are extremely exciting.”

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