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CEO and founder Andrew Wass, was a sound recording engineer in 1995 when he identified an opportunity to supply small recording studios and educational establishments with personal computer based digital recording solutions.
In 2003 Andrew began to research the potential to retail own-brand beginner level musical instruments, with the intention of opening up the market by selling at lower prices than traditional music shops. After visiting several international exhibitions in the USA and China, Andrew placed a bulk order for guitars and listed them for sale on the then new gear4music.com website. The website generated £0.7m of revenue in its first full year of trading.
Gear4music has grown consistently since launch and in March 2012 a private equity investor, Key Capital Partners, invested £3.4m in the Group. This investment provided additional funding to develop further the e-commerce platform.
The Group relocated to its current UK-distribution centre in York in November 2013 adding significant distribution and storage capacity, and shortly after opened a 9,000 square feet showroom. A new lease was entered into in 2018 for a further 10-years.
In June 2015 the Group listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, generating £10.3m of gross proceeds and £9.0m of net proceeds after expenses and seller sales, of which £4.6m was used to repay private equity debt in full, leaving £4.4m of growth capital. In October 2016 the private equity house sold their final shareholding in Gear4music.
In November 2016 the Group opened its Swedish distribution centre and followed this up in February 2017 with the opening of a second European distribution centre in Germany.
In January 2017 the Group completed a deal to acquire a software development business which had the effect of bringing software development in-house.
In May 2017 the Group placed 610,000 new Ordinary shares and issued a further 100,782 new Ordinary shares in full and final settlement of a warrant instrument, resulting in gross proceeds of £4.4m and net cash into the business of £4.2m.
In June 2017 the Group acquired a 50,000 square foot freehold office property in York, and in September 2017 relocated the Head Office team to the new headquarters.
In October 2018 and further to continued Scandinavian growth, the Group relocated and expanded its Swedish distribution centre to add further capacity to meet demand over coming years.