Full Circle

Blackcircles founder Welch launches new business venture

One of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs has teamed up with one of nation’s top corporate lawyers and a PR specialist to launch an advisory firm positioned to help high growth companies fund, scale and exit.

Michael Welch OBE, founder of Blackcircles.com, the UK online tyre retailer sold to Michelin in 2015, Paul Jarman-Williams and Nick Freer are founding directors in Full Circle Partners, an Edinburgh-headquartered firm that will back and support ambitious early to later stage ventures, working alongside executive teams and existing advisers to promote strategic growth and achieve exits.  

Full Circle aims to get fast-growing companies investor and exit ready by working alongside senior management and existing advisers, assisting with legal structure, building profile through PR and marketing and is underpinned by the ability to invest and co-invest in portfolio companies.

Welch said: “Having gone through the process of engaging with venture capitalists with a view to funding my own business and then ultimately selling it to Michelin, I realised there was a gap in the market for a firm like Full Circle and that was the genesis of what we are announcing today.

“To have guys like Paul and Nick who have been there and done it in legal and PR terms around major M&A deals and funding rounds means we have a breadth of skills in one offering that we know is going to be of great appeal to high growth companies that are planning their next phase of growth including transformational transactions.”

Full Circle’s investor and operational contacts span the UK, Europe, Asia and the US and the firm is positioned to enable international expansion and help build the investor base across its portfolio. 

Paul Jarman-Williams, formerly of leading M&A firm, Dickson Minto, brings experience of advising tech startup pureLiFi around recent fundraising rounds, craft brewer Innis & Gunn’s oversubscribed £2.4m equity crowdfund with Crowdcube in 2016 and the 2015 sale of Blackcircles.com to Michelin. 

Nick Freer spent time with Europe’s top corporate communications agency Maitland in London before setting up the Freer Consultancy. Freer also advised Blackcircles.com in the run up to the acquisition by Michelin and handled media relations for Skyscanner around the US$200m investment by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Sequoia in 2013.

Welch is also the chair of fashion tech start-up Atterley.com and is a strategic adviser to fast-growing US tire retailer, SimpleTire.com.

Published: 04 September 2017

Article by Bryce Wilcock
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