Inception Group secures £6.7m funding for expansion

By Gary Lloyd

- Last updated on GMT

Fiscal support: Charlie Gilkes (left) outside what is now Mr Fogg’s Pawnbrokers on Dean Street, Soho, London
Fiscal support: Charlie Gilkes (left) outside what is now Mr Fogg’s Pawnbrokers on Dean Street, Soho, London

Related tags Multi-site pub operators Cocktails Finance Property

Experiential sites operator Inception Group has secured £6.7m funding with an eye to opening more venues.

The central London operator that runs 13 sites under the brands of Mr Fogg’s, Bunga Bunga, Cahoots, Barts, Maggie’s and Control Room B, has secured the finance from OakNorth Bank, which initially provided refinance and expansion facilities in January 2018, and further supported the group during the pandemic.

Since Covid restrictions abated, Inception Group has opened three new sites, including Battersea Power Station’s Control Room B, Mr Fogg’s Apothecary and Mr Fogg’s Pawnbrokers and is set to open Mr Fogg’s Hat Tavern and Gin Club soon.

The £6.7m capital from OakNorth will extend existing facilities the business has with the bank, as well as funding the opening of new sites.

Additional sites

Inception Group co-founder Charlie Gilkes said: “Over the years, we’ve built an incredibly collaborative relationship with the team at OakNorth – they understand our business and have continued to be a trusted funding partner through the challenging times of both the pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis.

“With their support, we’ve been able to open several new sites, including Control Room B at Battersea Power Station which has exceeded our expectations in terms of performance. With this capital, we’ll be able to open additional sites and continue bringing our unique bars and restaurants to London’s residents and visitors.”

OakNorth Bank senior director of debt finance Deepesh Thakrar added: “Charlie and Duncan (Stirling) are great examples of the extraordinary entrepreneurs we have in the UK.”

Creative and unique business

Thakrar continued: “They have built a creative and unique business under six different brands – all of which continued to trade throughout the pandemic.

“Given the ongoing economic challenges, they have made realistic assumptions about the future performance of the business, making sure they don’t expand too quickly or too much.

“We’re delighted to once again be supporting them in their growth ambitions and look forward to visiting the new sites when they open.”

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