Ning Li, Chloè Macintosh and Julien Callède: Made.com
Focus: Designed furniture direct from the manufacturer
Ning Li, 28, Chloè Macintosh, 35 and Julien Callède (pictured), 27
Born in China and educated in France, the UK was a brand new country for Ning Li when he came to turn an idea on a couple of PowerPoint slides into a fully functioning business. After just a few months and a fortuitous meeting with Brent Hoberman, he and co-founders Chloè Macintosh and Julien Callède secured the £2.5m investment needed to launch a logistically complex start-up and now have a multi-million pound company with 25 staff on their hands. Its made-to-order platform allows consumers to order via the internet from Asian factories to achieve significant cost savings. Since launch the business has grown 50% every month.
Delivering over 100,000 items per year, Made.com is turning over in excess of £2m. The company raised £7m in early 2012, currently employs 80 persons across 2 offices in London and Shanghai, and has extended its manufacturing network to five different countries. In September 2012, the online furniture site launched a physical show room, complete with QR codes and miniature 3D-printed models of furniture.