Pops ice lollies

Popsicle startup Pops has reached out to the crowd for £400k for working capital after rapid growth in 2018.

The ice lolly supplier has seen 100% growth over the past year, after gaining nationwide listings in Tesco and Ocado.

Cash would be used to expand production, recruitment and NPD, it said. The supplier’s Crowdcube campaign is offering an 8% stake for the £400k target, at a pre-money valuation of £4.6m.

The boom in sales has been driven by profitable partnerships, including a deal with Diageo to make a number of alcoholic popsicles. Pops’ Pimm’s product was listed nationwide in Tesco this summer and saw a 400% jump in sales for the year.

The startup confirmed it was working on a pipeline of NPD for 2019, with a first-to-market product to be launched in freezers in March next year.

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Pops was founded in 2014 by Harry Clarke and James Rae, who launched the brand with a first-to-market champagne popsicle product.

The founders heralded their most successful summer period, with hot UK weather driving £590k in sales in the six months to September 2018. “This year we should see growth of around 100%, so it has been really positive,” said Clarke. “In terms of 2018-19, our budgeted revenue is just under £1m and we are on track for that.

“We’ve been scaling up with some of the larger retailers - we’ve been working very closely with Tesco - and we are therefore going to be using the funds for greater working capital, particularly around production.”