GripIt founder gives his top tips for exporters

GripIt founder Daykin acquires VPS Group Ltd

Dragons’ Den star Jordan Daykin has built on the success of GripIt Fixings with the acquisition of VPS Group Ltd.

Serial young entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star Jordan Daykin has acquired automotive business Vehicle Preparation Services Group Ltd (VPS), as he seeks to diversify his business portfolio.

Daykin, 22, who burst onto the scene in 2004 as the youngest ever entrepreneur to receive investment on BBC’s Dragons’ Den when he was just 18 - £80,000 from Deborah Meaden in his business GripIt Fixings - has purchased VPS Group for £5m and has plans to raise significant funds and capitalise on the booming number plate market.

Founded in 2004, VPS Group was originally established to supply temporary labour to vehicle manufacturers. Since making a name for itself as a leading contract supplier for the automotive sector, the business has expanded and now has five main revenue streams, including a growing number plate manufacturing arm.

VPS Group, which operates in Bristol, Southampton, Swindon, Sheerness and Killingholme, employs 160 people and turned over £5.1m in 2017.

In 2016 Daykin appeared on Dragons’ Den ‘Pitches to Riches’, when GripIt Fixings was valued at £10m, making it the most successful Dragons’ Den business in history.

Today, the company, which operates from five industrial units across Wiltshire, is valued at £20m and has completed two successful crowdfunding rounds – the most recent of which raised £2.14m from more than 1,400 investors via Crowdcube. In 2017 Daykin grew staff numbers from 5 to 47 and increased revenues by 350%. 

Daykin has been on the VPS Group board as a non-executive director for two years, offering strategic advice to the company his father originally founded in 2004. As well as aiming to sell 1 million number plates in 2018, Daykin has ambitions this year to grow VPS Group’s labour supply nationally and make use of its extensive staffing database to grow its recruitment offering.

Speaking about his new business venture, Daykin said: "There is such huge potential for Vehicle Preparation Services Group to build on its excellent industry reputation by branching into new markets and capitalise on the booming automotive industry.

“I’m extremely fortunate to have a strong management team in place, who have ensured the company has been profitable since day one. I’m very proud to take over as CEO of the company my father started in 2004, and by using what I’ve learnt while growing GripIt Fixings I’m committed to getting the very best out of our talented team and taking VPS Group from strength to strength in the coming years."

VPS Group’s director Richard Davidson, added: “We’re very excited by the news of Jordan acquiring VPS Group. Having seen first-hand his success with GripIt, the whole team is looking forward to a busy 2018, implementing the new growth strategy and working alongside Jordan as our new CEO.”