Factor 21 Case Study - Sky Garden Ltd Sky Garden can lay claim to being one of the original green roof pioneers with over 20-years of experience in supplying and installing green roof systems, designed to imitate natures’ blueprint. From planning to maintaining finished projects they expertly tranform roof spaces into attractive landscapes with social, economic and environmental benefits for both small domestic roofs and large commercial projects. Having formed originally as an environmental stabilization company, the company made a decisive move to focus on the green roof sector which was experiencing an increasing level of demand. It was a positive move with the business enjoying significant growth and earning themselves the accolade of installing the largest wildflower living roof in Europe. Based in Worcestershire, with a strategically important office in London, the business was thriving with a healthy order book. However, the nature of their business meant juggling cashflow as they balanced the need to invest upfront to grow the sedum and wildflower blankets which form the roof system and pay contractors before the job completes and they invoice their client. This funding gap caused a strain on working capital and growth plans. With a contractual element in the business, their incumbent funder wasn’t comfortable with providing the level of funding that the business needed to support itself and enable it to grow. Factor 21 were impressed by the business but understood the importance of enabling them to maximise cashflow. As a result, they provided a facility incorporating the whole ledger including the contractual debt as well as committing to take a long term commercial view. This gave Sky Garden the funding peace of mind to sow the seeds for future project growth and development. As David Rutherford, Managing Director for Sky Garden explains; “The nature of what we do means that we have significant upfront expenses that the business has to support before we receive payment from our clients. The larger the job the longer the length of time to complete. Two critical ingredients are our product which we need to invest in and our installation network which we need to pay promptly to ensure we complete the project. We needed a funding facility that matched our requirements more closely. Factor 21’s commercial stance and their excellent service match our own and are delighted with their ongoing commitment to our business”. A decade later, and benefiting from a £700k funding facility the business has continued to thrive. With revenue hitting £5.3m revenue and strong profit growth, the business is now focussed on investing for future growth developing specialisms outside of Green Roofs, such as Podiums (landscaping features), maintenance and online supply only products to increase revenue streams and support their ambitious objectives. As David continued “The facility from Factor 21 gives us the confidence to continue growing the business safe in the knowledge that we have a flexible and ongoing source of working capital to support our continued success. With Factor 21 as our long-term financing partner we have ambitious plans for growth – the sky really is the limit!” As David Tilling, Group Managing Director of Factor 21 added, “Sky Garden are one of our longest standing clients and we have been delighted to support them and be a factor in their growth. By leveraging our flexible approach to funding, the team at Sky Garden can maintain, invest and continue to grow their business well into the future”. Sky Garden are proud of the excellence in product and service that they deliver and were delighted to have recently been recognised as the Green Roof Company of the Year 2017 at the NFRC Awards recently, (having picked up the award in 2013 and a nomination in 2014) to add to their already extensive string of awards. With Factor 21 as their funding partner, the grass is always greener for Sky Garden.