Designs on being industry's leader
A website design and marketing business hopes to become the leader in its field following a multi-million pound investment.
Creare Group, which has its head office in Lutterworth, hopes to continue growing and bring in more staff after selling a controlling interest to Sovereign Capital.
Creare was launched almost a decade ago by Mike McKinlay and Colin Craig, initially designing adverts for businesses buying slots in Yellow Pages.
With the growth of the internet, it branched out into web design and search engine optimisation (SEO) – ensuring a particular company's details come out on top when someone searches for something online.
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The company has a number of big name clients such as Iveco and Debenhams, and specialises in small and medium sized businesses.
Mr McKinlay said Creare – Italian for create – had experienced 100 per cent year-on-year growth, now turning-over around £6 million, with 140 staff.
It has around 2,000 clients and has opened offices in Rugby, with a small satellite office in London, while maintaining its head office in Bank Street, Lutterworth.
He said he expected the business to grow to £10 million turnover within the next year and a staff of 200.
Sovereign Capital took a 51 per cent share in the business, and plans to use it as a platform to acquire and bolt-on related businesses.
Mr McKinlay, previously Creare's managing director, became chief executive under the deal which he said was worth "in excess of £10 million".
He said: "The company's growth has been down to two things – offering a really good product or service and a clear and defined route to market.
"Colin and I are contracted to stay with the business and both have a desire to stay here.
"We are driven by the difference we make to small businesses. Now we can focus on making our business a national brand."
He said one of the things they planned to continue investing in was research and development – ensuring they could keep ahead of any changes in the way search engines such as Google work.
He said they were also dedicated to bringing young graduates up through the ranks.
As well as website development and SEO marketing, Creare also has a dedicated video production unit for online films, based at the Lutterworth office.
It also has an office in Brisbane, Australia, with around 20 staff, turning over around £500,000 a year. Sovereign's Matthew Owen, who joined the board at Creare, said: "Creare is an exceptional company.
"All its web designers and SEO specialists are based in the UK, so they have a clear understanding of the needs of clients at a local level.
"With their strong commitment to quality, investment in technical know-how and focus on offering clients a compelling value for money service, Creare is the SEO company to watch."
New Creare chairman Allan Wood said: "Creare has the potential to build a great brand through playing its part in the UK economy's recovery."