Gateshead, UK-based Bloom, a platform for buying and managing professional services, has raised £14M (approx €16.1M) in a fresh round of funding from growth capital investor BGF. Bloom claims to be the UK’s only public sector procurement marketplace offering an end-to-end managed service procurement solution.
Diane Cheesebrough is a non-executive director and will move to a non-executive chair as part of the deal. Barry Jackson and Rob Johnson from BGF led the investment.
In addition to funding, Bloom also announced that Amabel Grant has been named as the new CEO. She joined the business in 2018 as CTO with significant public sector and technology experience, including Crown Marketplace Programme Director at the Cabinet Office.
Bloom Procurement Services
Founded in 2011 by Adam Jacobs, the executive chairman, Bloom provides an open access marketplace for the provision of professional services to the UK public sector.
Bloom’s managed service enables public sector buyers to compliantly and transparently award public sector contracts and achieve significant savings. The company provides an OJEU compliant managed procurement service that covers specification development, supplier identification & onboarding, full contract management, and lessons learned upon successful delivery of outcomes.
Buyers have access to a dynamic supplier base across a wide range of professional service categories. Suppliers have the ability to access and work with the public sector at a significantly reduced cost.
The Bloom marketplace is open access allowing all suppliers to register on the platform at no cost. It enables SMEs access to a market on a ‘level playing field’ alongside more established organisations.
Capital for growth
The latest round of funding will enable Bloom to invest in developing the next generation of its Pro-vide technology, which it believes will enhance the proposition for existing customers while unlocking significant growth potential.
Bloom founder, Adam Jacobs, says “BGF stood out as the investment partner for us at this stage in our development. They are backing a business with enormous growth potential and the BGF partnership emboldens our ambition to rapidly scale the business and create a great case study for entrepreneurship and growth in the North East of the UK.”
BGF was set up in 2011 and has invested £2.5B in nearly 400 companies. The firm invests in growing businesses in the UK and Ireland through its network of 16 offices.
Amabel Grant CEO of Bloom, says, “Our technology means we’re uniquely placed to offer the whole public sector an end-to-end managed service procurement solution for professional services. In addition, we help buyers evaluate social value when awarding contracts, which became a mandatory requirement for central government contracts this year.”
She further adds, “We’re also able to support the drive to open up public procurement to more SMEs because of our ability to onboard and work with any suppliers at any time.”
To date, Bloom has managed the procurement and delivery of over 7,500 projects with a value of £800M (approx €920M) across all parts of the public sector including Central Government, Local Government, Housing Associations, Blue Light, NHS, Universities, Schools, and Non-Departmental Public Bodies.
In 2019, Bloom saved £42M (approx €48.3M) of public money by helping its customers deliver their projects under budget.