A green light for matcha green tea

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Cashflow conundrum

If you walk into a branch of Tesco, Waitrose or Holland & Barrett, you’re likely to find Vivid Matcha green tea on the shelves. Powered by organic matcha green tea from Japan, it’s a product that has firmly established itself in the competitive tea market.

But getting your product onto the supermarket shelves isn’t as easy as all that, as owner James Shillcock explains:

“When a supermarket is interested, you need to outlay possibly hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce the stock – ahead of them finally confirming that they are placing the order. So there’s a big cashflow challenge and risk. That can be compounded by the fact that some (but not all) supermarkets have payment terms that can stretch to several months.”

“I’d say, “Thank you very much” and I would take that cash and speed up some of the new product ideas that we’ve got.”

‘A smaller piece of a bigger pie’

For James, it was clear that finance would be needed. His route, rather than going to a bank or other financial institution, has always been equity investment through high net worth individuals.

“It’s always worked well for me,” James says. “I’d rather have a smaller piece of a bigger pie so I’m very happy for investors to take a stake.  It means you can make things happen faster. I’ve never had a fear of raising finance. I see our investors as friends who are supporting the business – though of course, I’m accountable to them for performance!”

And for the future?

The future looks like a busy place for James. Firstly, he aims to get all major retailers in the UK to stock his tea, as well as expanding the product range. He also wants to grow the international side of the business. 

Personally, meanwhile, James wants to free himself from the day-to-day running of the business so that he can take on more of what he calls an “innovation role”.

“I’d like to be able to hire an MD who can look after the business while I spend more time on new ideas and bringing them to life. I have plenty of new ideas in mind and will be launching a number of new businesses over the coming years, each with an emphasis on mental performance and wellbeing.”

Watch this space!

More about James Shillcock

With a first in economics from Manchester University and a place on professional services giant Deloitte’s ‘scholar scheme’, James Shillcock has a strong academic background. But it was when travelling in Asia and coming across matcha green tea that his idea to bring the mind-sharpening tea to the UK began. Having spent a year with We Are Tea in a business development role, James had already built up knowledge of the tea industry – and since launching Vivid Matcha in 2013, the popularity of matcha green tea has grown and grown.

visit the vivid matcha website

Good Funding for Vivid Matcha

Cashflow is tough on any business, leaving little room to create new products. Our Invoice Finance can keep James’ cash flowing so he can grow his business. We simply use his sales ledger with his big supermarket clients as an 'asset' that he can borrow against. And he doesn’t even have to chase any debtors for payment, we do that for him!

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