Digital & IT pledges to invest £10m in county as it joins Dorset Chamber's Premier league

Cas Paton, Founder and CEO,

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: January 7, 2021 | Updated: 8th January 2021, described as the world’s fastest-growing marketplace, has pledged to invest £10m in Dorset.

The Poole-based business has held talks with BCP Council about finding a new HQ as it continues to add to its 60+ staff.

It has also become a Premier Business Partner with Dorset Chamber.

OnBuy says the decision marks its commitment to the county ahead of a worldwide scale-up.

As well as cementing its roots in the region, the move also demonstrates support for the regional business community, alongside its commitment to local recruitment.

The expanding eCommerce company has operated from its headquarters in Poole since it was founded in 2016.

It has seen dramatic growth in the past year, on the back of a successful £5m Series A fundraiser in June 2020.

Sales grew 870 percent from November 2019 to November 2020 and have shot from a rate of £24m to over £170m in one year.

The marketplace’s sales are forecast to hit £2bn before the end of 2023.

The company’s Series B fundraiser is due early this year and will allow it to accelerate its growth and continue expanding.

OnBuy says it’s on a mission to revolutionise the eCommerce sector by providing a fair, transparent and ethical marketplace, benefiting both buyers and sellers.

Cas Paton, CEO and winner of Just Entrepreneurs’ Founder of the Year Award 2020, said: “OnBuy has gone from strength to strength in the last four years and after a record-breaking 2020, we’re going to grow even faster in 2021.

“We’ve set our sights on achieving unicorn status and we’re going to achieve that from our HQ right here in Dorset.

“Reaching unicorn status is about establishing the credibility of our vision worldwide, and I’m looking forward to taking our ethical eCommerce ecosystem to the world stage.

“We’ll be doubling our Dorset-based team within the next two years.

“Ian [Girling, Dorset Chamber’s Chief Executive] and I have already had exciting conversations with BCP Council about finding a new OnBuy HQ, as we’re on the lookout for additional premises in the area too.

“Although we’ll be investing an additional £10m into expanding our operations in Manchester later this year, on top of the £10m we’re committing to our home county, I see OnBuy’s headquarters remaining in Dorset.

“The county has huge potential.

“I want to put Dorset on the world stage for tech.

“Forget Silicon Valley, it’s all about Silicon Beach now and OnBuy will be Dorset’s first unicorn tech company.

“I’m glad to be working with Dorset Chamber to help realise these ambitions for the area and am looking forward to connecting with more Dorset businesses through the network.”

OnBuy is embarking on a worldwide scale-up into over 140 countries by the end of 2023, starting with 42 initial sites early this year.

To support its growth, OnBuy is continually recruiting within the region for a variety of roles.

Ian Girling, pictured left, said: “We are delighted to welcome OnBuy on board as a Premier Business Partner and active recruiter within our community.

“OnBuy is one of the most exciting, fastest-growing businesses in the county and we’re pleased to be able to support the company in realising its ambitions.

“Businesses like OnBuy help to keep Dorset on the map for business and entrepreneurialism so that we can continue to attract great talent and encourage more ambitious founders, like Cas, to start their businesses in the county.

“We are looking forward to working with OnBuy as they continue on their upward trajectory.”

Along with OnBuy’s unprecedented growth, its seller base has increased by ten per cent every month over the last three consecutive months, with more than 600 new sellers joining in November alone.

OnBuy has also recently been named eCommerce Company of the Year in the 2020 UK Tech Business Awards.

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