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CEO and founder Andrew Wass, was a sound recording engineer in 1995 when he identified an opportunity to supply small recording studios and educational establishments with personal computer based digital recording solutions.
In 2003 Andrew began to research the potential to retail own-brand beginner level musical instruments, with the intention of opening up the market by selling at lower prices than traditional music shops. After visiting several international exhibitions in the USA and China, Andrew placed a bulk order for guitars and listed them for sale on the then new gear4music.com website. The website generated £0.65m of revenue in its first full year of trading.
Gear4music has grown consistently since launch and in March 2012 a private equity investor Key Capital Partners invested £3.4m in the Group. This investment provided additional funding to develop further the ecommerce platform and invest in the Group’s expansion into Europe. Following this investment, the Group launched a further 18 country- specific websites for customers in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia.
The Group relocated to its current UK distribution premises in November 2013 adding significant distribution and storage capacity, and shortly after opened a 9,000 square feet showroom.
In June 2015 the Group successfully listed in the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, generating £10.3m of gross proceeds and £9.0m of net proceeds after expenses and seller sales, of which £4.6m was used to repay Key Capital Partners debt in full, leaving £4.4m of growth capital.
In November 2016 the Group opened its Swedish distribution centre and followed this up in February 2017 with the opening of a second distribution centre in Germany.
On 1 January 2017 the Group completed a deal to bring its software development team in-house, and in October 2017 moved its team of software developers to a new office in Manchester.
On the 30 June 2017 the Group purchased a freehold office in York for its new Head Quarters in York, which accommodates over 180 of its 339 staff in total.