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7 July, 2020 - 21:33 By Tony Quested

Vanilla eyes acquisitions after clinching investment

A Thetford electronics business which designs and builds cutting-edge technology is targeting acquisitions after securing what Business Weekly understands is a multi-million pound investment round to help it scale.

Vanilla Electronics has received the fresh funding from Literacy Capital. As part of the deal, London-based Literacy will assist the firm in identifying potential acquisitions to help accelerate its growth and fulfil its ambition to the become the market leader in its field.

Founded in 2002 by CEO Dan Croft and his father Vince as a component distributor, Vanilla has expanded quickly to provide full supply chain management solutions for its customers around the country, typically high-end technology manufacturers working in sectors from oil and gas to healthcare.

Dan Croft said: “This investment marks a significant milestone in the growth of Vanilla. We’ve always been keen to push ourselves and develop the company to its full potential. 

“We build long-term partnerships with our clients, and our business model has evolved as they have asked us to do different things to add value. The goal is to be the market leader in supply chain management for the electronics manufacturing industry, and with the support of Literacy Capital I am confident we can do just that.”

Based at the Mundford Road trading estate, Vanilla now offers a fully outsourced service, from conceptual design, material procurement, kitting, manufacturing, through to end-customer order fulfilment, product returns, warranty, repair and re-supply. 

This end-to-end approach can help customers consolidate their typically complex supply chains, leading to operational and financial benefits.

Vanilla ships millions of line items per day from its 25,000 sq ft distribution centre, with automated warehousing and advanced optical inspection equipment. 

The company has also strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Matt Negus as CFO. He brings experience from a number of digital and technology businesses in senior financial and operational roles.

Linn Clabburn, programme director of the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor, a non-profit tech-led economic growth programme for East Anglia, which has worked closely with Vanilla Electronics over the last two years, said: “Vanilla’s work bringing to life brilliant ideas conceived in Cambridge, Norwich and beyond shows the role that a connected Tech Corridor can play in building the kind of resilient local supply chains which will be vital in this period of economic uncertainty.”

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