Trans-Pennine deal to acquire e-commerce services provider

Manchester-based digital e-commerce agency, Space 48, has acquired Brave the Skies, a York-based provider of e-commerce development and consultancy services.

The acquisition was made possible by the support of regional private equity investor Foresight Group, which invested in Space 48 in February 2021 enabling the company to embark on its next phase of growth.

The management team of Space 48 have known Brave the Skies for several years and Jon Woodall, Space 48’s CEO, has built a strong relationship with its founders.

Both businesses have a shared commercial focus on sectors including fashion, health and beauty, and home and garden along with expertise in key industry platforms such as Shopify Plus and Big Commerce.

Brave the Skies is owned by Ryan Atkins, with day-to-day operations overseen by managing director, Lucy Roberts-Mitchell. Roberts-Mitchell will continue to lead the 15-person Brave the Skies division within the combined group.

Lucy Roberts-Mitchell

Foresight’s investment – from the North West focused Foresight Regional Investment Fund – into Space 48 has enabled founder and managing director, Jon Woodall, to take the business through its next stage of growth.

Over the last 12 months, the business has grown revenues by over 40%. And its staff numbers have increased from about 50 at the time of investment to more than 100 now.

Space 48 offers a range of e-commerce consulting services with a focus on designing solutions to improve end-customer experiences and drive online sales.

This includes e-commerce design, engineering, re-platforming, platform improvements, growth marketing and e-commerce consultancy.

Matthew Pomroy, director at Foresight, said: “The acquisition represents a key milestone in the evolution of Space 48. This talented team has gone from strength to strength since our initial investment, and with Brave the Skies now on board the future is incredibly exciting.

“A further enlarged group will be able to offer additional resource and expertise across the key platforms of e-commerce.”

Woodall said: “Since Foresight came on board, our business has taken significant steps forward. Our customer offering has improved as our team has expanded and, with Brave the Skies joining us, the future is very bright.”

Roberts-Mitchell added: “Brave the Skies and I are excited to have the opportunity to join and work alongside the Space 48 team.

“We share a lot of core values with Space 48, including a strong focus on Crew and Client Experience alongside striving for excellence in our fields of e-commerce.”