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Investor takes majority stake in NRA winner

A winner in the 2016 National Recycling Awards, World of Books, has been boosted by £13m from a fund manager that has taken a majority stake.

The reuse specialist business was founded by book-loving entrepreneurs in 2002. World of Books works with charity shops and recycling merchants to collect and buy used books, while also buying unwanted books directly from consumers through Ziffit, its own app.

As many of these books as possible are resold on its own website, or through Amazon and eBay, while the rest are recycled to make corrugated cardboard packaging and newsprint.

The £13m investment has come from the Bridges Sustainable Growth Fund III, which is managed by Bridges Ventures.

Stephen Boobyer becomes chief executive, supported by three of the company’s co-founders: Simon Downes, who has been promoted to chief technology officer; Mike Laundon, who will continue to run the company’s rare books division (World of Rare Books); and Ben Maxfield is operations director.

Chairman Kenneth Blair and another co-founder Arthur Maxfield will leave their current executive roles in the next few months but remain within the business as non-executive directors. 

Boobyer said: “We chose Bridges as an investor because we felt it shared our values, understood our sector and our vision of what World of Books can achieve in the future.”

Oliver Wyncoll, partner at Bridges Ventures, said he was excited about investing: “Sustainable living is a key focus for Bridges, so we’re hugely excited to invest in World of Books.

”Its pioneering technology-driven circular economy model is not only incredibly impactful, particularly in terms of reducing waste and carbon emissions, but it also directly benefits charities and provides the business with a market-leading position in a growing sector.”

National recycling awards 301 1000

National recycling awards 301 1000

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