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Posted on August 16, 2018 by staff

Exclusive: £6.6m tech start-up rescued out of administration

A mobile app developer and digital consultancy set up by the former managing director of The Sun and News of the World has been rescued out of administration.

Restructuring specialists at business advisory firm Quantuma have helped to save 42 jobs at London-based Chelsea Apps Factory after selling the business in a pre-pack transaction.

The rescue came after Andrew Hosking and Simon Bonney were appointed as administrators on 12 July 2018.

Before launching Chelsea Apps Factory, Mike Anderson was the man behind the launch of the Metro newspaper in 1999 and enjoyed a 20-year career in print publishing before leaving his high-profile job as managing director of The Sun and News of the World in September 2009.

Anderson launched Chelsea Apps Factory with just three employees in 2010 before reportedly growing the business to a 70-strong team by 2015.

The eight-year-old company has worked with household names including professional services firm KPMG, Transport for London, Waitrose and Ladbrokes.

The joint administrators did not elaborate on what led to their appointment, but stressed that tech is “a highly competitive industry” and that businesses rich in intellectual property can be subject to “complex financial headwinds”.

Chelsea Apps Factory was sold for undisclosed sum to CA Factory Limited, a newly established business which counts Anderson as a director, according to Companies House records.

In its most recently available financial accounts, Chelsea Apps Factory generated revenues of £6.6 million in the 12 months to 28 February 2017 and posted a pre-tax loss of £1.42 million.

Along with Anderson, the firm’s senior management team also includes chief financial officer Robert Rinaldo, chief information officer Peter Myers and chief operating officer Edel McGrath, who previously worked at KPMG for 28 years.

In his LinkedIn profile, Anderson describes Chelsea Apps Factory as the UK’s largest privately-held app consultancy and development company, sharing the same birthday as the iPad.

“8 years ago we had no idea what the future held for Apps Factories, we have learnt fast how to succeed,” his profile reads.

Today we are the largest privately held enterprise mobility company in the UK and our offer is clearly defined as mobilising businesses and running innovation labs.

“Our consultant and development business is well on track to achieve our run rate of £10m + per annum and last year we came in ….the 16th fastest growing tech company in the UK.”

Mike Anderson has been contacted for comment.