Arbuthnot Commercial ABL -
Client No.1 – The Road to Triumph
Every business has a turning point that solidifies a particular journey. At Arbuthnot Commercial ABL, we have supported many businesses on these journeys, and one such business was OSET Bikes, the first business we ever financed.
For every business, there is always a crucial moment - a turning point that solidifies a particular direction or change of fate. It could be an entrepreneur who decides to sell, dedicated senior leaders wanting to invest, or simply an ambitious firm that wants to expand.
At Arbuthnot Commercial ABL, we support businesses on their chosen path. The different journeys our clients choose may have common outcomes, but we recognise that every journey is unique; our clients are not just different individuals from a range of industries, but also have varying ambitions, circumstances, and challenges.
The first business we supported was a British-American success story, OSET Bikes.
Ian Smith started OSET Bikes (OSET), in America, producing off-road bikes suitable for any rider from the age of three upwards. The inspiration for the business came from his young son, Oliver, who had a deep love of bikes from an incredibly early age. Five years later, OSET is now proud to be part of Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, the largest UK-owned motorcycle manufacturer.
When Ian got started, he wanted to nurture Oliver’s love of bikes by gifting him an electric bike. He noticed that there was nothing suitable in the marketplace and that giving a child a 100lb+ bike with terrible suspension and a hot exhaust was inconceivable. He realised there was a gap in the market which sparked an idea.
Together with fellow trials rider and retired engineer, Mike Bucholz, Ian developed the concept of OSET with the idea for an electric trial bike – taking an electric scooter and modifying it into a tiny trial bike.
Fast forward to December 2010, the company moved from America to its new UK headquarters in East Sussex, exporting their trial bikes to over 25 countries worldwide.
Most businesses that have plans to scale-up and grow further require funding support to help realise their ambitions. In 2018, with soaring demand and having won a substantial new order, OSET had just four weeks to find a cash injection to fulfil this increase in demand. This is when Arbuthnot Commercial ABL stepped in with a confidential working capital facility to power OSET's future growth, completing the transaction ahead of schedule.
Since then, OSET has sold more than 40,000 bikes globally, introducing new bikes such as the OSET 24.0R, diversified with the OSET 24.0, a bike aimed at the “adult-sized rider”, and launched a new lithium-powered 20.0 racing MKII motorcycle.
Arbuthnot Commercial ABL were fortunate to have supported such an innovative business over a four-year period when, with immense pride, OSET announced its acquisition by Triumph in 2022, as part of its wider plan to offer a full range of off-road motorcycles and nurture a new generation of motorcycle riders.
The acquisition of OSET provides both companies with the opportunity to share knowledge and experience in their respective segments, enabling both brands to grow internationally in parallel. Triumph’s philosophy, ‘For the Ride,’ played an important role in the acquisition of OSET. It enabled the Hinckley-based brand to inspire future generations of riders by providing them with the perfect starting point to develop their passion and dreams.
Ian Smith added
“Since those early days, Arbuthnot Commercial ABL has always been super open to helping us. All our meetings and visits have been on a positive footing. Even when we had obstacles to navigate, like Covid-19, they were always close by. As we progressed through the pandemic, we were able to continue the pace of our product development knowing we were closely supported. This in turn ensured that we could fully support our team and our ever-growing global supply chains – it was pivotal in getting us to where we are today.”
Andrew Rutherford, our Commercial Director reflecting on OSET Bikes being the first client for Arbuthnot Commercial ABL:
“OSET was a dream start for us. We were able to hit the ground running and show our passion for supporting ambitious growing businesses. It has been an absolute pleasure to see Ian and his team achieve so much in such a short time. We extend our best wishes to everyone at OSET and Triumph, as they collaborate on new state-of-the-art products to inspire young riders into off-road riding and reach out to lead new markets together.”
At Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending our focus is on delivering funding for SMEs and mid-market corporates. Contact us if you would like to know how your business can benefit from our asset-based lending facilities.
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Registered in England and Wales no. 10915339. Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Limited’s registered office is Arbuthnot House, 7 Wilson Street, London, EC2M 2SN. Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending is not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.