Newcastle drainage franchise plans expansion after record £1m turnover

January 28, 2020

Drainage and plumbing franchise Drain Doctor has announced that it ended 2019 with a record £1m turnover.

 
The franchise, which emergency plumbing, blocked drains and drain repair service, has increased its staff numbers by 20 per cent in the last four years.

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The family-owned business is part of a national franchise network of over 55 Drain Doctor locations across the UK, and plans to expand this decade by reinvesting in new equipment.

Jim Watson, franchise owner, said: “2019 has been a fantastic year for the business and I am confident that we can continue to build on this success and raise our game even further going into 2020 and beyond.

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“Looking to the future, our focus is to further grow the commercial side of the business and reinvest in new drainage equipment and technology so we can expand our client base and work in new sectors, such as housebuilding, sports and hospitality.

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“We will also continue to increase our growing fleet of technicians and support staff, recruiting the best talent in the local area, and get involved in community related initiatives, such as DIY SOS, where the business can give something back.”

By Chloe Shakesby

Source: BDaily

Drainage expert to create new jobs with relocation

January 6, 2020

Drainage services specialist Metro Rod is set to relocate, in a move that is to create 10 jobs.

Banks Long & Co has sold “design-and-build” headquarters to the growing company, which is moving its team to the Riverside Enterprise Park in Saxilby.

 
Banks Long & Co acted on behalf of its clients, joint developers Stirlin and Castle Square Securities, in the sale of the hybrid building, which features an equal mix of warehousing and office space.

Metro Rod is a drainage contractor dealing with all types of drainage-related cleaning, repairs and associated services for a wide variety of commercial and domestic customers.

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Maindrain Lincs Director Spencer Horsfield – who trades the Metro Rod franchise covering all of Lincolnshire, North Cambridgeshire and the cities of Hull and Beverley – discussed relocating all staff who currently work out of the company’s premises in Nettleton, near Caistor: “We employ 26 people and it is great that they are all moving with us when we switch to Saxilby in February, when I am also looking to take on 10 more people.

“We currently operate a fleet of 26 vehicles. Our workload includes contracts with a wide range of clients, including local authorities, the majority of Facilities Management Companies and the major of construction firms within our territory.

“Our new premises enjoy an excellent location, giving us easy access to the A57, A1 and further afield, which will make it easier for us to service our network of clients.”

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Stirlin Development Manager Matt Padley said: “We have been working with Spencer and the team at Metro Rod on this exciting project for the past year, from design through to construction.

“We are delighted to see the building complete – it means a great deal to us that we’re able to help facilitate Metro Rod’s exciting business growth and expansion plan.

“It has been a pleasure to work with them on this project and support them throughout the process. We are also extremely pleased that their striking building has recently been selected for nomination by West Lindsey Building Control for the LABC Building Excellence Awards.”

Castle Square Securities Director George Lockwood said: “The sale of this quality hybrid unit to Metro Rod demonstrates the strength and attractiveness of this expanding business park, located off the A57 West of Lincoln.

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“We are delighted to have assisted Metro Rod with its expansion and relocation.”

Banks Long & Co Associate Lewis Cove added: “Metro Rod’s new bespoke headquarters provide the company with 4,865 sq ft of working space. We wish Spencer and his team much success for the future.

“I am delighted to reveal that we have planning permission to develop three more design-and-build properties on the Enterprise Park, which would be suitable for warehouse, industrial and office use.

“We are confident these opportunities will appeal to companies seeking new premises which could be ready for them to move into within six months of agreeing terms.”

By Tess Egginton

Source: East Midlands Business Link

‘Strategic acquisition’ by Franchise Brands

December 17, 2019

The multi-brand franchisor, Franchise Brands, has announced the acquisition of Willow Pumps, a water pump supply, installation and servicing business to complement and expand its plumbing brand, Metro Rod.

 
A family-owned business, Willow Pumps was founded in 1992 by Ian Lawrence to offer pump installation both below and above-ground. It offers routine servicing to its clients to reduce pump failures or blockages and has built a client base of customers in the hospitality, retail and housebuilding sectors.

Metro Rod sees the acquisition as a strategic opportunity for the company and its franchisees who will be given the opportunity to upskill, identify and self-deliver pump work utilising Willow Pumps’ expertise. This additional pump work is also expected to enhance franchisee’s profitability said the company.

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Lawrence will continue as managing director of Willow Pumps, which currently employs 74 people, including 35 engineers, the majority of which operate from its main business premises at Aylesford, Kent. Lawrence will also join the senior management team at Franchise Brands.

Stephen Hemsley, executive chairman of Franchise Brands, commented: “The acquisition of Willow Pumps, a highly respected business and one of the leaders in the market, which Metro Rod has already worked alongside, provides the optimum way for Metro Rod to enter the specialist pump sector and develop this expertise across our franchise community.

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“The long-term aim of the Group is to be able to serve our valued commercial customers with a “water in, waste out” range of plumbing-related services on a national basis. I am really looking forward to working with Ian Lawrence and his high-quality management team to create a national leader for drainage, pump and plumbing services.”

Lawrence said: “I am very excited about building on our success to date as part of a larger, publicly-quoted group with significant ambitions in the drainage, pumps and plumbing markets. The Group’s management and wider resources will be of particular value as we continue to grow Willow Pumps under Franchise Brands’ ownership.”

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Metro Rod has a national network of more than 400 engineers working from 43 franchised depots. It offers a range of services from CCTV surveys and drain clearance to fat and grease management. The company also supports commercial clients with reactive and planned preventative maintenance services.

Source: Franchise World

Franchises expand into Ireland for first time

December 12, 2019

Metro Rod and Barking Mad – both of which are part of the Franchise Brands group – have entered Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for the first time.

 
The former is a commercial drainage specialist which has opened a franchise in Dundonald, allowing it to directly provide its drain clearance and maintenance services across Northern Ireland.

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It now has 43 depots across the UK.

Dog sitting services provider Barking Mad has launched its first international franchise in the Galway and Limerick area as part of its ambitious expansion plans.

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Stephen Hemsley, executive chairman of Macclesfield-based Franchise Brands, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our presence in Ireland with new franchisees for Metro Rod and Barking Mad, which we believe bring differentiated services to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, respectively.

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“This further move into Ireland demonstrates the continued momentum at Franchise Brands as we continue to invest in the infrastructure to support the development, growth and profitability of our franchisees.

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“I am certain that our new franchisees have a bright future and I look forward to seeing them grow successful businesses.”

Source: Insider Media

Drain Doctor welcomes first solo female franchisee with launch of new Edinburgh division

November 15, 2019

National plumbing and drainage business welcomes first solo female franchisee with launch of Drain Doctor Edinburgh.

Drain Doctor, the UK’s leading full service combined commercial and domestic plumbing and drainage organisation, has welcomed it’s first solo female franchise owner, Rachael Parry, with the launch of Drain Doctor Edinburgh.

 
Prior to the launch of her new plumbing and drainage franchise, Rachael spent 14 years working in Financial Services where she held the position of Product Manager at several blue-chip organisations, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Tesco Bank.

Within these roles, Rachael was responsible for creating and implementing action plans to drive trade, hit targets and deliver results, skills that will prove invaluable to the day to day running of her business.

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Rachael’s lifelong passion for the industry, alongside her experience of working within finance and managing teams, will drive the success of her business; she often recalls how she wishes she had trained as a plumber when she was at school to capture the female tradesman market.

Having just reached her milestone 40th birthday, Rachael decided that it was time to achieve this lifelong ambition of being her own boss and setting up a plumbing and drainage business.

Not wanting to start a new company from scratch, Rachael chose to go down the franchising route and make an investment in a sector and with a brand which was well known and growing fast.

Drain Doctor fitted the bill, particularly as it was part of Neighbourly, part of the world’s largest parent company of home service brands, with a franchise network of over 3,700 franchisees worldwide.

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The new office, which is based in Winchburgh, West Lothian, is ready to start trading from 11 November 2019. Alongside her qualified drainage technician, Kieran, and Drain Doctor branded van, which is fully equipped with new jetting units, cameras and the latest technology, Rachael will be available to serve homeowners and businesses across Edinburgh.

Rachael said: “The devil on my shoulder wanted to take on a traditionally male dominated industry and to achieve success through doing things differently.

“I believe that my ethos and ways of working, combined with the Drain Doctor culture of delivering an exceptional level of service will be a winning combination.

“I am really looking forward to getting stuck in and to be a key player in my city.”

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Pierre Jeannes, managing director of Drain Doctor, added: “I’m proud and delighted to welcome Rachael into our close network of Drain Doctor franchisees as the first solo female franchise owner.

“With her proven experience managing teams in large blue-chip organisations, coupled with her passion for the industry and her enthusiasm to make the business work, Rachael exemplifies the kind of franchise owner we look for across our industry and shows other women the fantastic opportunities that exist in our growing network.”

Drain Doctor is the UK’s leading full service combined commercial and domestic plumbing and drainage organisation with over 55+ franchise locations, delivering a 24/7 local service to customers across the UK.

By John Glover

Source: Deadline News

Metro Rod welcomes the acquisition of Willow Pumps

October 20, 2019

Commercial drainage business, Metro Rod, has welcomed the acquisition of Willow Pumps by its parent company, Franchise Brands plc.

Founded in 1992, Willow Pumps is a leading water pump supply, installation and servicing business with a below-ground (foul water) and above-ground (fresh water) capability.

 
Working with Willow Pumps will enable Metro Rod to develop a complete range of market-leading pump services, further expanding its range of services to its commercial customers. At the same time, Metro Rod will also be able to offer its wide range of drainage services to Willow Pumps customers.

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This additional pump work will provide Metro Rod’s franchisees with an additional opportunity to grow their sales, whilst Willow Pumps will benefit from a significantly expanded delivery capability through Metro Rod’s national network of over 400 engineers working out of 43 depots across the UK.

Willow Pumps has a strong management team led by its founder, Ian Lawrence, who will continue as Managing Director, working together with Metro Rod, and will join Franchise Brand’s senior management team.

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Peter Molloy, Managing Director, said: “The acquisition of Willow Pumps is an exciting step forward as we expand the range of services we can offer to our commercial customers. It supports our ambition to provide a “water in, waste out” range of drainage, pumps and plumbing-related services on a national basis.”

Ian Lawrence, Founder and Managing Director of Willow Pumps, commented: “I am very excited about building on our success to date as part of a larger, publicly quoted group with significant ambitions in the drainage, pumps and plumbing markets.

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“The Group’s management and wider resources will be invaluable as we continue to grow Willow Pumps under Franchise Brands’ ownership. My team and I welcome the opportunity to work with Metro Rod franchisees all across the country and we look forward to working with Metro Rod to deliver first-class pump services and support to their national customers.”

By Sarah OBeirne

Source: FMJ

Franchisee helps BBC’s DIY SOS for a third time

October 10, 2019

Drain Doctor Bristol has lent a helping hand for a third time by donating its service to help adapt a family home in Barnstaple, Devon for the BBC television programme, DIY SOS.

The programme, which is due to be broadcast later in the year, helps homeowners by improving their property following a change in circumstances. Drain Doctor’s involvement was carrying out a CCTV drainage survey before the rest of the work started on the property.

 
Drain Doctor Bristol attended the ‘Big Reveal’ to welcome the well-deserved family into their newly adapted home and had the opportunity to meet the family, as well as the host of the show Nick Knowles and his DIY SOS team.

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Carl Butterfield, director of Drain Doctor Bristol, said: “It’s been a huge pleasure to have donated our services yet again to another worthy cause. Despite being based over two hours away, we’re thrilled to have been involved in this project and are very touched to have played a part in creating a positive impact on the lives of these amazing families.

“I can’t thank my technician, Andrew Price, enough for the hard work he has put in over the time he was on site. The ‘Big Reveal’ was very emotional for everyone and it was great to meet the family who are now able to start rebuilding their lives thanks to the army of local tradespeople involved.

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“We look forward to partaking in more build projects in the future and hope to come to the aid of even more families in need of assistance.”

Drain Doctor currently operates from over 60 franchise locations across the UK offering plumbing services from drain clearance to 24-hour emergency plumbing.

Source: Franchise World

DIY SOS: How this Gloucestershire firm helped an ’emotional’ Nick Knowles’ project for the third time

August 7, 2019

Gloucestershire based Drain Doctor were one of 100 local tradesmen who lent a hand as programme was filmed in Devon

A father was brought to tears after a Gloucestershire business, Drain Doctor, along with the DIY SOS team and 100 local tradesmen, came together to transform a family home.

 
Gloucestershire based Drain Doctor, a drain clearance and emergency plumbing franchise business, lent a hand to a newly adapted home in Barnstaple, Devon, to be featured on BBC DIY SOS The Big Build.

And it wasn’t the first time they have helped out.

This is the third time the company, which covers Cheltenham, Cirencester, Tewkesbury, Gloucester and Stroud has donated its services to the Nick Knowles hosted show.

In nine days the DIY SOS team and local trades people and volunteers transformed the Collins’ family home.

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Two of Jan and Lucy Collin’s triplet daughters have a rare kidney disease which means they need dialysis in Bristol several days a week, but now the girls can have dialysis at home.

People in and around Gloucestershire are well used to the difference Nick Knowles can make to their lives and are loyal viewers of the programme.

Among the people who have been helped out by DIY SOS are disabled athlete Scott Jones from Cheltenham seriously ill Antonia Payne-Cheney from Eckington, near Tewkesbury and paralysed dad Ben Wernham from Avening, near Stroud .

Carl Butterfield, director of Drain Doctor Gloucestershire said: “It’s been a huge pleasure to have donated our services yet again to another worthy cause.”

He added: “Despite being based over two hours away, we’re thrilled to have been involved in this project and are very touched to have played a part in creating a positive impact on the lives of these amazing families.

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“I can’t thank my technician, Andrew Price, enough for the hard work he has put in over the time he was on site.

“The Big Reveal was very emotional for everyone and it was great to meet the family who are now able to start rebuilding their lives thanks to the army of local tradespeople invovled.

“We look forward to partaking in more build projects in the future and hope to come to the aid of even more families in need of asisstance.”

By Madelaine Richards

Source: Gloucester Live

Fantastic Services Celebrates New ‘Top 100’ Franchise Ranking

July 18, 2019

HOME cleaning and maintenance firm Fantastic Services is celebrating after being named one of the UK’s best franchises.

The company, currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, offers a full range of domestic services, from cleaning and gardening to handymen, removals and pest control.

 
And the company has just been ranked 14th in a new UK ‘Top 100’ list compiled by industry experts Franchise Direct.

That puts Fantastic Services ahead of international giants like Costa Coffee, Burger King, Papa John’s and Wimpy, and it’s the third highest-placed firm originating in Britain.

Co-founder Rune Sovndahl says he’s delighted with the accolade, as he targets 30 per cent growth in 2019.

Rune said: “After forming in 2009, we’ve worked hard to get to the point where we now have more than 300 successful franchising partners, who provide more than 25 types of professional services to 15,000 UK clients each month.

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“And we’re pleased this new list has been published in the month we celebrate our tenth anniversary.”

The ‘Top 100 Franchises’ report is, according to Franchise Direct, the first of its kind launched in the British franchise industry.

The list was compiled by analysing everything from system size and financial performance to financial assistance to franchisees, corporate social responsibility and environmental policy.

Rune says that at the heart of the Fantastic Services model is ‘The Three Ps’: ‘Proven’, ‘Profitable’, ‘Pain-free’.

He adds: “Our franchisees can rely on a system which is entirely automated, where all interactions between management, service providers, and customers happen online.

“It’s about making things as streamlined as possible while cutting operational costs.

“The system is underpinned by a custom CRM (Customer-relationship management) system that works in sync with our websites and mobile applications.

“Customers can book all the services they need from their mobile device, 24/7, with just a few taps using the GoFantastic app, which is available for iOS and Android. .

“And we don’t just want to connect freelance tradespeople with customers, we will work closely with local franchisees operating under our brand to ensure they’re fully supported.”

Initial fees for franchisees vary dependent on the service, the package and the region in which they’re operating.

Cleaning franchises begin at around £1,970 while removals starts with an investment of £2,590.

‘Master Franchises’ are also available, for those who wish to recruit, develop, manage and lead a number of units in their geographical area, with the cost of initial investment starting at £10,000.

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Mr Sovndahl adds: “Customer service is paramount to us as a brand, and as such all franchisees undergo initial training and support so they can offer the best experience possible.

“And most of all, we’re looking for people with a go-getting attitude as well as a commitment to honesty and reliability.”

Fantastic Services franchisees operate through the ‘Bfantastic’ mobile app, which lists any work scheduled, allows technicians to receive updates, and to tick-off any work completed.

Fantastic Services currently connects more than 15,000 UK clients with 2,000 professionals every month.

By the end of the year, it expects its customer base over the year to have risen by nearly 200,000 as new ventures in 10 areas, including Manchester, Chester, Birmingham, Sheffield, and the South West, become established.

Monthly active users of the GoFantastic app in the UK have grown by 45.5 per cent between August 2017 and August 2018.

Over the same period, bookings via the GoFantastic app have grown by 85 per cent, and in-app revenue grew by 76.6 per cent.

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Meanwhile Anne-Claire Herel, lead author of the Franchise Direct report, states: “Compiling this research was really interesting because of the diversity of brands that are franchising successfully in the UK.

“Even though the food industry is well represented in the ranking, many franchises that made it to the Top 100 come from a variety of industries like home care, child education, fitness, retail, etc.”

Top Franchises in the UK 2019, according to Franchise Direct: McDonald’s Domino’s Starbucks Pizza Hut Swarovski KFC Subway Molly Maid Expense Reduction Analysts Husse Home Instead Senior Care InXpress Sandler Training Fantastic Services Costa Coffee Wimpy Burger King TaxAssist Accountants Kaspa’s Desserts Oscar Pet Foods

Source: BDaily

‘Uber for cleaners’ Fantastic Services targets nationwide growth

July 13, 2019

App-based commercial services company Fantastic Services has introduced the first of ‘Master Franchisees’ in the UK as it targets growth.

The London-based business – which provides services including cleaning, gardening, landscaping and removals – has put Vanya and Hristo Yankovi in control of operations in Oxfordshire.

 
Putting more than 25 services at the click of a button, Fantastic Services is also looking to fill similar roles in Liverpool, Manchester and other areas using a new model it expects to fuel expansion throughout the country.

The couple will manage Fantastic Services’ experts and smaller franchise owners in the Oxford region, acting as a port of call between them and the franchisor.

Vanya and Hristo say an ambition to succeed is helping fuel success in their new role.

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They are able to easily communicate with their teams via the mobile Bfantastic app, which was built in-house and integrated with the firm’s in-house CRM system and client booking app GoFantastic.

It lists scheduled and completed work, and allows technicians to receive updates.

The Fantastic Services franchise system is fully automated, with all interactions between management, service providers, and customers happening online, in order to streamline operations and reduce costs.

This means, the firm’s fleet of experts will be able to focus on the job at hand rather than the admin of tech support, customer service and advertising, among other things.

Vanya and Hristo started working with Fantastic Services in Oxford four years ago, and expanded to cover an estimated circumference of 100 miles of the city.

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Hristo said: “We can do everything we need to as Master Franchisees from our phone and computer, it’s a system that puts us in control and makes our work and that of our teams easier.

“Just like Fantastic Services, I like to work with people who are ambitious, which is something that Vanya and I definitely are.

“We started our business with Fantastic Services just a few years ago as franchisees and with just a handful of people, but we brought that up to 64 people in and around Oxford and also in parts of London.”

Vanya added: “The point of signing up with Fantastic Services was because they wanted to grow the company to cover more areas.

“We started in Oxfordshire because we are based in Oxford, and then we started covering more areas of about 100 miles, and we now have teams in other parts of the country.”

Formed in London in 2009, Fantastic Services has over 300 successful franchising partners, who provide more than 25 types of professional services.

Initial fees for franchisees vary dependent on the service, the package and the region in which they are operating, with cleaning franchises staring at around £1,800 and removals at £2,830.

The Master Franchise scheme is available to those who wish to recruit, develop, manage and lead a number of units in their geographical area, with the cost of initial investment starting at £10,000.

Company co-founder and CEO Rune Sovndahl said: “Vanya and Hristo have been members of the Fantastic Services family for four years, and their business has developed significantly in that time.

“They have proved themselves ambitious, hardworking, and reliable, and they also have a hugely impressive get-up-and-go-getting attitude to all that they do.

“They are exactly the type of people we had in mind when we looked to introduce our ‘Master Franchise’ model, and similar opportunities are available to others.”

He added: “As a client-oriented brand, customer service is of vital importance to us which in turn means we deliver superb training and support to all our franchisees, and the same is true for our Master Franchisees.

“In the role of master, they manage relationships, make sure contact with their teams is maintained, and work with franchisees to achieve their goals and aims.

“All are able to develop the skills they need to make a success for themselves and for Fantastic Services overall.”

Jenny Farenden, Fantastic Services Franchise Marketing Director, said: “It’s a little bit like Uber in that over 90 per cent of sales come from in-bound marketing, which our master franchisees will immediately benefit from.

“We handle the marketing entirely which makes Fantastic Services unique in this sector and in franchising opportunities as a whole. Master franchisees can rely on the support of a staff of around 500 people supporting their franchise.

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“There’s no need to cover property or rent, can be managed remotely, and we estimate they should see a return on investment within two years.”

Fantastic Services currently connects more than 15,000 UK clients with 2,000 professionals and experts every month.

By the end of 2019, it expects its customer base to have risen by nearly 200,000 fuelled by the recruitment of master franchisees in 10 areas, including Manchester, Chester, Birmingham, Sheffield, and the South West.

Through this expansion, the company hopes to boost franchisee numbers by 30 per cent.

Last year, the business reported more than £32.5m worth of service orders which represented a growth of 20 per cent on 2017’s results.

Customers can book all services around-the-clock from their mobile device, with just a few taps using the GoFantastic app, which is available for iOS and Android.

Monthly active users of the GoFantastic app in the UK grew by 45.5 per cent between August 2017 and August 2018.

Over the same period, bookings via the GoFantastic app grew by 85 per cent, and in-app revenue grew by 76.6 per cent.

By Jonathan Symcox

Source: Business Cloud