OakNorth Bank provides £6.7m facility to bar and restaurant business



OakNorth – the neobank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has provided a £6.7m loan to the popular bar and restaurant business, Inception Group, to support the opening of new sites in the future.

Founded in 2009 by Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling, Inception operates 13 experiential venues across London, including the brands Mr Fogg’s, Bunga Bunga, and Cahoots.

The business’ creative and quirky style has won it numerous awards over the years, including the ‘Best Pub/Bar Company Award’ at the highly coveted MCA Retailers’ Retailer Awards earlier this year, where it was voted for by its industry peers.

Having been an OakNorth customer for several years now, the business is once again returning to the neobank to support with its growth ambitions.

Charlie Gilkes, co-founder of Inception Ventures Group, said:

“Over the years, we’ve built an incredibly collaborative relationship with the team at OakNorth – they understand our business and have continued to be a trusted funding partner through the challenging times of both the pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis.

With their support, we’ve been able to open several new sites, including Control Room B at Battersea Power Station which has exceeded our expectations in terms of performance.

With this capital, we’ll be able to open additional sites and continue bringing our unique bars and restaurants to London’s residents and visitors.”

Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, added:

“Charlie and Duncan are great examples of the extraordinary entrepreneurs we have in the UK.

They have built a creative and unique business under six different brands – all of which continued to trade throughout the pandemic.

Given the ongoing economic challenges, they have made realistic assumptions about the future performance of the business, making sure they don’t expand too quickly or too much.

We’re delighted to once again be supporting them in their growth ambitions and look forward to visiting the new sites when they open!”