MBO and expansion plans announced at Newcastle’s Differentology

Executives at a Newcastle market research company have completed a management buyout and announced expansion plans after securing financial backing.

Maven Capital Partners has provided a “substantial” debt funding package to Differentology Ltd via the North East Development Capital Fund.

Previously part of the Everything Different group, Differentology provides market research and consumer insight services, bringing together data, human behaviour, technology and creativity. It is based in Newcastle city centre and also has a London office.

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The business already boasts a client list that includes HSBC, Disney, Sky, Viacom, Tik Tok, and Bloomberg and was named breakthrough business of the year at the

MRS Research Live awards in 2019.

The company is led by CEO Mark James, has almost 20 years industry experience working with large brands such as P&G, Sony and Lonely Planet. Its senior management team also includes managing director Lizzie Gilthorpe and head of research James Dickie.

Mr James said: “It’s been an incredible journey as Differentology has transitioned from a one-person team with a challenger mindset, into a multi award winning, global agency.

“With the help of Maven, we are now firmly focused on the future, further pushing the boundaries of the research industry, and our next phase of exciting growth.”

Funding for the deal has come from the North East Development Capital Fund, which supported by the European Regional Development Fund. The fund is one of five funding streams in the wider North East Fund, which which was established in 2018 to invest £120m in around 600 North East businesses over a five-year period.

Michael Dickens, investment director at Maven, said: “We are delighted to support Differentology as it launches its exciting growth strategy.

“The business is truly a full-service operation for market research and consumer insight, run by a very impressive team. We look forward to working with Mark and the company to support the execution of its expansion plans.”

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