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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - iwoca case study: Slumbersac (UK), Sleeping bags retailer


As one of the largest children’s sleeping bag manufacturer, ‘Slumbersac’ has been operating in European countries such as the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain but also outside of Europe, notably in the USA and Australia. Founded in 2001 by Bradley Carter, ‘Slumbersac’ was purchased a decade later by Karina Grassy, a German single mum who managed to make the brand successfully grow, increasing the company’s sales from £580,000 to £3.5 million in just four years.

Working with a public relations agency, employing 6 online marketing specialists, and having a strong presence on social media, Karina knows how to position and brand her company on the global market. She has been relying on creativity and innovation to achieve the success that ‘Slumbersac’ has encountered so far: sleeping bags with sleeves were developed in 2012, sleeping bags with feet in 2014, and so-called ‘travel wraps’ in 2015. Her long-term plans eventually include ‘Slumbersac’ becoming a household name that specializes in children’s sleeping bags and sleep-safety related subjects. She is also looking into different growth strategies that would allow ‘Slumbersac’ to be distributed in additional markets such as Canada, Japan and India.

In order to materialise these plans, Karina has secured an EU-guaranteed loan provided by iwoca, one of Europe’s fintech lenders. This has allowed her to relocate quickly into a bigger warehouse, in order to accommodate the company’s growth, tripling the space that ‘Slumbersac’ is currently occupying. This loan was backed by the EIF and made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which aims to generate new investments by facilitating access to finance for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Today, Karina’s company employs 18 full time staff and 4 part time staff. Surrounded by an international team comprising 8 nationalities, Karina knows that diversity has also been key to her success.

Company: Slumbersac (UK)

Type of business: Sleeping bags retailer

EIF financing:  COSME LGF,  EFSI

For further information about EIF intermediaries in the UK please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/gb


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