Ten, founded in 1998, is a leading technology-enabled lifestyle and travel platform providing trusted concierge services to the world’s wealthy, from the mass affluent through to HNWIs. Ten’s business focuses predominantly on a corporate client model that includes private banks, retail banks, premium payment cards providers and luxury brands that provide Ten’s services to segments of their premium individual customers, who then become Ten members.
Ten assists its members to discover, organise and book travel, dining and live entertainment, seeking to save them both time and money. Through Ten’s service proposition, members can achieve superior access, experiences and outcomes, more cost-effectively and conveniently, than they could have achieved on their own. Ten’s service is delivered through a combination of Ten’s proprietary technology platform and the expertise of its Lifestyle Managers. As a result of making arrangements on behalf of its combined membership base of wealthy individuals, Ten has access to better rates and/or enhanced benefits from its suppliers compared to other existing service providers, both online and offline.
The majority of the Group’s revenue derives from service fees that are paid by its corporate clients, under contracts typically of a multi-year duration of three years or more. Ten does not typically take a margin on the goods and services it delivers to its members; this provides a competitive pricing advantage over traditional service providers, such as ticket sellers or travel agents, who do typically add or make a margin. The Directors believe that member satisfaction and the resulting impact of improving those members’ brand affinity for Ten’s corporate clients, drives Ten’s long-term success.
The Directors consider there is significant market potential to support a large and growing number of the world’s wealthy in their lifestyle and travel requirements. The population of HNWIs globally has risen from 10.0 million in 2006 to 13.6 million in 2016 and is expected to reach 18.7 million by 2026. The value of the luxury travel sector is expected to grow from US$795 billion in 2016 to US$1,154 billion in 2022. The Directors also believe that the live entertainment and premium dining markets will grow significantly.
Ten is a growing, global business that has increased net revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 29 per cent. over the last three years. In the last reported financial year to 31 August 2017, the Group’s net revenue increased by 37 per cent. to £33.2 million. The Group has demonstrated strong profitability in its more mature EMEA business achieving an EBITA margin of 23 per cent. in FY17. Ten is currently expanding its international presence and investing in other regions, including The Americas and Asia. In these newer markets, Ten is developing its corporate client and supplier base and operational infrastructure, to build scale and drive efficiencies with the objective of achieving margins similar to those currently achieved in the more mature EMEA business. The Directors believe that, as Ten grows its scale and global service offering, underpinned by improvements in, and increased adoption of its technology-enabled platform, the unit cost of delivery will be reduced whilst enhancing service standards and personalisation.
The Group employs over 800 staff across 20 offices globally and benefits from an experienced executive management team with a strong background in digital media, technology and premium service delivery. Underpinned by investments in technology, this team has successfully developed and expanded the Group’s business and is well-positioned to continue to pursue Ten’s growth strategy.
The Directors believe Ten’s model produces a powerful competitive advantage that will drive the Group’s objective of becoming the most trusted and pre-eminent provider of global lifestyle and travel concierge services to the world’s wealthy. In addition, the Directors envisage the market for the Group’s services will increase in breadth and scope as more of the world’s wealthy and mass affluent use concierge services for their lifestyle and travel needs.
History and Development of the Company
Ten was founded in 1998 by Alex Cheatle and Andrew Long as a UK-focused concierge service provider. Ten has since expanded its operations to provide its global network of members with lifestyle and travel concierge services.
In EMEA, Ten has been established in the UK since the foundation of the business in 1998, in Belgium, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates since 2014 and in Switzerland since 2015 and has offices in London, Brussels, Dubai, Cape Town and Zurich. As of 30 September 2017, Ten employed 332 people across the EMEA regions.
In North and Central America, Ten has been established since 2009 and has offices in New York, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, Toronto and Mexico City. In South America, the Group has been established since 2014 and is growing its presence in Brazil; Colombia and Argentina with offices in Sao Paulo, Bogota and Buenos Aires respectively. As of 30 September 2017, Ten employed 256 people across The Americas region.
In Asia, Ten has been established since opening its first office in 2006 in Hong Kong. This was followed by office openings in Tokyo (2012), Shanghai (2012), Singapore (2012), Melbourne (2014) and Mumbai (2014). Andrew Long, co-founder of the business, relocated to Singapore in 2012 to lead the development of Ten’s Asian activities. As of 30 September 2017, Ten employed 87 people across the Asia region.
Ten is headquartered in London with offices in 20 locations globally serving its growing global network of members. The Group currently has a headcount of over 650 staff around the world.
From 2006 to June 2014, the Group grew net revenues organically from £3.7 million to £17.1 million, with under £750,000 of new equity raised and without any long-term debt. In this period, the Group achieved a market-leading position in the UK, began its international expansion, developed its proprietary technology- enabled platform and attracted and developed management talent.
Between July 2014 and October 2017, Ten raised approximately £10 million in debt and equity to further develop its proprietary technology-enabled platform and build its management team and international infrastructure, in preparation for its global growth in 2018 and beyond.
Business and Operations
Ten’s senior executive team includes:
Alex Cheatle (CEO), Sean Hegarty (CFO), Andrew Long (Group COO and CEO Asia), Sarah Hornbuckle (Global Head of Client Services), Toby Gauvain (Managing Director, International), Sally Crimes (Chief Product Officer).
Three regional COOs who lead and manage the Group’s activities in each of EMEA, The Americas and Asia. Within these regions, they are responsible for service quality and quality assurance, training and regional support functions.
The Global Commercial Director, who is responsible for Ten’s supplier relationships, notably in the travel space, and the Head of Client Services in The Americas who is responsible for creating strong and commercially successful relationships with Ten’s corporate clients in that region.
As part of Ten’s business development and growth strategy, Ten has recruited managers, especially internationally, with expertise in leading complex service businesses. For example, Tracy Geldert, the COO in The Americas, joined Ten in April 2015 and was previously CEO of Francis Ford Coppola’s premium hospitality business. The Directors believe this investment in experienced management has helped to operationally de-risk Ten’s international expansion to date and will continue to do so as the Group grows further.
Collectively, the senior executive team are responsible for the management of Ten and the implementation of its business development and growth strategy. This team has on average nine years’ experience working for Ten.
Product and Lifestyle Management teams
Ten’s two largest employee teams are the Product Team, which builds and manages the member-facing and internal technology, and the Lifestyle Managers Team, which services members’ needs.
The Product Team works on an integrated and collaborative basis to deliver a single member profile across the Group. The Product Team comprises over 85 in house developers, Product Managers, user experience designers, user interface designers, quality assurance testers, database administrators, and content creators. It operates globally, from a London base, with over 30 colleagues internationally including in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Mexico, Cape Town, and Mumbai.
The Product Team addresses four functional areas:
The Ten Platform is an end-to-end fully transactional platform for concierge and is Ten’s digital interface with members.
Members can use desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones to access the Ten Platform on a self- serve basis, at all times. Members can choose from five core modules: Travel, Dining, Entertainment, Events, and Benefits. These modules feature content, Ten-procured inventory and – varying by market – API integrations with suppliers and providers (airlines in Travel, or ticketing providers in Entertainment, for example). The result is a data-rich, end-to-end transactional platform that mirrors the service level, access, and proposition of the Lifestyle Manager led service.
The underlying technology is bespoke and proprietary, having been created by Ten’s internal technology development team, and the Directors believe this proposition provides a unique point of differentiation for the Group. The development team responsible for ongoing product innovation is based in London and Cape Town and comprises Product Managers, UX (User Experience) designers, UI (User Interface) designers, front end developers, back end developers, and QA (Quality Assurance) managers.
Ten MAID (Management and Information Delivery)
Ten MAID is the repository of the Group’s knowledge base, booking system, workflow, performance management, CRM and Management Information Reporting infrastructure. The Group has a permanent team of developers in London and Mumbai working to improve its Ten MAID platform with frequent releases of new functionality and enhancements.
Ten Data is a dedicated team based in London and Mumbai focused on leveraging technology and data to better serve members, corporate clients and the Group. The team delivers reporting, analytics, insights, and predictive modelling to stakeholders within and outside the business. Comprising business intelligence analysts and data scientists, the team works collaboratively across the Group, regularly liaising with other members of the Product Team as well as Client Services, Finance, and Operations. The team is responsible for building products that aid corporate planning and CRM within the Group and within clients’ businesses.
Ten Content is the editorial and personalised/targeted communications power behind Ten. The team works collaboratively with Ten Data to leverage analysis and insights to plan, distribute, and measure the performance of this content. The Ten Platform, Ten Data’s ‘productisation of data’ strategy, and Ten Content’s use of IBM’s Watson products allows it to analyse, interpret and manage data to further develop its personalisation functionality to predict member needs and desires, and to deliver relevant content to them.
Lifestyle Managers Team
Ten’s Lifestyle Managers Team comprises over 500 Lifestyle Managers distributed across its 20 global locations speaking more than 26 languages. Ten believes its Lifestyle Managers are a key competitive advantage. Ten aims to recruit and develop industry and domain experts who deliver better service than members could organise for themselves and at a higher rate of efficiency than a call centre generalist.