FOS Ventures Ltd was established to make investments, both majority and minority stakes in established and early stage businesses, which don’t fall into any of the other four categories.

Investment is by both equity and/or capital, depending on the requirement on a case by case basis. FOS additionally are able to offer business support in a wide range of areas to help grow the various investments within the group.

Bookbarn International Limited (BBI)

Supported by bricks-and-mortar shops and the Full Stop vegetarian Cafe in its large “barn” ten miles south of Bristol and west of Bath, in Somerset, Bookbarn International (BBI) is an ecommerce seller of hundreds of thousands of books annually. BBI’s 3,250 square metre warehouse (or barn) is situated on the junction of the A37 with the A39. There are roughly 750,000 second-hand, antiquarian and new books in its internet and shop stocks.

Bookbarn has built an extensive supply network of books for resale. As part of the circular economy, BBI contributes significantly to the reuse and recycling of books. Significant quantities of these books are donated while others are bought from key partners with strong links to academia and other specialities.

As a result, BBI has found new homes for at least 350,000 books in the last 12 months, of which the roughly 200,000 online sales achieved an average order value of £6.21. BBI’s online business (80% of its turnover) sells through 21 ecommerce marketplaces (such as Amazon and eBay) around the world, trading in 10 countries, but reaching 245.

BBI’s wholesales thousands of books for film & theatre set-decoration, interior design, pub & restaurant style and private libraries.

BBI’s bricks-and-mortar activities include:

1)    Wholesaling to partners in China;

2)    A large shop with c. 150,000 books, from £1 to £30 each;

3)    The Darwin Rare Book Room sells rare, unusual and antiquarian books;

4)    The ever-popular Full Stop Café.

Despite fears of the contrary 10 years ago, the UK book trade is now growing at 5% per annum. Bookbarn rides the two steads of its circular green economy and the long-lasting love that people have for printed books.