College Dropout Who Founded Firm in a Shed Becomes Billionaire

Peter Kelley started his company in a shed in his backyard.

Peter Kelly Softcat – Photo –

Success put Peter Kelly on the brink of failure.

During the 1990s, booming business at his fledgling mail-order software firm sparked a cash-flow crisis as money owed from customers mounted. Kelly rescued it by swapping unpaid invoices for a third-party loan, according to “Entrepreneurship and Small Business,” a 2010 book by Paul Burns.

Today, Kelly remains the biggest shareholder of Softcat Plc, which announced this week that full-year results will be slightly better than previous guidance. The shares climbed to a record and have returned 353% since an initial public offering in late 2015. And Kelly, who invested 35,000 pounds ($44,400) to start the company founded in his shed, is now a billionaire, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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