Virgin Group's date of incorporation is listed as 1989 by Companies House, who class it as a holding company; however Virgin's business and trading activities date back to the 1970s. The net worth of Virgin Group was estimated at £5-5.5 billion as of November 2014.[needs update]
The original logo was a completely different design intended to be used for the record company that was founded by Richard Branson and Nik Powell. According to Richard Branson in interviews and on the Virgin website, the more recent signature logo was based on one that a designer scribbled on a napkin after a design meeting. After signing the Sex Pistols to the label it was clear that there would need to be a rethink on the design.[according to whom?]
In mid-May 2013, the Virgin Group expressed its intention to seek out opportunities in Australia's healthcare industry to consolidate on the Group's Australian fitness centres. The Group also runs over 100 National Health Service (NHS) services in the United Kingdom and the healthcare division of medical services group Assura after entering the British healthcare industry in 2011.
Virgin Group announced the establishment of Virgin Voyages on 4 December 2014 with financial backing from Bain Capital. The cruise line would be led by CEO Tom McAlpin, would have two new large ships built and be based in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area.
Virgin StartUp is the Virgin Group's not-for-profit company, helping entrepreneurs across the UK to start, fund and scale their business. In 2013, Sir Richard visited Boxpark in Shoreditch, London, to launch the new organisation, revealing that he wanted to support anyone that had the same dreams and ambitions that he did as a young boy: "It was £300 from my mum that sparked the Virgin adventure 40 years ago. Today, young people need that same help and I believe Virgin StartUp will provide it - with access to early capital, strong mentorship, advice and promotion."
The organisation became a delivery partner for the UK Government's Start Up Loans Company, providing loan finance of between £500 and £25,000, advice, and mentoring to thousands of start-ups across the country. In 2016, it was awarded European Regional Development Funding and subsequently launched Ready, Steady, Grow with Virgin StartUp, a programme of support aimed at start-ups that were ready to grow. A year later, it launched the UK's first equity-based crowdfunding accelerator programme, Crowdboost.
By 2018, the organisation had supported over 11,000 UK-based entrepreneurs, with over £35m in pre-seed funding.
In 2014, Branson and Virgin StartUp launched the "Foodpreneur" food and drink focused start-up competition. Winners received mentorship from Branson, legal support, and brand counseling. The 2014 winners included Proper Beans, Killer Tomato, Sweetpea Pantry, and Sweet Virtues.
Only one start-up was announced winner of the 2017 Foodpreneur prize, The Snaffling Pig Co., who won a six-week rental space at Intu Lakeside, the retail center with the highest foot traffic in the U.K.
The parent company, Virgin Group Holdings Ltd, is registered in the British Virgin Islands. Richard Branson and his family hold a £2.7 billion stake in this offshore, tax-free, tax haven company.
The group's health business received significant media coverage over its legal battle with NHS groups. It sued clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Surrey after it lost out on an £82 million contract to provide children's health services across the country. The NHS bodies settled out of court with a £328,000 payout to Virgin Care, resulting in some controversy. More than 100,000 people backed a petition calling on the company to stop "dragging the NHS through the courts".
In 2019, it was discovered that cell phones being sold by Virgin subsidiary company Assurance Wireless came with unremovable Chinese malware preinstalled.