A LISBURN start-up which appeared on TV’s Dragons’ Den earlier this year has successfully closed a £350,000 funding round with local business angels to bring its innovative new insulated cable clip to market.
Gray’s Clip, run by Davy and Julie Gray, secured £250,000 of investment from a group of nine private investors through the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN) and a further £100,000 from Co-Fund NI, part of Invest NI’s Access to Finance portfolio.
The company’s ViperClip product is a fully insulated cable clip which works with its specially designed battery powered stapler to secure 110v to 240v electrical cables to wooden joists and structures.
Both products were created and designed by electrician Davy, who knew there was a need for a faster, easier and safer way to secure electrical cables to joists without having to hammer in individual clips.
The couple appeared on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den show in March and received offers of investment from four of the Dragons, initially accepting an offer from Deborah Meaden.
Interest generated by the TV show meant the company was instead able to complete a much larger funding round through HBAN and Co-Fund NI.
The investment will be used to get the product finalised for launch next year, with a number of patents for export markets already secured.
Julie Gray, chief executive of Gray’s Clip, said: “The exposure we received from Dragons’ Den led to so much interest in ViperClip and we have some amazing opportunities on the table.
“While we are grateful for the offers made by the Dragons, especially Deborah, having this group of accessible local investors on board will be so valuable in our next phase. They have a wealth of experience and will be an amazing resource to tap into.”
She added: “We've had great support from Invest NI all the way through our journey, which has allowed us to get the product to these final stages of development. We are almost ready to launch and now have more options for how we choose to make and distribute the product.”
The multi award-winning ViperClip has been designed for use as a trade product but has also attracted interest in the consumer home improvement market. It can be made in different shapes and sizes which makes it suitable for a variety of different types and sizes of electrical cables and also makes it suitable for use in different countries.
Claudine Owens, portfolio manager at Clarendon and HBAN co-ordinator for Northern Ireland, said: “We're really happy to see Gray’s Clip close this investment round, which will enable Davy and Julie to bring a product they have spent so much time developing to the market. There was a lot of interest in investing in the company and it is really encouraging to see so many HBAN angels working together to back this ambitious business.”