Gray’s Clip, the local start-up which recently appeared on TV’s Dragons’ Den has successfully closed a £350,000 funding round with local business angels to bring its innovative new insulated cable clip to market.
Run by Lisburn-based co-founders Davy and Julie Gray, Gray’s Clip secured £250,000 of investment from a group of nine private investors through the Halo Business Angel Network and a further £100,000 from Co-Fund NI, part of Invest Northern Ireland’s Access to Finance portfolio.
The company’s product, ViperClip, 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 of these 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 innovative product helped Gray’s Clip win the top prize at Catalyst’s INVENT Awards in 2018 and was an InterTradeIreland Seedcorn Special Award Winner in 2017/2018.
Earlier this year the product appeared on BBC’s Dragons’ Den and received offers of investment from four dragons, with Davy and Julie initially accepting an offer from Deborah Meaden. However, interest in the ViperClip generated by the TV show meant the company was 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, CEO 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 very 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 have had great support from Invest NI all the way through our journey so far which has allowed us to get the product to these final stages of development. With the investment from HBAN and Co-Fund NI secured we are almost ready to launch and now have more options for how we choose to make and distribute the product.”
HBAN is a joint initiative of Invest NI, InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland, dedicated to the all-island promotion of business angel investment. HBAN allows companies to pitch to angel investors for funding. Currently, there are over 90 registered members in Northern Ireland.
Co-Fund II is part of Invest NI’s Access to Finance portfolio and part funded by European Regional Development Fund under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.
Clarendon Fund Managers manages both the HBAN network in Northern Ireland and Co-Fund NI. Claudine Owens, portfolio manager at Clarendon and HBAN Co-ordinator for Northern Ireland, said:
“We are 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.”
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 but also makes it suitable for use in different countries.
More information about ViperClip can be found at www.viper-clip.com