Lisburn start-up Gray's Clip closes £350k funding round

  • A Northern Ireland start-up which appeared on TV’s Dragons’ Den earlier this year has successfully closed a £350,000 funding round to bring its new insulated cable clip to the market.

    Gray’s Clip, run by Lisburn-based co-founders 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 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 products were created and designed by electrician Davy, who said there was a need for a faster, easier and safer way to secure electrical cables to joists without having to hammer in individual clips.

    After spending over 25 years manually hammering electric cables to wooden joists with metal clips, Davy thought of the ViperClip. He took redundancy, sold his house and invested his life savings into bringing the idea to life.

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    Davy and Julie appeared on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den show in March this year and received offers of investment from four of the Dragons, initially accepting an offer from Deborah Meaden.

    But 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 numerous patents for export markets already secured.

    Julie Gray 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.”

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    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 makes it suitable for use in different countries.

    The 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.

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    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.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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