Exclusive: Funding for bike-wear firm
Findra secures £200,000 for expansion
Outdoor apparel designer and founder of Findra, Alex Feechan, has secured a £200,000 investment from TRI Capital, Investing Women and The Scottish Investment Bank.
The new capital will be used to scale up the business.
Joining the board as operations and finance director Ben Thomas ex-CFO of Tiso, and Douglas Needham, deputy Chairman of TRI Capital, who becomes non-executive chairman.
Both will help Ms Feechan grow the brand internationally. Mr Needham had a career at CEO level in international textiles latterly with Dawson International.
Ms Feechan launched the business after spotting a gap in the market for well-designed apparel for women when she started mountain biking five years ago.
As an experienced designer, she observed that the product available for women suffered from the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach of making it smaller and more feminine. Determined to do something better, Ms Feechan felt inspired to establish her own brand.
In the earlier stages of the business’s development, she was also part of the Entrepreneurial Spark Accelerate programme, which helped her validate her business concept and start to look at how she could attract investment to scale and grow.
Following her success in winning Scottish Edge funding in December 2015, she was introduced to TRI Cap leading to her succeeding in securing this investment – the first syndicated investment deal between TRI Cap and Investing Women.
Investment has enabled Alex to grow her team from two to six people, supporting the company’s international sales growth. Findra now sells to Australia, New Zealand and Japan and has active plans to expand into other key markets and countries; all from her Scottish Borders base.
She said: “I am delighted to have secured Investment for Findra from such an experienced network of Investors. This initial round of funding will allow me to really scale my business and develop my brand.
“It’s an exciting time for entrepreneurs in Scotland right now, with a great deal of support available for start- ups.
“I have fully embraced these opportunities having come from a background in the textiles industry which is sadly in decline, I feel passionate about building Findra into a truly global brand from our Scottish base in Innerleithen.”
Rob Dick chairman of TRI Cap said: “We are particularly pleased to be joined by Investing Women and to adding another Scottish Borders business to our portfolio and look forward to supporting Alex as she expands her brand internationally.”
Investing Women’s Jackie Waring said; “I am thrilled that Alex has secured investment in an exciting marketplace which we can anticipate will be boosted by Olympic success and inspiration.
“We are investing in her as we believe in her. We are also delighted to have partnered with TRI Cap on this deal; our first investment together and I hope the first of many.”
Kerry Sharp, head of the Scottish Investment Bank, said: “It is encouraging that this new venture has such global export potential and that Alex has spotted a market niche within a worldwide market.”