A North Wales company specialising in adventure leisure and virtual reality attractions is enjoying global expansion thanks to £100,000 investment arranged by Wirral-based finance specialists Bathgate Business Finance.
Conwy-based Frontgrid has rapidly accelerated its growth since receiving the funding injection, securing several orders its world-first virtual reality (VR) paragliding experience product, ParadropVR in Thailand, India, Dubai and Malaysia.
West Kirby finance firm Bathgate secured a £100,000 loan against security from Manchester-based SME funder, Reward Finance Group. This loan allowed the team at Frontgrid to manufacture a ParadropVR unit to exhibit at national and international trade shows, allowing prospective buyers the opportunity to try the product.
Its latest raft of orders were secured after the team took the purpose-built unit to the renowned global attractions industry trade show, IAAPA expo in November 2018.
Unlike other VR attractions, ParadropVR is fully immersive and creates a realistic flying sensation for the user. It combines dynamic physical movement and stunning virtual reality graphics with a skill-based game that is 100% controlled by the visitor, to add an extra layer of fun and exhilaration to the experience.
The company, founded by former British Army officer, David Wood and former British Army paratrooper, Matt Wells, was launched in late 2017, securing its first order of four units from Universe Science Park in Denmark.
Installations in Merlin Entertainment’s £20m new indoor adventure centre at the Birmingham NEC, The Bear Grylls Adventure and at iFly in Basingstoke followed in 2018.
Ian Adams from Bathgate said: “Securing asset finance against new technology is often considered too risky by investors as the exit strategy can be tricky, so we knew we needed to think differently for the ParadropVR product.
“Working with the team at Reward Finance Group we brokered a loan against security provided by Matt and David that would allow them to make and ship a bespoke unit to trade shows.
“Having now tried ParadropVR myself, I can certainly see how it will be an easy sell for leisure operators wanting to add something new and exceptional to their offer, it was a truly breathtaking experience.”