North Wales businesses benefit from innovative Dragon Seed Fund
with xénos’ support
Two Bangor start-ups have secured over
£270,000 in investment from the Dragon Seed Advantage SEIS Fund
(Dragon Fund) which invests £50,000 to £150,000 in high-growth
Welsh start-ups trading for less than two years.
The Dragon Fund, which is managed by
London-based Seed Mentors, was the first Seed Enterprise Investment
Scheme (SEIS) specifically to back Welsh businesses
The companies - MoodMwd and Bubble Tea Family
– were both introduced to the fund by xénos, the Wales Business
Seed Mentors and xénos have worked together
since the Dragon Fund’s 2013 launch to select some of the best
investment proposals on offer in Wales.
MoodMwd: £136,000 equity
Launched by local entrepreneur, Gemma Hughes,
MoodMwd is an innovative provider of educational
Miss Hughes spotted a gap in the market for
her award-winning educational products which help to develop
children’s emotional intelligence.
A £136,000 equity investment from the Dragon
Fund has enabled Miss Hughes to develop, manufacture and market her
products to both parents and schools.
The investment also provided an injection of
working capital and funded a move to new offices.
“At MoodMwd we’re passionate about children’s
health and well-being and we believe that developing their
emotional intelligence from an early age is crucial and can have a
long-term impact on their behaviour as well as their relationships
with adults and other children.
“I’ve wanted to start my own business for some
time, securing this funding has allowed me to get off to a good
start and invest in key areas of the business. Nick, my local
xénos manager gave me some constructive advice on my pitch before I
pitched for funding at the Dragon Fund forum,” Miss Hughes
Bloop: undisclosed equity
Bangor-based Bloop is the first company to
sell Bubble Tea, a frothy Taiwanese tea-based drink, in North Wales
and the North West of England. First launched in the 1980s,
Bubble Tea is growing in popularity worldwide
Bloop is using an investment from the Dragon
Fund investment to develop its brand, ramp up its marketing
activities and also to recruit additional staff. Its first shop
opens in Chester, with further openings planned in Bangor and
Commenting on the importance of the
investment, Director, Kala Krishnanmurthi said: “Bubble tea has
been a best seller in Asia since the 1980s and its popularity is
now growing in the US and Europe. It’s just breaking into the
UK, so we’re really excited about bringing it to North Wales and
the North West of England.
“Working with xénos we were able to strengthen
our business plan and enhance our pitch to investors which helped
us to secure the funding we needed. Since receiving the
funding we’ve been able to accelerate our plans and also take
advantage of Seed Mentors’ support and expertise.”
Welsh companies receiving investment from the
Dragon Fund have also benefitted from Seed Mentors’ specialist
advice on a range of business issues including accounting, IT,
legal, marketing and tax.
Harvey Shulman, Director at Seed Mentors said:
“At Seed Mentors we’re dedicated to the growth of start-up and
smaller companies and we specifically created the Dragon Seed Fund
to provide Welsh start—ups and early stage businesses with the
support and growth funding they need. MoodMwd and Bubble Tea
Family are excellent examples of the promising Welsh businesses the
Fund has invested in.
“Many companies are still finding their feet
in the first couple of years and our experts have a wealth of
expertise which can help business owners build their businesses and
maximise the impact of the investment they’ve received. We appoint
an experienced independent director to the Board of each company we
invest in to ensure our support is focused.”
xénos introduces private investors or business
angels to companies seeking growth funding, with the angel investor
accepting an equity share in the business in return for the
investment and mentoring the angel investor provides.