The North Wales company behind ParadropVR has announced it received a £100,000 ($130k/€115k) investment from Bathgate Business Finance.
The Wirral-based finance provider secured a loan for the money against security from SME funder Reward Finance Group.
The investment was used by Frontgrid to manufacture a unit of the virtual reality (VR) paragliding attraction to exhibit at various trade shows. Following an appearance at IAAPA Attractions Expo last November, orders followed from customers in Thailand, India, Dubai and Malaysia.
ParadropVR provides a realistic paragliding sensation. It combines dynamic physical movement with stunning virtual reality graphics. On top of this, a skill-based game controlled by the user adds an extra layer of fun and exhilaration.
VR attraction specialist company formed by David Wood and Matt Wells
Founded by former British Army officer David Wood and former British Army paratrooper, Matt Wells in late 2017, Frontgrid secured its first ParadropVR order from Universe Science Park in Denmark. UK installations followed at The Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham and iFly Basingstoke. At the latter site, the attraction is operated at ParaflightVR.
“There is a huge global shift towards the experience economy and active leisure,” says Wells. “However, more than 50% of the world’s population now live in cities and don’t have easy access to the adventurous, adrenaline fuelled experiences that David and I are so passionate about.”
Wells adds that he was pleased to find an investor that realised the potential of ParadropVR. “Given how cutting-edge the technology is, we weren’t even sure if there would be a finance solution, but the Bathgate Business Finance team took time to understand the business.”
“Securing asset finance against new technology is often considered too risky by investors as the exit strategy can be tricky,” says Bathgate’s Ian Adams. “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.”
Mike Calvert from Reward Finance Group says he had no hesitation in helping Bathgate secure the money for Matt and David to (virtually) get their new venture off the ground. “We quickly saw the potential in both the business idea and the passion the founders showed.”