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10 September, 2012 - 11:43 By Tony Quested

Armadillo gold-plated with global growth cash

Chris Chapman (left) with David Bide

LED lighting specialist ArmadilloLED has secured a double funding round totalling £230k from two private investors to help fund product development and continued expansion into new international markets.

The deal was supported by Chris Chapman of My Business FD, the Cambridge UK-based provider of part time financial directors to growing companies; My Business FD has been part of Armadillo’s management team for two years, working with the company on all financial aspects of the firm’s growth strategy.

ArmadilloLED, based in the Cambridge UK technology cluster, is a rapidly growing provider of innovative LED lighting solutions to public and private sector clients. The firm now has a presence in Poland, Russia, Brazil and Ireland and continues to expand to meet the demand for energy friendly, quality solutions. The Armadillo range of outside and inside lights are said to typically reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent, create 85 per cent lower energy bills and reduce heat by 80 per cent, with technical performance far exceeding benchmarks laid down by the largest household names in the industry.

Chapman says: “Armadillo has been a fantastic company to work with. It is typical of Britain’s SME sector that is right now driving our economic recovery.

“The Armadillo team absolutely understands that the right management team is key to building sustainable growth. Since we have worked with Armadillo, the business has trebled its investment in research and development which is quite frankly the key to success in a competitive global marketplace. “Research commissioned by UKTI found that 58 per cent of SMEs said exporting led to a level of growth not otherwise possible for their company. Additionally, 40 per cent of ‘young’ exporters were doing business with at least one high-growth market outside Europe. “Armadillo is at the heart of this trend as since we have been involved with the business it has opened up markets in Brazil, Russia and Poland. What is great for us is that we have been involved in this expansion from day one; helping Armadillo secure funding from Finance East to kick start its growth plans.

“Now we’ve not only helped the firm close £230k in angel funding and two tranches of £75k from Finance East but we’ve also converted its research and development spend into tax credits of over £200k, massively helping cash flow.”

David Bide, managing director of ArmadilloLED, added: “My Business FD has been great right from the start and the injection of some real commercial experience into our business has been a breath of fresh air.

“That aside, we simply wouldn’t have got our business plans and financial management into the kind of shape that investors need to see if we hadn’t been working with My Business FD. Its help has now put us in a great position as we enter another phase of growth with some really exciting orders and fantastic new products in the pipeline.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Chris Chapman (left) with David Bide

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