Friday 28 July 2017

Irish creator of Sugru looking at new round after €1.4m crowdfunding campaign

Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh
Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh

The Irish creator of Sugru, a self-setting silicone rubber similar to modelling clay, has said that the company is looking at another funding round next year as it is about to complete a £1m (€1.4m) crowdfunding campaign.

The product, developed by Kilkenny woman Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh is a putty-like substance with adhesive properties that sets into a strong rubber overnight useful for household projects and repairs.

The product is now sold in 160 countries and had sales worth about £2.3m last year. It has about 50 staff at its London base. The company behind the product is in the middle of a fundraising round via investment crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

Just over a day into the campaign it has raised over £650,000 from more than 880 investors.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ms Ní Dhulchaointigh said that the business, which has raised £4.5m over the past ten years to develop its product, is delighted with the response.

It is now considering whether it will increase its target raise in the round.

"The campaigns tend to run for about four or five days and ours has raised this has only just been opened up to the public," she said. "Now we have to decide whether to stop when we get to £1m or raise more as the appetite is there."

She added that the company is currently "looking at its options, saying: "If it is more popular we could close the round later at about £1.5m [or more], it will depend on the board."

Ms Ní Dhulchaointigh said that the firm is planning on another raise of roughly the same size, around £1m, next spring, although she added that this would be dependent on the final amount that the firm raises through its current Crowdcube campaign. "We are planning on doing another raise next year for a similar amount but if it is appropriate now we may increase the [current] round," she said. "The company needs continual investment to keep growing." She said that the firm is on course to double its revenue to around £4.5m by the end of the year and will then look to almost double sales again to £8m the year after. Although most of its sales are in the US, Ms Ní Dhulchaointigh says she is looking to get Sugru in more shops in Ireland.

PAUL O'DONOGHUE

Indo Business

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