ESSEX-based LED lighting specialist ArmadilloLED has secured funding totalling £230,000 from two private investors to help fund product development and continued expansion into new international markets.

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The deal was supported by Chris Chapman of My Business FD, the Cambridge-based provider of part time financial directors to growing companies, which has been part of Great Dunmow-based Armadillo’s management team for the past two years.

Armadillo provides a range of LED products to public and private sector clients. It already has a presence in Poland, Russia, Brazil and Ireland and is continuing to expand to meet the demand for low-energy lighting solutions.

Mr Chapman said: “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.”

He added: “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, 4 per cent ‘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, said: “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.

“Their 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. Other ambitious businesses should really consider this type of service if they are serious about growing their business.”

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