Belfast-based plastic-free beauty brand secures £250k funding boost

‘We Are Paradoxx’ sets sights on further international growth and expansion

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 5:00 pm

Belfast-based plastic-free beauty brand ‘We Are Paradoxx’ sets sights on further international growth and expansion

We Are Paradoxx, a Belfast-based sustainable, plastic-free hair and body care brand, has secured new funding to expand its export capability into new markets in the US, Canada, Russia, Australia and the Middle East.

The Belfast City Centre start-up, founded in 2018 by Yolanda Cooper, has developed a hair and bodycare range which is plastic-free, uses natural and organic vegan ingredients and is cruelty-free. The company has also developed the patent pending Supernova, the world’s first 3-in-1 straightener, wand and tong.

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Nigel Birney, head of Trade Credit, Lockton, with Yolanda Cooper, founder and CE, We Are Paradoxx and Judith Totten, managing director, Upstream Working Capital

We Are Paradoxx has been successful in raising investment up to this point, hitting £3m earlier this year through various funding rounds. However, this latest funding, provided by local financiers, Upstream Working Capital, will enable the beauty company to expand into new markets and further its growth internationally.

The finance has been underpinned by credit insurance arranged through the new trade credit insurance team at Lockton, which partnered with insurer Atradius.

Yolanda Cooper, founder and CE of We Are Paradoxx, said: “This latest funding is a significant step for We Are Paradoxx and will help us gain a foothold in large international markets. As a company, we are dedicated to innovation and sustainability. Access to working capital like this is vital as we seek to innovate, develop, and enhance our product lines. We have a clear vision for the company and how we aim to go from the start-up phase to the scale-up phase and access to capital is absolutely crucial in this vision.

“Having a trade credit insurance policy in place also gives us greater confidence as we enter new foreign markets and expand our international trading. We are excited for the future and working with Upstream and Lockton gives us a real boost as we keep expanding and innovating.”

Judith Totten, managing director, Upstream Working Capital, continued: “Upstream Working Capital is proud to be working with We Are Paradoxx, a locally-based start-up which is truly innovating and doing things differently in its field. Coming out of the pandemic, it is the companies and entrepreneurs taking these leaps of faith, and those who seek new markets and customers, that will spearhead our economic rebuild. Companies like We Are Paradoxx need access to working capital to break into new markets and find new customers beyond our own shores. We are pleased to provide both supply chain funding and Invoice Finance to support the working capital needs of We are Paradoxx. It is both a pleasure and a privilege to work closely with Yolanda and her team as they embark on this important journey.”

Nigel Birney, head of Trade Credit, Lockton, explained: “It’s excellent to see Northern Irish companies and start-ups like We Are Paradoxx, who we are thrilled to partner with, expanding into new export markets. The pandemic has been extremely tough for entrepreneurs and young companies so it is positive to see businesses have the courage to look towards new markets. As well as providing access to working capital, having credit insurance in place will enable We Are Paradoxx to access critical market intelligence through their policy provider Atradius, which will enable them to trade with confidence in new export markets around the world and grow sales safely knowing that should one of their customers default in payment their financial loss will be almost nullified.”

Andrew McBurney, Commercial Manager, Atradius, added: “Through our partners Lockton, we are pleased to be working closely with We Are Paradoxx as the company expands into new markets and trades with new customers. We are confident that our trade credit insurance will significantly bolster We Are Paradoxx’s trading capacity and resources and protect the company as they step into new markets both by paying out claims in the event of non-payment but also by providing access to real-time intelligence on new markets and individual buyers, creating opportunities for growth.”

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