Region: Northern Ireland
Programme: Future Fund
As COVID-19 hit, this Belfast retail company was part way through a funding round when a key investor pulled out and all its customers were forced to shutter their businesses. Needing funding to protect itself from closure, the business applied to the Future Fund and is now looking forward to a future of growth.
Read what it had to say in this Future Fund case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Marty Neill, CEO of AirPOS: AirPOS is an electronic point of sale (ePOS) and e-commerce platform designed to help independent retailers sell more in their stores and online. The platform allows retailers to manage their operations, whether that’s sales, preparing accounts, analysing performance and much more.
The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply to the Future Fund?
In short, our entire customer base was forced to close due to the government-imposed lockdown! At this point, we were in the middle of a funding round and lost a key investor due to uncertainty around the pandemic and the future of the sector. The Future Fund was a saviour for us in this regard – without its matched funding, we would likely have been unable to continue.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
The application was very simple and done within a couple of hours.
The Future Fund is ground-breaking in its speed, simplicity and private investor-led process and should be a model for all government assistance to start-ups from here forward.
Marty Neill, CEO of AirPOS
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying to the Future Fund?
The Future Fund is likely the best mechanism for government support into start-up companies as it relies on the private investors to match the funds and has simple terms. We’d advise any company to guide their private investors towards this source of finance.
How has the Future Fund helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received the money?
Without support from the Future Fund, it’s likely we’d have been forced to scale back on the business or even close it down. End to end, our experience was excellent – the process was simple and the funds were deposited very quickly. Our investors were very pleased with the process also.