Findra, which was founded by designer Alex Feechan, has secured £200,000 from TRI Capital, Investing Women and the Scottish Investment Bank – part of Scottish Enterprise.
Feechan is said to have spotted a gap in the market for well-designed, female-specific clothing when she took up mountain biking five years ago. In the earlier stages of the venture’s development, she was also part of Entrepreneurial Spark’s Accelerate programme, which helped her validate her business concept and start to look at how she could attract investment to move up to the next level.
Following her success in winning Scottish Edge funding last December, Feechan was introduced to TRI Capital – leading to her succeeding in securing the latest investment, which also marks the first syndicated investment deal between TRI and Investing Women.
Findra has grown its workforce from two to six, supporting the company’s international sales growth. It presently sells to Australia, Japan and New Zealand and is rolling out plans to expand into other key markets and countries from its Borders base.
As part of the expansion, Ben Thomas, the ex-finance boss of outdoor goods retailer Tiso, and Douglas Needham, deputy chairman of TRI Capital, have joined Findra’s founder on the board. Needham has had a successful career at a senior level within the international textiles industry, latterly with Dawson International.
Feechan said: “I am delighted to have secured investment for Findra from such an experienced network of investors. This initial round of funding will allow me to really scale my business and develop my brand.”
She added: It’s an exciting time for entrepreneurs in Scotland right now, with a great deal of support available for start-ups. I have fully embraced these opportunities having come from a background in the textiles industry which is sadly in decline, I feel passionate about building Findra into a truly global brand from our Scottish base in Innerleithen.”
Rob Dick, chairman of TRI, said: “We are particularly pleased to be joined by Investing Women and to be adding another Scottish Borders business to our portfolio and look forward to supporting Alex as she expands her brand internationally.”
Jackie Waring of Investing Women said: “Alex’s design talent and understanding of what her customer base wants was obvious to us at Investing Women and Alex is right; we are investing in her as we believe in her. We are also delighted to have partnered with TRI Cap on this deal; our first investment together and I hope the first of many.”
Feechan has previously worked on the design and development of luxury knitwear for some of the world’s most established fashion houses, including Calvin Klein and Brooks Brothers.