22/08/2016

Cardiff-based software start-up Paperclip lands six figure co-investment deal

Paperclip, the company behind the peer-to-peer marketplace app of the same name, has just secured a six figure equity co-investment deal with Finance Wales and a syndicate of Turkish investors led by Emre Fadillioglu.

Founded by Imperial College London graduates Rich Woolley (28) and Alan Small (29), along with their friend and current SOAS London student Ziad Al-Ziadi (20), the app allows users to buy, sell, swap and give away second-hand goods with nearby Paperclip users.

“The idea behind the Paperclip app is really simple,” explained co-founder and Paperclip CEO Rich Woolley. “Everyone has stuff in their houses, taking up room, which they no longer want or need - but could be worth money. Through our app users can offer up items to other app users in the area. They could set a price, ask for a swap, or offer it for free – users can also ask others to make them an offer – that bike that’s been taking up room in your garage could get you £100 through the Paperclip marketplace.”

The team first pitched their idea for the app at the 2014 London Start-up Weekend, later appearing on Dave’s crowdfunding TV show, Moneypit where they secured initial investment. The app went live for Apple and Android devices in October last year and now has thousands of active users across the UK. Originally from Penarth, Woolley and the Paperclip Board approached Finance Wales Technology Seed Fund team for additional funding.

“Thanks to Finance Wales and Emre Fadillioglu we’re in a position to really expand our offering. We’re working on some exciting new developments for the app which we’re excited to launch later this year,” added Woolley.
 
Following the investment Paperclip have moved from Penarth to new offices in central Cardiff.

Phil Barnes, the Finance Wales Investment Executive who structured the deal said: “Paperclip has some great intellectual property (IP) behind it. Rich and the rest of the team have created a user friendly app which fills an exciting niche in the trade and sale app marketplace. They have a number of excellent ideas for monetizing Paperclip, which is currently free to download on iTunes and the Google Play Store, including working with companies like Nandos and Subway to offer local deals to app users.” 

“It was not difficult to find believers in Paperclip and its great management team,” explained Emre Fadilliogu. “Paperclip is solving a basic but historical problem with an outstanding app.  I am very glad to have the opportunity to invest and believe Rich and team have what it takes to make the app a great success.”

Finance Wales and Emre Fadillioglu’s Turkish investment syndicate join Paperclip’s other notable investors who include Alan and Juliet Barratt, founders of best-selling fat loss supplement – Grenade, and professional poker player Andrej Kuttruf.

Paperclip will be exhibiting alongside other ambitious technology start-ups at Venturefest Wales in Cardiff on 28 September.