Belfast cosmetic start-up eyes international growth after latest funding round

L-R: Nigel Birney, Lockton, with We Are Paradoxx founder Yolanda Cooper, and Judith Totten, Upstream Working Capital.

A BELFAST-based cosmetic start-up has secured new funding to help expand its products into the US, Canada, Russia, Australia and the Middle East.

Founded in 2018 by Yolanda Cooper, We Are Paradoxx has developed a plastic-free hair and bodycare range, using natural and organic vegan ingredients.

It also has a patent pending a new three-in-one straightener, wand and tong, described as a world first.

The beauty brand has already raised £3 million through various funding rounds in the past three years.

Its latest backers include Upstream Working Capital, the north’s largest independent provider of working capital.

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

Founder Yolanda Cooper described the fresh funding round as a significant step in helping her company gain a foothold in larger international markets.

“Access to working capital like this is vital as we seek to innovate, develop, and enhance our product lines,” she said.

“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.”

Judith Totten, managing director are Upstream Working Capital, said: “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.”

Nigel Birney, head of Trade Credit at Lockton, added: “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 from Atradius said: “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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