An innovative Welsh roofing company has received £300,000 backing to enable it to target the global roofing market.
Penarth-based Carapace Slate received the funds from the Development Bank of Wales and newly launched, Angels Invest Wales.
Angels Invest Wales also introduced the business to the former Nuaire chief executive Mark Huxtable, who has been appointed chairman of Carapace.
Carapace slate looks and performs like natural slate. Using a new bio-composite, any colour, grade or pattern can be replicated.
90% faster installation
Using a ‘snap-and-fit’ design, each slate self-aligns and interlocks without nails or screws, resulting in 90 per cent quicker build speed.
An initial loan of £65,000 in 2017 from the Development Bank of Wales and £133,000 from Innovate UK granted in January this year, enabled managing director and founder, Martyn Lucas to design a realistic tile from slate powder that is durable and can be fitted easily.
Carapace now has final stage patents in the UK, EU and USA.
Work will now continue with the design, installation and calibrating of production processes and equipment with the first products expected to be available in late 2018.
Catapult to success
Martyn Lucas said: “We couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of growing the company with Mark and the development bank alongside us. With Mark’s wealth of knowledge and experience in manufacturing and the immeasurable support of the team at the development bank, we believe we now have the ultimate runway to catapult Carapace to commercial success both efficiently and sustainably.
“Our investment journey has not necessarily been a straightforward road to the finish line but we got there thanks to the support from the development bank and assistance from Angel Invest Wales, both working tirelessly to find us the perfect investment match.
“We’re an incredibly close-knit team, with fantastic emerging young talent and large ambitions in a famously conservative, high volume industry. Teaming up with industry expert Mark will add new depth to the team and undoubtedly help us grow to our fullest potential.”
Carol Hall, regional manager at Angels Invest Wales said: “Carapace has been designed to provide a step-change in onsite productivity – enabling an unskilled worker to reduce installation time by over 90 per cent when compared to traditional materials and methods employed by skilled roofing professionals; extending current resources and expanding the competency base of general builders and labourers.
“They have a great team and I am delighted that together with my colleagues in the development bank, we have enabled such a great partnership and I look forward to watching the business progress.”