In 1995, David Bide was working in the electronics industry when he spotted a gap in the lighting market. Fast forward 25 years and that gap was the beginning of an incredibly successful LED business.
Based in Great Dunmow, North Essex, Armadillo LED of which David is the Managing Director, his sales pipeline is full of exciting installation projects, even in the current climate.
Armadillo Lighting LED – Providing a clear, well-lit vision
Back in the 90’s and even into the early part of the noughties, there was a lot of mistrust around LED lighting and its capabilities. Lighting designers were expensive and the luminère source didn’t always deliver the required results leaving streets or buildings adequately lit but the actual source of the light was not great.
Armadillo Lighting set out to differentiate their business from competitors with a strong desire to give trust back to companies who wanted to incorporate LED lighting into their infrastructure.
They set out to provide not just a cutting-edge range of interior, exterior and street-light LED applications, but a complete package which would meet the increasing demand for innovative electronic and solid-state lighting products. By providing creative, cost effective LED design solutions which offer substantial energy savings helping clients to achieve carbon reduction targets.
Finance East (FE) shines a light at the end of the tunnel on Armadillo’s growth plans
Establishing a new business can have its ups and downs with business plans, projected revenues and cash-flow all having to be carefully monitored and adjusted accordingly.
In 2010, David was looking to further grow and expand his business but was finding it difficult to source funding. He approached Finance East (FE) based in Ipswich to see if the business would be eligible for term debt finance.
FE is The FSE Group’s regional funding organisation for the six counties of the East of England, providing an alternative source of term debt finance supporting high-growth businesses.
Stuart Ager, Head of Funds at Finance East comments: “I first met David 10 years ago and was delighted to be able to secure debt funding of £75k for his business. This enabled them to grow to the next level, investing in research & development, market entry activities for new products and sales delivery. Off the back of their expansion success, we were pleased to be able to award a further £75k loan secure in the knowledge their pipeline was strong. Having secured some lucrative large installation projects within the Capital, which included: The Shard, Tower Bridge, St Pauls Cathedral and Putney Bridge, Finance East were further able to support Armadillo with an additional three business growth loans. It has been a real pleasure working with David, Bart and his team, watching them grow over the last decade literally lighting up our skylines. It hasn’t always been straightforward and there have been challenges en route. David has always had the vision, faith and confidence in his business coupled with his strong product offering I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds. We wish you every success as you continue to grow.”
David Bide, Managing Director at Armadillo commented: “We really could not have grown as significantly as we have without the help of Stuart at Finance East. It wasn’t always a smooth road, there were many twists and turns along the way with some difficult financial decisions when quite simply, we couldn’t afford the repayments. Stuart always gave good, sound financial advice and helped us enormously. It is fair to say that we wouldn’t be where we are today without Stuart and Finance East.”
Lighting up London and beyond
The ethos of Armadillo is clear to see: listening to their clients’ needs and always putting them first. Sourcing the correct product solution for their application, supported with technical advice, backed up with educational literature.
David has a dedicated, hardworking team of individuals who can apply their lighting knowledge to the three divisions of the business: LED solutions for transport, sports stadiums and architecture.
Next time you’re taking a tube to cross London, whilst staying at a Marriott Hotel to embark on some sight-seeing, taking in The Tate Modern, or a river boat passing Tower Bridge, the LED lighting is all thanks to the expertise of Armadillo.
Their lighting solutions are not just restricted to the Capital. Having secured a contract with Welsh Rugby, you will clearly be able to admire the floodlit pitch in Rhyl. With the Plymouth Life Centre and Manchester’s Royal Infirmary having benefited from David’s LED lighting, the future is bright for this dynamic business.
The East of England Regional Trade Finance Loan Scheme, which is funded by UK Government, provides up to £250,000 of loan funding to established businesses based in the region that show strong growth potential and are seeking funding to deliver that growth.
If you have any upcoming projects which Armadillo may be able to support you with you can contact them directly or visit their website:
Tel: 01371 876969