Frontgrid is a North Wales-based company specialising in adventure leisure and virtual reality (VR) attractions, launching the ParadropVR paragliding experience in 2017. To aid its global plans, the company has recently announced a new £100K investment.
Arranged by Wirral-based finance specialists, Bathgate Business Finance, the team secured a £100k loan against security from Manchester-based SME funder, Reward Finance Group. This helped Frontgrid manufacture a ParadropVR unit to exhibit at national and international trade shows – most recently the IAAPA expo in November 2018 – securing several orders for ParadropVR, in Thailand, India, Dubai and Malaysia.
“There is a huge global shift towards the experience economy and active leisure. People are looking for unique, social and memorable experiences beyond just staring at a screen,” said Matt Wells, CEO at Frontgrid, in a statement. “However, more than 50% of the world’s population now live in cities and don’t have easy access to the adventurous, adrenaline fuelled experiences that David and I are so passionate about. ParadropVR brings that opportunity directly to those people.
“Given how cutting-edge the technology is, we weren’t even sure if there would be a finance solution, but Ian and the Bathgate Business Finance team took time to understand the business. They analysed the business case, sourced the most appropriate funding method and connected us with a funder that was forward-thinking enough to see the opportunity.”
Frontgrid’s ParadropVR can already be found in several locations across the UK, including iFLY Basingstoke, where it has been rebranded ParaflightVR. The entire VR experience is designed to give you a realistic experience of paragliding as possible without the danger. Guests are strapped into a paragliding harness where they can hold onto two handles to control their direction, moving up and down depending on air currents. A sense of speed is created as jets blow air into the face of the rider as they steer their paraglider through steep mountainous valleys as well as other jaw-dropping landscapes, zones and worlds, whilst trying to collect points. These go onto a scoreboard so they can see how well they’ve done against other players.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of Frontgrid and ParadropVR, reporting back with any further announcements.