Speaker company turns up volume on product development

Left to right: Finance Yorkshire Investment Director Andrew Burton, & Damson CEO James Talbot

A York-based speaker company is expanding its product range and exploring new markets after an investment from Finance Yorkshire’s Equity Linked Fund.

Founded by CEO James Talbot, Damson Ltd specialises in the design and manufacture of high quality portable speakers.

Damson’s products, which are stocked by major retailers including Amazon, include ‘Twist’, a wireless portable Bluetooth speaker, and ‘Cisor’ which has been designed to complement smartphones, tablets and MP3 players and features 360 degree sound delivery.

The company was introduced to Finance Yorkshire through Leeds-based boutique commercial law firm 3volution LLP, and has received an £825,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire’s Equity Linked Fund to help develop and launch new products

A strong professional team was put in place to secure the investment deal including Jonathan Priestley, Amy Wright and Jonathan Paines of 3volution who acted as lead adviser to Damson, and Walker Morris for Finance Yorkshire.

James said: “We were looking for investment to help take the company to the next level but didn’t want to use more conventional financing like approaching a venture capitalist.

“Finance Yorkshire appealed to us because they are a local company, backed by European funding, designed to help and promote organisations from our region.

“This is important to us because we are very proud of our Yorkshire heritage – our products are designed here, and our headquarters are located right here in the region so our roots are a big part of what we do.”

The investment has been used for the initial production run for Damson’s latest new product, the Oyster, as well as subsequent working capital.

“We’re using the money to build our product development lines and to expand the company through marketing,” said James. “Of late, we have focused a lot on the US and Europe so we are also looking into new markets as well.”

The company, which currently employs four people, is also looking to add to the team..

Added James: “As the company grows we’d like to create more jobs and, long term, our goal is to become a globally recognised brand for speakers and audio products.”

Andrew Burton, Finance Yorkshire Investment Director, said: “Damson is a Yorkshire success story. It is a young company, which is quickly establishing a reputation for new and exciting high quality products.

“We are pleased to be able to support a business that is exploring new markets overseas while determined to remain loyal to its roots and looking to develop further employment opportunities right here in our region.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com or ring 0845 649 0000.

Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire