A PENARTH man’s item trading company has secured more than £500,000 of funding from high profile investors including the founder of GoCompare.

Rich Woolley’s software firm Paperclip secured the funding in the latest round led by existing investor the Development Bank of Wales with additional funding from GoCompare founder Hayley Parsons, an ex chief financial officer of the Financial Times, and Tim Ward who was part of the team which sold Friends Reunited to ITV in a £175m deal in 2005.

This is the third round of funding Paperclip has received from the development bank.

Founded by Mr Woolley and Alan Small, it allows users to buy, sell, swap and give away second-hand goods with nearby users and the firm now has an exciting B2B (business to business) plan.

Mr Woolley, who went to Stanwell School, said: “Our marketplace platform is growing fast, with continued user uptake and enterprise partner releases doubling by the month, alongside a growing pipeline with some big names.

“2017 was a big year for Paperclip; we grew from three of us working in a flat to a team of 16. We moved to a fantastic office in Cardiff city centre and opened up an office in the Czech Republic.”

“This latest round of funding involved strengthening our board with experienced founders and investors. We’re all excited to make 2018 another record breaking year at Paperclip.”

The marketplace has thousands of items and users added each week across the UK.

Hayley Parsons, GoCompare founder said: “When I met the Paperclip team, I was impressed by their ambitions for the business and instantly knew I wanted to invest in them – it’s difficult not to get excited by their energy and passion, but also the product was something I was particularly drawn to. The guys have some great developments in the pipeline and I’m excited to be involved and provide help or guidance wherever they need me.”

Development Bank of Wales investment executive Sarah Smith said: “The Paperclip team have developed a user-friendly piece of software which is gaining more users week-by-week and with the addition of new B2B market enterprise proposition there are exciting times ahead. Their plans for the future are exciting. This latest co-investment also sees them gain support from some of the industry’s leading lights who will further support and advise the team.”