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Balex Marine, manufacturers of the innovative Automatic Boat Loader (ABL), has launched a capital raise open to the public on Snowball Effect to complete its current $900,000 funding round.

The capital will be used to strengthen the company’s push into new markets in Australia, Europe and the US. The round will close on 17 October.

“The Snowball Effect round is the first time retail investors will have an opportunity to take a stake in the award-winning ABL,” said Chief Executive Paul Symes, co-founder of the company. The minimum investment size for the Snowball Effect online offer will be $1,000. 

Balex’s ABL is a patented world first disruptive marine technology. Originating from a garage inventor in the Bay of Plenty, it has all the hallmarks of great Kiwi innovation. The remote controlled ABL solves a universal problem for boaties – the launch and retrieval at the ramp. Likened to the automatic garage door and the dishwasher, relatively rare 30 years ago and now commonplace, Balex aims to have an ABL on every boat trailer.
“It simply makes the whole process easier, safer and more enjoyable,” said Paul Yarrall, Balex Director of Sales & Marketing. 

Since its launch in late 2013, Balex has raised a total of $2.2 million, and has already received commitments of approximately $450,000 in its current funding round, largely from existing shareholders and wholesale-qualified investors. The Snowball Effect offer will be targeting $300,000 to close out the current capital round, with provision for over-subscription.

“We have already achieved a number of our key production and marketing targets and are now looking to establish the most effective ways to meet the growing trade and user demand that we are experiencing both in NZ and abroad,” said Symes. 
“The ABL is now in commercial production and Balex has partnered with Gait International to manage all procurement, manufacturing, assembly and testing. Partnering with Gait has secured a world-class scalable supply chain solution that will meet the current and future needs of the business.” 

The company has signed up NZ’s largest nationwide marine dealer, Boating and Outdoors, with 23 stores, and has partnership agreements with four major trailer manufacturers and five NZ boat manufacturers. The company has also signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with Forge Group (UK). Balex and Forge Group will be promoting the ABL2500 at the Southampton Boat Show in September, followed by the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam in November.

Balex said the response when it took part in last month’s Sydney International Boat Show was extremely encouraging. The company is currently in discussions with one of Australia’s largest boat trailer manufacturers on integrating the ABL into their trailer design, offering Australia’s first ABL trailer. They have also signed up Watersports Marine in Sydney as their first Australian reseller, and are aiming to appoint key resellers in Brisbane and Melbourne by October.

Balex Marine has sponsorship deals with two of New Zealand’s leading TV Fishing Shows – Big Angry Fish and Fishy Business. After six months of intensive use while filming their latest series 5 BAF show, host Milan Radonich said: “Once you use it, you will never go without it. The Balex ABL is innovation at its finest – it takes the final pain out of fishing.” 
Forge Group co-founder Matt Forbes, who saw the ABL in action recently during a day out with the team from Big Angry Fish, described the launch and retrieval as amazing. “From being in the water, to parked in the car park, took 90 seconds. It was unbelievable.”


Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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