Essex Augmented Reality Firm Brings New Products to Life Following HSBC UK Funding


Essex-based augmented reality (AR) business, AliveLab, has secured a £42,000 overdraft facility from HSBC UK to develop and bring to market a new range of AR entertainment products aimed at children and families. 

Finding a gap in the AR market for young children primarily, AliveLab has used the funding to develop its own brand of products named Mardles, which includes stickers, colouring books and fancy-dress masks that all come to life with the company’s free Mardles app. 

The bank’s funding has also enabled the company to begin selling its products on UK TV shopping channels, acting as a tester for future opportunities with global channels. 

Sharon Wyness, Co-founder of AliveLab, said: 

“The funding from HSBC UK has helped AliveLab to continue to grow by developing new and exciting products at a rapid pace. The bank has always shown a keen interest in what we do and we’re looking forward to demonstrating to our customers and new audiences how fantastic and interactive our new product line is.” 

Neil Fleming, Relationship Manager for Business Banking at HSBC UK, said: 

“AliveLab has been a customer with us since 2015 and we have loved seeing the company grow and expand in new markets. We hope this funding will help them to continue to breach new horizons and offer augmented reality experiences to even more customers around the world.” 

AliveLab was founded in 2015 by Sharon Wyness and James Murden. Within its first year of trading, the company sold more than 700,000 units worldwide. 

The deal was part of HSBC UK’s £14 billion lending fund to support SMEs in the UK, with £250 million committed to businesses in Essex.