Helping to Scale Ireland's Only Reptile Zoo

In a few short years, this unique visitor centre has really taken off and when owner James Hennessy needed funding to support an exciting relocation, he chose a hassle-free loan from Linked Finance.

The National Reptile Zoo is a labour of love for James Hennessy. Having led science-based expeditions to the tropics, he is one of those lucky people who has managed turn his passion into a successful business.

The zoo is Ireland's only reptile-dedicated visitor centre. Established in 2006, the zoo is home to some of the world’s rarest and most unusual reptiles and amphibians.

Based in Kilkenny and open 7-days a week, the zoo houses alligators, crocodiles, turtles, snakes, iguanas, chameleons, and even an endangered tree frog or two. With over 50 exhibits, including the ‘Animal Encounter Zone’ and ‘Tropical Walk-Through Habitat', it makes for a great day out. 

James began by focusing on reptile species conservation for important breeds and releasing them back into the wild.  He then decided to open up his facilities to visitors so others could learn about and enjoy these wonderful creatures.

Furthermore, the zoo's reputation benefits from their support of conservation fieldwork all over the world, in far off places such as Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela.  

The zoo grew quickly, providing facilities to more and more animals while at the same time attracting growing numbers of visitors and adding new services to the mix.

The 'Zoo to You' service is one such example. A unique offering that sees members of the team bring the experience to classrooms, kids' parties and other venues across the country. 

Needless to say, the zoo receives regular requests for internships, volunteering stints, and Transition Year placements. Of late they have developed an animal adoption service to accept donations to an animal's upkeep of choice.  

To date the project has managed to blend fun, conservation, education and exploration of all things reptile into a thriving business. 

 Reptile Zoo


“Applying to the Linked Finance platform was a great experience for us. We could never have imagined how quick and hassle-free P2P finance could be.”

James Hennessy
National Reptile Zoo


With both animal and visitor numbers rising steadily, James is planning an exciting relocation to a larger facility closer to Kilkenny City Centre.

To support the project, he required access to a fast and affordable source of funding that would allow him to begin the process of relocating to a base that would support further expansion for years to come.

After a review of his options, James quickly settled on Linked Finance. The easy applications, the quick decisions and fast access to funds made it an obvious choice.

Upon completion of the application, The National Reptile Zoo was approved for funding in a matter of hours. The loan request was published on the Linked Finance platform and funded instantly meaning that the funds were ready for draw down the very next day.

“Within 24 hours our loan was evaluated and funded by Linked Finance's lenders. Working with the platform was effortless. I would recommend them to any SME with plans for growth.

James Hennessy
National Reptile Zoo


If you work with Irish SMEs and require a flexible financing solution for your unique business, talk to Linked Finance today. Call now on 01 906 0300.



Case Study Snapshot

Business: National Reptile Zoo

Amount: €40,000

Purpose: Supporting Relocation


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