To follow on from our maiden Tech Invest event, we’ve profiled some of the most exciting technology companies in the UK.
GrowthBusiness has now produced a new 2014 version of Tech Innovators, where we have again profiled some of the best technology ventures in the UK through interviews with founding entrepreneurs.
Based in: London
Founded in: 2010
No. of employees: 17
Company FD: Jamie Waldegrave
Ben Chesser founded the company in Barcelona, before bringing it to London. A belief that technology should enable marketers to do their job more creatively and effectively led him to create Footfall123, a marketing platform that allows companies of all sizes to launch, track and respond to digital and offline campaigns in seconds.
Background business profile:
Footfall123 provides tools to businesses that allow them to launch powerful marketing campaigns via email, SMS, mobile apps, social media, plastic cards or direct mail. Each campaign is tracked via its unique barcoding technology, meaning that the business knows which campaign works, and it can react quickly and easily to the huge amounts of data that it generates.
International expansion is on the cards for loyalty platform Footfall123 following a two-year period during which the business has secured £2.3 million worth of venture capital.
The business is building a solid pipeline of partnerships with shopping centres as well as individual brands that see value in its marketing campaign tool. Footfall123’s unique selling point is that it doesn’t interfere with the wide range of systems that exist within the various retail outlets in a shopping centre.
Jamie Waldegrave, finance director at the business, says that the management of shopping centres used to be a landlord collecting rent. Now, he adds, its role is much more to do with bringing customers in and making sure that the complex is being market better.
The biggest hurdle to date, Waldegrave reveals, has been making sure that the technology platform is robust enough to scale up.
‘We have an experienced tech team of nine which we are now happy with. So far we’ve been constantly refining and improving to a level where we re lease an update every two weeks – we make sure we’re always adding new features,’ he says.
The venture capital investment that Footfall123 has managed to secure from the likes of Samos has helped it to turn what was essentially an idea created within a consulting environment into a marketable product.
‘It’s been quite helpful to have some guys on the board who have done this before, who have turned these kind of things into a product,’ Waldegrave admits.
- Appointed technology partner to Time Out to run and manage their Time Out Card
- Appointed to run the loyalty systems in an international shopping centre with 1,500 locations
- Raised £2.3 million from VC backers in 2011/12
- Launch of New York office
- Expansion of UK and European client base
- Raise further investment as required to scale the business
- Android and iPhone scanning app that allows small businesses to scan its barcodes on a ‘bring-your-own-device’ basis, which allows Footfall123 to sell to much smaller businesses
- EPOS software to allow the company to pull transactional data into its platform, which helps the business generate much richer data
- A selection of high-profile angels