Loading...

Follow Techround | Startup News, Interviews and Tech B.. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Manchester boasts the third largest economy in the UK, along with the largest number of digital tech workers outside London; it’s no wonder the city is home to a thriving startup scene.

A rich industrial history, world-class educational institutions, fierce community spirit and relatively low startup costs make Manchester a great place to start a business, and success stories include Boohoo, AutoTrader and Beauty Bay.

Manchester startups saw a £200 million boost in funding in 2018, and the number of new businesses formed annually continues to grow every year. Today we’ll discuss some of the companies to watch in 2019.

Manchester fintech startupsArro

Arro offers alternatives to traditional bank accounts for personal and business use. Signing up takes less than three minutes and requires no credit check as there are no overdraft or loan facilities.

Auden

Auden is a for-profit social enterprise that hopes to change the face of finance in the UK. Its first offering is an affordable short term loan that is responsibly sold, with no hidden fees or charges; the only added cost is interest.

Nivo

Nivo, developed through the Barclays Accelerator, brings bank standard security to instant messaging for businesses. Customers sign up in a matter of minutes and go through a seamless identity verification process so that you can offer a fully secure customer service experience.

Manchester healthtech startupsElucid

Elucid’s technology helps healthcare providers to ensure that patients are taking their medication properly and track potential issues. The startup’s first product is a smart medicine bottle, which dispenses the correct dosage at a prescribed time and reports back immediately via Bluetooth. Doctors can see when patients are non-adherent and remotely lock down containers if necessary.

Elucid has secured £1.4 million in funding and works alongside the NHS.

Gelmetix (formerly Gelixir)

Gelmetix, a spinoff from the University of Manchester, has developed a polymer gel to relieve back pain without invasive surgery. Injected directly into cartilage, it helps to slow down degeneration and reduce the amount of pain the patient experiences. This will potentially help millions of people worldwide and save healthcare providers significant time and resources.

Having secured over £4 million in investment, Gelmetix is set to begin first-in-human studies this year.

Push Doctor

Push Doctor makes it possible to book an appointment in just six minutes by connecting you to a network of 7,000 NHS listed GPs. The Manchester startup has scooped over $37.5 million in investor funding and recently inked deals with 13 primary care networks in Birmingham.

Texere Publishing

Texere Publishing breathes fresh air into scientific publishing with engaging, beautifully designed content that celebrates the people behind innovation. Its growing collection of titles includes The Analytical Scientist, The Cannabis Scientist and The Ophthalmologist.

Yourgene Health (formerly Premaitha)

Yourgene develops genetic services for healthcare professionals. Its first offering, the Iona test, is a non-invasive prenatal screen for genetic abnormalities including Down’s syndrome. Where standard testing is 85% accurate, Iona is 99% accurate—therefore fewer women are sent for amniocentesis and CVS, which are invasive screens that carry a small risk of miscarriage.

Yourgene hopes to apply its technology to other fields, including oncology: a new project in Taiwan has already begun work with newly-diagnosed breast cancer and leukaemia patients.

Manchester lifestyle startupsBridebook

Bridebook is the easiest way to plan your wedding, from inspiration to ‘I do’. The site offers planning tools, real wedding stories and an extensive directory of venues and suppliers to cover a couple’s every need.

Gay Homestays

Gay Homestays offers an Airbnb-style platform where LGBTQ+ people can book safe, welcoming travel accommodation around the world. As most hosts are LGBTQ+ themselves, it’s an easy way to make new friends and explore local gay scenes and areas of interest.

Gig Pic

Gig Pic is a photo sharing platform specifically for live music events. Check in at an event, take photos with the in-app camera and tag performing artists to connect with other fans.

GymStreak

GymStreak‘s AI-powered app creates dynamic bodybuilding and workout plans based on your body type, goals and experience. Its features include 3D animations of every move and automatic periodisation to keep your body on its toes.

Radio.co

Radio.co provides everything you need in order to set up an online radio station. The company’s all-in-one solution is completely cloud-based, so you can broadcast from anywhere.

TickX

TickX checks over 100 vendors for tickets and highlights the best price available. The platform pulls events big and small across music, theatre, clubbing and comedy and syncs with your Spotify library to automatically follow your favourite artists.

Manchester B2B startups

Autopaid (formerly DueCourse)

Autopaid takes the stress and cashflow issues out of invoicing by paying you within 24 hours and handling collection. Users can expect to receive around 95-97% of the total invoice value, even when clients fail to pay.

Bidooh (formerly OfferMoments)

Bidooh‘s digital billboards use facial recognition technology to identify the physical traits and shopping habits of a consumer and show ads tailored to their interests. The startup says that its technology makes marketing affordable for everybody—even the smallest business owners.

Bidooh billboards have sprung up across the UK and Europe, with South Korea and the USA in the pipeline.

Formisimo

Formisimo founders Al Mackin and Tom New say that on average, 67% of online shoppers don’t make it through the checkout process. Their analytics platform uses JavaScript to identify exactly where your business is losing customers and offers a wealth of reports, points of action, industry comparisons and deep level data. Users of Formisimo include Uber, Capital One and Very.

Peak

Peak uses AI and machine learning to analyse business data and provide clever insights. Happy clients include retail giant Morrisons, which cut £1 million in food waste through better demand forecasting.

The post Manchester startups: Tech businesses you need to know in 2019 appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

This London Tech Week (10-14 June) Wonderful Creative Agency is introducing its strategic Scale of Fail campaign to fast-growth start-ups at the Google Campus in London. The Scale or Fail initiative, developed by Wonderful, involves a number of events and webinars taking place over the next six months, which are tailored to support the scale-up objectives of start-ups.

The first of Wonderful’s Scale or Fail live events will take place at Google’s Campus in London on Wednesday 12 June during London Tech Week. Google’s resident and guest start-ups will have the chance to hear from Wonderful’s expert panel, including: VC investors – Triple Point – fast growth start-ups, IP lawyers and digital growth experts. Registration for the event in now open at www.londontechweek.com/event/scale-or-fail-strategic-brand-tech-and-marketing-for-scale-up-business-start-up-and-scale-up.

From today start-ups can also tune in for the first Scale or Fail webinar at www.bewonderful.co.uk/scale-or-fail. The webinars start with an introduction to Scale or Fail and what the market context is surrounding the topic. On 30 May, the team will interview leading investors to discover what they are looking for in scale-up start-ups. Tune in on 13 June to hear how Jonny Grubin, CEO of SoPost, successfully became one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK.

Supporting fast-growth start-ups is Wonderful’s core focus. The company works with start-up businesses, SMEs and established organisations as a strategic partner. Through the fusion of insightful technology and creative strategy, Wonderful supports the objectives, vision and growth plans of its clients. Consequently, the marketing company has successfully amplified the growth of new and established brands on a national and international scale.

“Scale of Fail is about arming fast-growth start-ups with the tools they need to develop and maintain their business through advice, insightful technology, creativity and digital marketing,” explains Dan Mandaub, Wonderful’s Managing Director.

Wonderful’s Scale or Fail initiative strives to educate start-ups about the possibilities of using intuitive design and technology to simplify their business processes and ultimately enhance their revenue.

“Few businesses understand how advanced technology combined with intuitive design can allow a business to gain greater control over their processes and develop a better understanding of consumer behaviours and business patterns,” explains Mandaub.

“During Scale or Fail sessions we will discuss design, tech, monitoring, reporting and digital marketing, as well as offering essential interviews with influential businesses and investors.”

The Scale or Fail webinars are available free of charge at www.bewonderful.co.uk/scale-or-fail.  Wonderful is also offering live Scale or Fail forums to networking groups and start-up support organisations. To find out more email hello@bewonderful.co.uk.

The post ‘Scale or Fail’ Initiative Set to Advance Google’s Fast Growth Start-Ups appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

  • Igloo Vision develops projection domes and software to create 360° immersive virtual reality experiences
  • £1million investment to support international expansion plans
  • Firm to grow chain of sales and demonstration centres and recruit staff

A Shropshire-headquartered firm that designs and delivers immersive 360° virtual reality (VR) experiences and solutions for clients including BP, Microsoft and Uber, has received a £1million investment via Frontier Development Capital (FDC).

The funding will support Igloo Vision’s latest international expansion plans, as it grows its chain of sales and demonstration centres. The firm is to also undergo a recruitment drive, with seven new hires already planned.

The company is known for developing projection domes and cylinders which, when combined with its specialist software and technology, create unique 360° VR experiences for up to 750 people.

Calling itself a Shared VR company, Igloo can display any 360° content or VR in its immersive spaces. And, because entire teams can get inside these spaces and engage with the content, the technology is well-suited to training, simulation and visualisation, as well as events and experiences.

Since opening in 2007, Igloo has delivered more than 500 events and installations in 22 countries and now employs 50 people across offices in Shropshire, London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Melbourne.

Dennis Wright, CEO at Igloo Vision, said:

“For a VR company we are unusual, because we are already profitable and selling to many of the world’s biggest brands. The one thing that has held us back is that we haven’t had enough investment to expand as quickly as we would have liked. Frontier Development Capital’s involvement now enables us to accelerate our growth.”

Last year, the business recorded £3.3million of American export sales after a string of contract wins. Igloo expects this to rise to £19 million within five years. It recently announced a new project with a global consulting firm to install Igloo systems at two US-based innovation centres, as well as a network of offices.

Frontier Development Capital is a national fund manager supporting businesses with investments of up to £7 million.

Graham Mold, Head of Growth Capital at Frontier Development Capital, said:

“Igloo Vision represents the best of British design and technology, something that has allowed it to make waves globally and build an impressive client roster. The demand for its products and services demonstrates the scale of the firm’s innovation and commitment to creating highly engaging experiences and solutions for its clients’ audiences.

“This investment, an innovative package of debt and equity, aims to provide Igloo with the backing it needs to build on this success and continue to disrupt new markets. If recent wins are anything to go by, the business has a hugely exciting future ahead.

“Frontier Development Capital is committed to supporting regional businesses and we look forward to working with Igloo Vision’s highly talented management team to unlock further growth domestically and internationally.”

Frontier Development Capital was advised by The Red Clover Partnership Ltd (due diligence) and The Wilkes partnership LLP (legal matters), and Igloo was advised by RJS Solicitors.

The post Shropshire VR firm’s international vision to become reality after £1m investment appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

A bundle of exclusive HackLock™ and BlindSearch™ features will be launched in June 2019

The fastest growing VPN service provider in the world Surfshark has announced its plans to elevate privacy protection beyond the ordinary VPN functionality. By mid-June 2019, the company is set to launch two new products: HackLock™ ID protection, which will work as an automatic mechanism to detect traces of hacked personal information online, and a private search tool BlindSearch™.

“Looking at the internet as it works today, we see personal privacy as an unduly devalued property. Over a year ago, we launched a user-oriented VPN, but let’s be frank, this nifty and necessary software is not a universal solution to secure one’s digital life. That is why we decided to move beyond VPN and develop tools which could empower privacy-seekers to oversee their digital presence better than ever before,” says Naomi Hodges, Cybersecurity Advisor at Surfshark.

The first of the new features will be an ID protection service HackLock™. In its first public version, HackLock™ will operate as a breach detection mechanism to alert Surfshark users about leaks of their private information such as email and passwords, prompting them to take the necessary security measures.

The second of the new features will be a private search tool named BlindSearch™. It will enable its users to perform web search queries in complete privacy and will not collect any history. Also, there will be no ads in the search so the users will only see purely organic results.

On the launch day, both new tools will become available to new and existing Surfshark users in a bundled offer.

More information about the features as well as their operating principles will be revealed on the launch day.

The post Surfshark announces new solutions to upgrade privacy protection beyond a VPN appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Theresa May’s departure demands that UK and international investors move to mitigate risks to their wealth, affirms the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The warning from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, which has $12bn under advisement, follows Mrs May’s announcement that she is to quit as leader of the Conservative Party on June 7, during an emotional statement outside Number 10.

Mr Green notes: “The pound – the main market bellwether since the UK voted to leave the EU – rallied immediately against the euro and dollar, before giving up its gains, following Theresa May’s not so shock resignation as Prime Minister.

“The search for a new Prime Minister is now on and this is likely to bring further political and economic uncertainty for the future of the UK.”

“Uncertainty, typically, causes dips in confidence in the market, meaning that the pound and UK-based assets could be expected to decrease in value as a result.”

He continues: “Investors will be watching the Conservative party leadership contest keenly.  The fate of the value of the pound and UK financial assets will be shaped by Mrs May’s successor.

“The next PM is likely to be an ardent Brexiter, such as Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab, who could push for a no-deal Brexit. This would cause more downward pressure for sterling, amongst other assets.

Mr Green concludes: “With the uncertainty intensifying due to ‘Trexit’, UK and international investors in UK assets should mitigate risks to their wealth by ensuring their portfolios are properly diversified geographically and by asset class and sector.

“Exposure to equities and bonds, from as many different issuers as possible will help safeguard their savings from this uncertainty and take advantage of the opportunities that will inevitably be presented.”

The post Investors urged to Trexit-proof their wealth appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It is an exciting time when you decide to start your own business. There are so many things to think about, jobs to do, and strategies to work out. You are also likely to need to invest some upfront cash to get it going, and this can bring some financial worry. If you have started your own business or considering starting one, this guide gives you some essential tips on how to make it grow.

  • Business Plan: Without a business plan in place, you and your business are in the dark. A business plan is a document that details your business aims and how to achieve them. It also includes details on your target market, who your competitors are and how you intend to promote your business. Having a business plan gives you something that you can refer to, to make sure you are on the right track. As your business grows, you can adapt and change your business plan if it doesn’t fit the new version of your business.
  • Invest: To grow your business quickly, you might need to invest money into buying the tools you need. It could be a software program, renting out premises, or employing some staff. However, be careful not to over invest and leave yourself in financial difficulty. It is possible to take out a short term loan to get yourself out of a fix, such as no credit check loans if you are already in debt. However, make sure it is worth the risk and that your business will make money so you can recoup the costs quickly.
  • Co-Founder: It is a well-used phrase, ‘two heads are better than one,’ and the same can be true for your start-up. Having two people with different skills, ideas and experience can really help your business to grow. Having a co-founder is not a decision to make lightly. Remember that it is someone who will have a share in your business and that you will have to work with them. Make sure it is someone who you get on with well.
  • Promotion: How well you market your business is key to its success. To do this, you need a website that is well designed so your potential customers can find out what you do and how they can purchase from you. Social media is also a good way to be in touch with your customer base and create relationships with them by posting interesting content and interacting with comments. Other ways to promote your business is to advertise or run discounts. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get more customers, as hearing recommendations from other people breeds trust in your business. You can also use reviews and display them on your website and social media.

When you are starting a business from scratch, there is a lot of work to do to get it to a stage where you can earn an income. However, having perseverance and being willing to learn is also key, as well as the ideas described, in helping your business to grow.

The post How to Take Your Startup Up a Notch appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

In a move to strengthen its communications function, Red Tractor has appointed Rebecca Miller into the newly formed role of Head of Communications.

Ms Miller joins Red Tractor from HEINEKEN UK, the UK’s largest cider, beer and pub company, where she was Head of Media and Sustainability and responsible for driving their communications response to the UK-wide shortage of CO2- during the hottest summer on record. She also led on HEINEKEN UK’s Brewing a Better World stakeholder and sustainability strategy.

A former staffer to Boris Johnson, Ms Miller has also managed the communications for product and suppliers for retail giant Tesco. Rebecca played a key role in rebuilding trust in the business, working with the Executive team during the turnaround, during four of the most challenging years in the supermarket’s history.  Additionally, she developed a ‘new ways of working’ model to improve the productivity of the communications function, so that it focused on the commercial priorities of the business.

Ms Miller has also led on crisis communications, media engagement and a range of high impact campaigns for the retailer, including food quality and embedding the Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice across the business and with stakeholders and supplier partners.

Jim Moseley, Red Tractor CEO said: “Rebecca represents an exciting step forward for Red Tractor.  With a background in retail, London politics and working for an international cider, beer and pub business, she has been involved with some of the biggest corporate and news moments of the last decade.

As the UK enters into this unprecedented period of uncertainty, there has never been a more important time for Red Tractor, one of the world’s leading food assurance schemes, to help British shoppers understand which food is produced to the highest standards of food safety, animal welfare and traceability.”

The appointment of Ms Miller at the end of May, enables Richard Cattell, who is currently responsible for both Communications and Marketing, to focus fully on Red Tractor’s consumer marketing and commercial strategy under the new title of Head of Marketing & Commercial.

The post Red Tractor Appoints Former Retailer and City Hall Comms Chief appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Manchester boasts the third largest economy in the UK, along with the largest number of digital tech workers outside London; it’s no wonder the city is home to a thriving startup scene.

A rich industrial history, world-class educational institutions, fierce community spirit and relatively low startup costs make Manchester a great place to start a business, and success stories include Boohoo, AutoTrader and Beauty Bay.

Manchester startups saw a £200 million boost in funding in 2018, and the number of new businesses formed annually continues to grow every year. Today we’ll discuss some of the companies to watch in 2019.

Manchester fintech startupsArro

Arro offers alternatives to traditional bank accounts for personal and business use. Signing up takes less than three minutes and requires no credit check as there are no overdraft or loan facilities.

Auden

Auden is a for-profit social enterprise that hopes to change the face of finance in the UK. Its first offering is an affordable short term loan that is responsibly sold, with no hidden fees or charges; the only added cost is interest.

Nivo

Nivo, developed through the Barclays Accelerator, brings bank standard security to instant messaging for businesses. Customers sign up in a matter of minutes and go through a seamless identity verification process so that you can offer a fully secure customer service experience.

Manchester healthtech startupsElucid

Elucid’s technology helps healthcare providers to ensure that patients are taking their medication properly and track potential issues. The startup’s first product is a smart medicine bottle, which dispenses the correct dosage at a prescribed time and reports back immediately via Bluetooth. Doctors can see when patients are non-adherent and remotely lock down containers if necessary.

Elucid has secured £1.4 million in funding and works alongside the NHS.

Gelmetix (formerly Gelixir)

Gelmetix, a spinoff from the University of Manchester, has developed a polymer gel to relieve back pain without invasive surgery. Injected directly into cartilage, it helps to slow down degeneration and reduce the amount of pain the patient experiences. This will potentially help millions of people worldwide and save healthcare providers significant time and resources.

Having secured over £4 million in investment, Gelmetix is set to begin first-in-human studies this year.

Push Doctor

Push Doctor makes it possible to book an appointment in just six minutes by connecting you to a network of 7,000 NHS listed GPs. The Manchester startup has scooped over $37.5 million in investor funding and recently inked deals with 13 primary care networks in Birmingham.

Texere Publishing

Texere Publishing breathes fresh air into scientific publishing with engaging, beautifully designed content that celebrates the people behind innovation. Its growing collection of titles includes The Analytical Scientist, The Cannabis Scientist and The Ophthalmologist.

Yourgene Health (formerly Premaitha)

Yourgene develops genetic services for healthcare professionals. Its first offering, the Iona test, is a non-invasive prenatal screen for genetic abnormalities including Down’s syndrome. Where standard testing is 85% accurate, Iona is 99% accurate—therefore fewer women are sent for amniocentesis and CVS, which are invasive screens that carry a small risk of miscarriage.

Yourgene hopes to apply its technology to other fields, including oncology: a new project in Taiwan has already begun work with newly-diagnosed breast cancer and leukaemia patients.

Manchester lifestyle startupsBridebook

Bridebook is the easiest way to plan your wedding, from inspiration to ‘I do’. The site offers planning tools, real wedding stories and an extensive directory of venues and suppliers to cover a couple’s every need.

Gay Homestays

Gay Homestays offers an Airbnb-style platform where LGBTQ+ people can book safe, welcoming travel accommodation around the world. As most hosts are LGBTQ+ themselves, it’s an easy way to make new friends and explore local gay scenes and areas of interest.

Gig Pic

Gig Pic is a photo sharing platform specifically for live music events. Check in at an event, take photos with the in-app camera and tag performing artists to connect with other fans.

GymStreak

GymStreak‘s AI-powered app creates dynamic bodybuilding and workout plans based on your body type, goals and experience. Its features include 3D animations of every move and automatic periodisation to keep your body on its toes.

Radio.co

Radio.co provides everything you need in order to set up an online radio station. The company’s all-in-one solution is completely cloud-based, so you can broadcast from anywhere.

TickX

TickX checks over 100 vendors for tickets and highlights the best price available. The platform pulls events big and small across music, theatre, clubbing and comedy and syncs with your Spotify library to automatically follow your favourite artists.

Manchester B2B startups

Autopaid (formerly DueCourse)

Autopaid takes the stress and cashflow issues out of invoicing by paying you within 24 hours and handling collection. Users can expect to receive around 95-97% of the total invoice value, even when clients fail to pay.

Bidooh (formerly OfferMoments)

Bidooh‘s digital billboards use facial recognition technology to identify the physical traits and shopping habits of a consumer and show ads tailored to their interests. The startup says that its technology makes marketing affordable for everybody—even the smallest business owners.

Bidooh billboards have sprung up across the UK and Europe, with South Korea and the USA in the pipeline.

Formisimo

Formisimo founders Al Mackin and Tom New say that on average, 67% of online shoppers don’t make it through the checkout process. Their analytics platform uses JavaScript to identify exactly where your business is losing customers and offers a wealth of reports, points of action, industry comparisons and deep level data. Users of Formisimo include Uber, Capital One and Very.

Peak

Peak uses AI and machine learning to analyse business data and provide clever insights. Happy clients include retail giant Morrisons, which cut £1 million in food waste through better demand forecasting.

The post Manchester startups: Tech businesses you need to know in 2019 appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Embargo is a loyalty and rewards platform that connects users to hundreds of London’s bars, restaurants, cafes and events and lets them enjoy thousands of perks and rewards at their fingertips – just for being loyal. They have launched in London with more than 350 venues on their platform and almost 2,000 rewards available to claim by the most loyal users.

Hospitality a Difficult Market?

Embargo is the brainchild of co-founders; Tsewang Wangkang, Nik von Solodkoff and Frederick Szydlowski which created quite a trio linking their finance, hospitality and IT background to solve a problem all three had experienced themselves – the huge disconnect between customers and venues in the bar, restaurant and coffee shop scene.

Collectively, the founders realised the ideal solution was to foster a better connectivity and relationship between venues and customers via an easy to use app and create a CRM platform for venues to drive business. Their goal was not to digitise a manual process, but use technology to help the hospitality industry to solve an issue that existed for a long time. They connected what has been disconnected for years and improved the relationship between the industry and its customers.

However, hospitality proved to be a difficult market for tech startups with some giants already on the market or numerous apps shutting down every year, including some spectacular failures in the recent years. Why would it work for Embargo?

‘I think the biggest challenge in creating a two-sided market with a new product is to gain very quickly traction. In our case to grow fast enough and create value for both venues and users. If the users do not have enough choice they will lose interest quickly, if the venues do not get much value and traction – they won’t be keen on trying yet another app. It is a bit of a chicken and egg situation to start with but we are happy that we managed to get over it pretty fast showing strong growth in both aspects. Especially on the venue side launching 60+ venues a month at our current stage with a small team in a short period of time. It helped a lot that the value of our platform is clear for the industry and they see it as a tool to drive their business instead of sharing their revenues with us’ – comments Embargo’s CEO Tsewang Wangkang.
Frederick, the CMO and ex Head of Marketing of The Cuckoo Club, adds: ‘Hospitality is an extremely tricky industry. It is very important to understand the industry itself – day to day operations, rules and behind the scenes KPIs. We have built the product from a venue perspective and have been listening to them and their customers since our beta-launch. This has led to exceptionally great feedback from leading hospitality businesses and created a buzz among users and investors.’

The company has just released a brand new version with a new design where the instant perks and available rewards are on a separate tab and the Home Page turned into a content lead site helping customers discover new places, easily navigate among their favourite venues and drive even more footfall to venues.

Is London Just the Beginning?

Whilst the app has been successfully growing in London – can they scale the platform to other cities?

‘Besides great feedback from our existing clients and users, we also had disappointed ones outside London who are asking us on a regular basis when we expand to their cities. Especially the venues on our platform with sister venues abroad want us to expand asap – however, this is all very positive pressure for us. At the end of the day we have built Embargo for our venues and users. We have already plans to expand Embargo to other cities in the UK and the world. This and next year a lot will happen on this front.’ Openly says Tsewang.

Definitely one of their steps towards expansion was their recently closed funding round, which attracted angel investors from all over Europe.

‘All successful start ups were built by great teams. We as founders are aware that there is a lot that we don’t know and the only way to succeed in the long run is to surround ourselves with exceptional individuals and specialists in each area we are in. From our hard working and talented employees, ‘smart-money’ investors, to our Advisory Board Members that include Gerry Calabrese founder of Hoxton Spirits or Tomasz Fajfer European Financial Director of Sephora and ex Board Member of Costa Coffee. We know that our product solves a problem occurring in hundreds of cities in the world and scalability is key for us. – added Frederick.

What Does the Business Model Look Like?

One of the biggest challenges for young start-ups is to convert a product that people like and use into a product that someone is willing to pay for. Embargo has just started generating revenues from two streams.
Besides their subscription-based CRM ‘freemium’ model for bars, restaurants and cafes, Embargo has also triggered great interest within the beverage industry. Beverage brands spend significant amounts of their resources on Below The Line Marketing using the venues to activate their products at the point of sale with limited control over it.

‘We knew from the start that we cannot introduce our revenue model until we have gained enough traction and knew exactly what our clients want. Given we work very closely with our venues we could built exactly what the market needs. Furthermore we already had early discussions and test campaigns with beverage brands that proved to be very successful. We have now started generating revenues with a product that the market demanded and asked for. ’ says Tsewang.

‘With my previous experience in the industry dealing with beverage companies, I knew that there is significant potential to improve the process. Given we are already serving the brand’s venues as well as their target consumer, it puts us into the ideal position to help the beverage companies to activate their products at point of sale in a much more efficient and smarter way. This way we are creating a triple win situation where customers get rewards, venues a tool to drive business and brands a smarter way to activate their products at point of sale.’ says Frederick.

So far so good, but…

The company has set a strong tone and great expectations within 2 years from their beta-launch and only 1 year since their full launch. The long list of venues includes high end hot spots like Chotto Matte, Ours or award winning 108 Garage, as well as, famous casual bar and restaurant groups – Simmons Bars, Hippo Inns or Bird Restaurants to name of few. The business model seems to make sense and is already showing results. The founding Team managed to attract great investors and advisors. But it is still early days and the industry they are in is not that simple. Nevertheless, their promising growth makes me extremely curious about the next 12 months for this London start-up.

Embargo is available to download from iOS and Android

The post Embargo: A Platform for Rewards appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

For the 9 million Britons that are considered to have bad credit histories, it can be very hard to get approved for loans, especially when circumstances arise and you really need them.

You are not instantly given a bad credit rating when you turn 18, instead you are given a ‘no credit rating’ and you have demonstrate your ability to repay things like credit cards, loans mobile phone bills and utilities to build up your score. However, if you fall into the habit of regularly defaulting on payments and falling into arrears, you will see your score fall and fall – and you will have to make numerous payments on time in order to build it back up.

If you are in the ‘bad credit’ bracket, there are indeed loan options available to you, but they are often characterised by extremely high APRs – with credit cards available at 0% to 8% for good credit scores and 28% to 36% for bad credit scores. Other options include using collateral which could be at risk, and borrowing against your car, jewellery or property at low rates of interest but the underlying risk that falling behind could see it being repossessed.

Whilst best buys are hard to fine for bad credit loans, there are some things you can do to get more affordable finance, whether you are borrowing just £100 or £10,000.

The Longer You Borrow, The More Expensive It Is

Borrowing money for longer is more expensive because you are essentially holding the money for more time and more interest is accruing. Taking an example from a payday loans direct lender – borrow £500 over 3 months and the total to repay is £740, and borrow over 12 months, the cost is £902. Representative APR £1,081%.

Whilst many borrowers will like the flexibility of having the money for longer, there is a potential saving of £162 if you can clear your debts in 3 months instead of 12 months. Budgeting effectively can be useful here to fully determine how much you need each month and avoid overpaying on a loan.

Repay Early When You Can

Most short term lenders offering a few hundred pounds will give you the option to repay your loan early, after a certain grace period of around 1 or 2 months – or no grace period at all.

It does depend on the product, since secured loans such as second charge loans and mortgages may incur early repayment charges if you wish to exit early.

However, the rule of thumb is that the sooner you can repay your loan, the less interest builds up, making to cheaper overall.

Consider Balance Transfer Cards

A balance transfer card allows you to move your outstanding credit card balance onto another card and the benefits are that you can move to a lower interest rate or you can consolidate multiple debts into one card.

You will have to check how much debt you can transfer and any added fees, but it is usually free and you can be charged an introductory rate of 0%, Read more about balance transfers here.

Look At The Alternatives

Whilst people with bad credit may look for a quick loan to solve their financial position, this can be further damaging. If you are being rejected and rejected, the likelihood is that it is putting hard search footprints on your credit file and this is making you even more unattractive to lenders.

If you need a few hundred pounds to help you through the month or an emergency, you will be amazed how much you can find selling household items including clothes, CDs, DVDs, games and more. Whether it is through eBay, car boot sales or other apps, you could have valuable items sitting around that you have not used in years, but others are willing to pay good money for. You may need to be a bit proactive, but it is obviously interest free and an effective way to raise money and also clear out your house!

The post Bad Credit Loans – Are There Best Buys? appeared first on TechRound.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview