Micro loan from Finance Wales helps app developer secure seven-figure partnership deal
A young Cardiff-based app development company initially backed
by Finance Wales has signed a partnership deal with a major
European mobile programme solutions provider that will launch its
smartphone technology in 120 countries world-wide.
Schoop UK (Schoop) received a £25,000 micro
loan from Finance Wales to fund the start-up costs of the Schoop
smartphone app launched in January 2014.
Initially designed to improve schools’ ability
to communicate and engage with parents the app has already been
adopted by 150 UK schools, with another 450 expected to use it by
the end of 2014.
Since its launch it has evolved into a
communication tool used by charities, churches, public bodies and
other organisations, providing updates, reminders and messages for
groups and organisations in a number of different languages.
The potential of Schoop’s technology was
quickly spotted by the GMPS Group (GMPS), a major provider in
European mobile programme solutions based in Germany. GMPS offered
Schoop a partnership deal that will see
e-fundraising, e-wallets and global payment solutions
incorporated into the Schoop app.
As part of the deal GMPS are investing
€300,000 (estimated £238,000) of first-round finance into Schoop to
develop and build Schoop Global, its international brand, with a
further €2 million (estimated £1.59 million) available over the
next six months to take the app worldwide.
Founder Paul Smith has been delighted with
Schoop’s success to date, he said:
“As a parent, I was frustrated with the text
system at my children’s school so I came up with the idea for
Schoop. We’ve created a cost-effective app that allows
organisations such as schools to inform, involve, engage and reach
out to parents and the local community in a safe and controlled
“Launching the app was a challenge, but the
loan from Finance Wales helped us to cover our start-up costs and
supported bringing Schoop to market.
“We are incredibly excited about working with
GMPS and integrating e-fundraising and e-wallet payment solutions
into the app. Following its global launch we have plans to expand
our Cardiff headquarters and recruit 50 new staff before the end of
Schoop Global’s first export will be to
Australia, where 1,200 schools are to be integrated by the end of
the year, with additional territories such as China, Malaysia,
Indonesia and the USA to quickly follow.
Commenting on Schoop’s success, Rhiannon
Wilkinson, Senior Investment Executive at Finance Wales said:
“Paul and the team at Schoop UK have made
impressive progress in six months, which demonstrates that when
innovative, commercially viable ideas receive the right
backing early on, they can quickly take off and attract high
“Finance Wales is pleased to have provided
Schoop UK with start-up capital needed to launch the business.
Schoop has the potential to make a big impact globally and securing
additional investment from the GMPS Group is a significant
"We wish them well with their global
The app market is estimated to have revenue of
$35 billion worldwide in 2014, while the number of smartphone users
in the UK is for forecast to pass 40 million by 2016.
Finance Wales’ investment in Schoop came from
the £150 million Wales JEREMIE Fund.