05/04/2017

£280,000 equity round supports commercialisation of ‘smart stamp’ company Memberoo

Smart shopping app company Memberoo (Envolve Technology) are set to begin commercialisation of their ‘smart stamp’ product thanks to a £280,000 equity co-investment from Finance Wales and Thorium Technology Investors.

The Newport company is the brain-child of tech entrepreneur Emma Smith following her Masters’ research at the University of Bath. Memberoo does away with traditional paper-based loyalty cards, allowing customers of participating shops, cafes and restaurants to register their shopping trips via an app on their mobile phone.

“It’s amazing to be in a position to commercialise our technology after a rigorous testing phase over the last two years,” explained Emma. “We’re really excited to be opening our sales and marketing hub in Newport and seeing Memberoo out there, bringing the magic of online referrals to the high street.”

The app provides valuable information for participating companies – allowing them to offer targeted and personal offers and marketing materials. According to research already conducted by the company during their testing stage, personalised marketing can increase customer visits by up to 20% and sales by up to 4%.

“We know that restaurateurs and coffee shop owners are busy people, and don’t want them to get bogged down in their data,” explained  Lily Smith Memberoo VP Product “Our platform uses our own research and algorithms to suggest offers unique to individual customer behaviour and preferences, suggesting relevant marketing strategies and helping small and medium-sized businesses grow.”

The investment from Finance Wales and Thorium Technology Investors will help the company expand their team in Newport. Future plans for the company also include a south Wales based distribution centre. The co-investment, which includes an equity investment from the Wales Technology Seed Fund, will be used to recruit sales and marketing staff in Newport, as well as supporting the rollout of Memberoo to customers.

“As well as treating our customers as individuals, we’re proud to be able to treat our staff as individuals,” added Emma. “As a working mum myself it was really important that my business offered true flexibility to all staff. As a female entrepreneur in the technology space I’m also passionate about encouraging more women into the sector, through our flexible working policy I believe we’re in a position to do that,”

“This is really innovative and useful technology which will really benefit both consumers and small businesses,” explained Sarah Smith, Finance Wales Portfolio Investment Executive. “The behavioural data it can provide on consumer buying habits will help business owners drive bespoke promotional campaigns to increase sales. Emma is a credible and visionary CEO with an excellent business plan. We’re pleased to be able to help them, alongside supportive technology co-investors Thorium Technology Investors, as the Memberoo team begin to commercialise their product..”

“We believe that the future of business-customer relationships is personalisation,” explained Vivien Pell  Investor Director from Thorium Technology Investors. “Nowhere on the high street can you get the same personalised experience that you can online. We want to change that. Memberoo replaces traditional paper loyalty cards with a mobile app and uses the data collected from customers to advise businesses on how best to engage their customers. We want to put the power of Tesco Clubcard and Nectar into the hands of small and medium-sized businesses.

“This is the second investment that we have undertaken with Finance Wales. We are enjoying our shared investment strategies and are seeking additional collaboration.”