A Leith-based startup has launched today after securing £1 million in seed funding from a range of investors, including Techstart Ventures and Galvanise Capital.
Stampede, previously known as BLACKBX, provides offline businesses with a range of online tools to help them connect with customers and expand rapidly. The firm was founded by software developer and tech entrepreneur, Patrick Clover, to help enable physical venues to improve customer engagement and understanding.
Following the investment, Stampede will expand its team from 32 to 60 employees and further develop its suite of services.
Techstart Ventures invested £300,000 in the startup, while an additional £200k was pledged by private investors, including angel investor Judy Wilson. The Scottish Government also invested £250k and a second quarter-million-pound R&D grant is also in progress.
Commenting on the funding announcement, Judy Wilson said: “It’s getting increasingly difficult for hospitality and retail businesses to compete for attention with online marketing. Stampede is a clever piece of software that uses the existing wifi system to engage with potential customers. In our view, it is a game-changer for offline businesses.”
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Stampede founder and CEO, Patrick Clover, said: “Our mission is to give small businesses the same tools as their online counterparts. This will provide a level of customer insight and marketing automation previously only available to larger brands with large marketing budgets and digital tools.
“We are called Stampede because we want to grow customer numbers for our users fast, but this growth isn’t limited to our customers. Stampede is growing rapidly which is only going to be accelerated by this recent injection of funding.”
Stampede’s flagship product, a WiFi-based customer engagement and marketing analytics tool, is currently used by more than 800 venues.
Over the next 12-months, the company said it has set a goal of contacting every pub, bar, restaurant, cafe, hotel and shop in the UK – some 530,000 businesses in total.
Mark Hogarth, partner at Techstart Ventures, commented: “Techstart only invests in the most ambitious tech start-ups and founders, a description that suits Stampede and Patrick well.
“We were initially drawn to Stampede by the scale of Patrick’s vision and the company’s already impressive ability to deliver digital marketing capabilities to operators of physical venues. We’re excited to be part of this seed round and look forward to supporting Patrick and his team as they deliver the next stage of Stampede’s growth.”