Glasgow-based tech startup Swipii has launched its first-ever crowdfund as it seeks to quadruple its business network to help power the Shop Local recovery.
Hosted by Crowdcube, the firm is seeking £750,000 to accelerate expansion plans and extend the number of local businesses they work with, to support high streets across the country as they start to reopen.
Investors can invest from as little as £10.02 and Swipii say they will donate £5 to Social Bite for every investment of £250 or more, to help fund their mission of ending homelessness through social enterprise cafes.
Since launching the app in 2018, Swipii says it has helped 100 businesses, predominantly in Scotland, to “increase customer engagement and spend,” while also saving shoppers money.
Commenting on their previous work, the firm said its personalised offers have “seen participating businesses increase customer spend by 16%”.
The company is currently working with British BIDs to roll out the service to hundreds of more businesses across the country as lockdown begins to ease.
Commenting on the funding round, Louis Schena, Swipii co-founder and CEO said: “Local independent businesses form the backbone of our economy.
“The unfortunate truth is they are decades behind online businesses and big corporations when it comes to the technology they have and as a result are at a significant disadvantage. Covid has widened this disadvantage and our mission is to level the playing field as markets open up!
“This crowdfund will allow us to ramp up our expansion plans and give investors the opportunity to back local and become part of our growth journey.”
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Founded by Schena and Chitresh Sharma in 2014, Swipii has already attracted over £3 million in investment from LocalGlobe, Rocket Internet, Kima Ventures and Par Equity.
The company was also awarded the Best ‘Customer Loyalty, Personalisation and CRM’ award at the UK Digital Experience Awards 2016 and named among Europe’s top 100 disruptive startups in the retail industry in the same year.
In July last year, Swipii launched a new referral programme aimed at encouraging users to shop locally during the pandemic.
The reduction of tough lockdown restrictions and successful vaccine rollout has motivated the firm to encourage shoppers to continue investing in the local economy by incentivising them to support local.