Edinburgh tech start-up Stampede has received £1 million seed funding from investors including Techstart Ventures , Galvanise Capital, angel investor Judy Wilson and the Scottish Government.

The firm – previously known as BLACKBX – supplies software that helps bricks and mortar retailers and hospitality businesses market themselves more effectively. Its customer engagement and marketing analytics tool aims to reduce time and money wasted on physical promotions and advertising. It is already used by over 800 venues.

 

The new funding will allow the Leith company to expand in the UK and internationally, and grow its team from 32 to 60 employees. It aims to contact every pub, bar, restaurant, café, hotel and shop in the UK over the next 12 months.

Founder and CEO Patrick Clover said: “Stampede is the best friend of every pub, restaurant and hotel owner. 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 large brands with large marketing budgets and complex 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 offers a secure, branded Wi-Fi login portal, an Instagram-style “Stories” service which lets venues display short videos or landing pages of their latest promotions on customers’ mobile devices when they arrive at the venue.

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It offers a platform for venues to communicate with customers through automated email or SMS campaigns after their first visit, with special offers on a customer’s birthday and for regulars who have not been seen for a while, or simply notifications of events and deals. 

Stampede also enables venues to improve their average review score and attract more new customers by prompting their most loyal customers to leave reviews within two hours of a visit, track the results of their marketing campaigns, see when customers return, how long they stay and which offers they use.

 

Mark Hogarth, Partner at Techstart Ventures, said: “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”.

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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