Edinburgh-based Mallzee, one of Scotland’s hottest tech start-ups has raised £1.9 million in new funding to help boost sales of it’s Product Future data insights service, aimed at the retail sector.
The latest round of funding, takes Mallzee’s total funding over the £5m mark and positions the company as an increasingly valuable solution in a sector facing incredibly difficult trading conditions.
The company has also appointed retail expert Peter Robinson to the company’s board as a non-executive director. Peter is a retail pioneer with over 35 years of experience in the sector, with particular expertise in multi-channel and digital commerce. His previous roles include eight years as executive head of e-commerce at Marks & Spencer where he pioneered the early development, introduction and rapid scaling of the store’s online retail offering, and multi-channel director at Selfridges & Co where he led the launch of Selfridges Online.
Challenging Trading Conditions
The Mallzee team is now focused on using the unique consumer preference data generated by the company’s app to help retailers survive one of the most challenging environments it has ever faced. New product failure is an issue that is estimated to cost retailers billions every year.
For example, in the three months prior to Christmas 2017, which is traditionally the strongest trading quarter of the year, the product failure problem was clear to see with over 50% of all fashion products ending up discounted and on clearance rails.
Mallzee’s Product Future service enables brands and retailers to test and analyse the sales potential of new products before any orders are placed, by showcasing and capturing feedback through the app’s Tinder-style interface. Using this data in collaboration with the company’s merchandising and buying teams, can result in an improvement of between 6% and 10% in new product success rates. Which is, for many retailers, the difference between a profit or loss.
Peter Robinson, said: “I’m very pleased to have joined the board of Mallzee having been impressed with the way the business has developed and pushed M-commerce and retail analytics boundaries over the last few years.
“The team have a real can-do attitude and I’m delighted to work with them to build their retail insights capabilities as I believe that Product Future can fundamentally help the fortunes of many retailers.”
Cally Russell, founder and CEO of Mallzee, told DIGIT: “Mallzee delivers a great shopping experience for consumers and through this we’ve driven significant value for our retail partners. We quickly realised there was a major opportunity for us to utilise our engaged audience as a testing zone for these partners’ new products helping buying and merchandising teams make informed stock decisions based on real data, to improve sell through success.
“The results have been amazing and the interest we’ve had speaks for itself – we’ve seen more companies test products last quarter than in the rest of 2017 combined.”
Kerry Sharp Director of SIB said: “Having invested in Mallzee since 2014, it is great to see the Company continue to innovate and we are delighted to introduce Peter, a very experienced retail executive, to support the team deliver its global ambitions.”