Shopping app developer Poq raises $4m in funding round
Poq, the app commerce business that works with leading names such as Missguided, House of Fraser and Liberty, has raised $4m in a Series A funding round and now plans to triple its development team, kickstart its international development outside Europe and "empower retailers to bring online shopping into the store".
The company, which was founded in 2011, coined the term "app commerce" and has since gone on to sign up some of fashion and retail's biggest names as clients. Just as the funding round - which was led by Beringea with additional capital from existing investors Seedcamp and Venrex - completed, Poq signed up etailer Made.com and health retailer Holland & Barrett as customers.
Poq's technology allows retailers to make use of in-app and in-store data to gain "actionable insights" in customer behaviour and to identify the best growth opportunities. Its co-founder and CEO Oyvind Henriksen said the "app economy is the world's fastest growing economy".
"Our platform is no exception, having already hit £100m in app revenue and growing 600% year-on-year. Our mission is to drive more revenue through our platform than previous-generation web-based commerce platforms, through more advanced native app technology," Henriksen said.
He added that apps provided the best customer experience for shopping on the mobile platform. "Customers are logged in forever and can pay with a fingerprint, and retailers who don’t offer apps will lose out to those who do. We are really excited about closing this funding round and continuing to lead the app commerce revolution," he said.
Young fashion etailer Missguided launched its app with Poq and within four months the app made up 13% of is online revenue. "The revenue run-rate of the Missguided shopping app went from zero to £30 million within just four months of the app launch," explained Missguided founder and CEO Nitin Passi. "The partnership with Poq has proven extremely valuable in a very short space of time, and the app now makes up 13% of our online revenue. We look forward to leveraging the Poq platform while we expand our international and offline presences,” Passi added.
Beringea investment director Rob Hodgkinson said Poq was helping retailers "bridge the gap" between online and in-store shopping. "The true value for retailers in working with Poq is not just that they can quickly build well designed, functional shopping apps that unify brand experience, but the data that they gain from having customers logged into the app. Poq also rolls out new code each week, so their clients’ apps are never out of date. Other retail apps are often eight or nine months in the making and already out of date by the time they get to market," he said.