Improving route to market
Tinder for buyers and sellers finds its funding partners
Simon Coyle: gap in the market (pic: contributed)
An online company has raised £300,000 to develop its platform enabling retailers to more easily identify products they want to stock.
Glasgow-based Product Guru, described as ‘Tinder for retail buyers and product suppliers’, has received support from Asia-based retail technology investor Belmond Capital, Scottish retailer Scotmid and Scottish Enterprise.
Buyers from high street retailers including John Lewis, Tesco and TK Maxx have already signed up to use the platform. It also helps producers get their brands noticed more quickly.
Simon Coyle launched the company in September last year after spotting a gap in the market. “After running my own companies for nearly 20 years, I have first-hand experience of how difficult it can be for emerging brands to get their products in front of retail buyers,” he explained.
“From the retailers’ point-of-view, they may have lots of customer-facing modern technologies in their stores – such as automated checkouts or digital ads – but Product Guru is the first technology platform to shake-up their back-office product discovery operations and make it easier for them to discover the latest trends and find exciting new products for their customers.”
He added: “This £300,000 investment will allow us to further develop our platform for both buyers and suppliers with analytics and intelligent recommendations, while marketing our services to a much wider audience.
“Buyers are pushed for time, so Product Guru makes it quicker, easier and – ultimately – cheaper for them to connect with potential suppliers.”
Patricia Poon, managing partner and founder of Belmond Capital, and a former head of retailer WH Smith’s business in Asia, said: “Product Guru is solving problems on both sides of the fence – it allows both local and international emerging brands to get their products in front of buyers and it allows retailers to stay on trend and choose from a wide selection of options cost effectively at the click of a button.
“Belmond Capital invests in companies that are disrupting their markets, across retail, financial services, communications and industrial sectors.
“Product Guru fits perfectly into our portfolio and I’m looking forward to working with Simon to add more intelligent functionalities, and to scale the platform both in the UK and internationally.”
Belmond Capital’s other retail tech investments include Nextail, a prescriptive analytics and AI-powered inventory optimisation platform based in Spain, Frenzy, an US-based exact-match visual search platform revolutionising computer vision and London-based Yapster, a mobile messaging platform for deskless hospitality and retail teams.
Paul Cross at Scottish Enterprise, said: “What’s most exciting about Product Guru is that it helps brands and distributors get their products under the noses of influential buyers.
“Simon is not only growing his own business but is also helping other emerging brands and smaller companies – in Scotland and elsewhere – to grow as well.
“Backing businesses like Product Guru is at the heart of the Scottish Enterprise’s mission.
“Technology has revolutionised so many parts of our working lives and it looks like Product Guru is now set to change the way that buyers and suppliers do business.”