Poq, the London-based startup that offers a SaaS to make it easier for retailers to launch and preserve a consumer-facing shopping app, has raised PS9. 5 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Smedvig Capital, with participation from previous backers Beringea, and Revolt Ventures. It brings the total amount raised by Poq to PS16. 5 million since the company was founded in 2011.
A fairly early entrant into the so-called’ apps-as-a-service’ space, Poq’s pitch is that it enables retailers — with a particular focus on’ pureplay’ or multichannel brands — to create their own e-commerce app at a fraction of the price of using a traditional app growth agency or doing it all in-house. The company counts the likes of House of Fraser, Missguided, Prettylittlething, Holland& Barrett, Hotel Chocolat, Fragrance Direct, and Made.com as clients.
” Our platform is the result of years of focus on retail apps and is proven to increase conversion rates and revenue ,” Oyvind Henriksen, CEO and co-founder at Poq, tells TechCrunch.” New code is rolled out every week and major releases delivered every quarter “.
This, he tells, is often in contrast to the way retailers engage with a traditional app agency, which typically ensure a lot of work and investment go into a version one, only for the app to be left unloved as each update can be costly and has unnecessary friction.
The other alternative is to not bother with an app and simply have a mobile website, but Poq claims these don’t perform well in retail and that apps are proven to provide a better shopping experience, which leads to much better involvement, retention and conversion.
” While everyone would love to have an app, current realities is that apps are typically hard to build and maintain. By using Poq’s SaaS approach, retailers get the product faster to marketplace, keep it up to date easier,[ and] have the ability to plug into an ecosystem of pre-built integrations to technology providers ,” says Henriksen.
The Poq CEO describes Poq’s typical client as a large pureplay or multichannel retailer.” Our first major client was House of Fraser ,” he tells,” and that’s when we proved ourselves as an enterprise-ready software provider. From then we’ve considered multichannel clients such as Holland and Barrett and House of Fraser use apps as a new digital channel, the apps also power their loyalty programs in the stores “.
Meanwhile, Poq tells the new funding will help the company drive growth in the U.K. and Europe, as well as in the U.S ., where it plans to open offices. I’m told the U.S. currently stimulates up 20 percentage of Poq’s revenue.
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