The Group is a cloud-based SaaS supplier focused on providing a merchandising platform to online retailers. In reaction to a structural shift in consumer behaviour where an increasingly larger proportion of sales are transacted online, the Group provides a merchandising platform for online retailers that helps to drive online sales growth.
The Group's SaaS platform, Freestyle Merchandising, focuses on maximising conversion rates by enabling retailers to have control over how products are merchandised on their eCommerce sites. Freestyle Merchandising acts as an overlay to a retailer's eCommerce site and works to enhance the customer's experience as well as the sales performance of the site through:
- superior site search;
- product recommendations and personalisation;
- visual merchandising functionality.
The Group can provide these three key product offerings within a single integrated platform that the Directors believe is quick and easy to implement and which aims to provide all the merchandising functionality a retailer could want from one platform.
After over ten years of investment and technical development, the Group has a configurable SaaS platform, a respected reputation in the market and a scalable sales model with a short sales cycle. Its large UK retail customers include Tesco Clothing, Boohoo.com, Superdry, Laura Ashley, Emma Bridgewater, Ellis Brigham, Paperchase, Screwfix, T.K. Maxx, BBC Worldwide, BT and more, which the Directors believe to be a strong endorsement of the Group's technology.
The business (formerly branded as “Locayta") was originally founded in 2003 with the ambition to provide the best possible site search service for online retailers as a cloud based (on demand or SaaS) service offering. The Group believed that the benefits of the online retail experience, such as convenience, transparency, choice and efficiency, would bring about a change in consumer behaviour towards increased online retail usage.
The Group initially focused on providing a site search technology optimised for eCommerce product searches, with early customers including Nectar and BT Directories, as well as an OEM licence agreement with eCommerce platform provider Venda.
In 2008, in response to demand from retailers, the Group realised that there was a significant business opportunity in providing an online merchandising platform to improve the effectiveness of retailers' eCommerce sites. In 2009, the Group upgraded its platform and launched recommendations and visual merchandising through what is now its main SaaS product, Freestyle Merchandising. It appointed a head of sales in 2010 and, by 2011, had a sales team in place in the UK. From 2003 to early 2011, the Group raised £421,000 (which was mostly used for working capital purposes) and, in late 2011, the Group raised £500,000 (which was used to hire a sales team and virtualise the platform).
By January 2012, the Group had a total of 18 signed up clients.
In August 2014 the Group was introduced to AIM and raised £1.25m - before expenses - to enable to Group to invest further in sales and product development.
In December 2015 the Group raised a further £3.3m, via a placing on AIM, to fund expansion in North America and invest in marketing and product development.
As of the end of 2015, the Group had 110 clients and maintained 154 live sites.
Nick Habgood, Interim Chairman
Nick is the Founder and Managing Partner of Azini Capital Partners LLP, a London based private equity firm that specialises in providing liquidity for historical investors and shareholders and investing in growth stage private and smaller public technology companies. Nick has substantial board level experience helping technology companies execute on growth opportunities. Please see www.azini.com for more details.
Prior to founding Azini Capital Nick worked for LMS Capital, the venture capital division of London Merchant Securities plc. He has also held senior operational positions in Mondex International (part of MasterCard International) where he founded and was CEO of the MULTOS business, Mars Electronics International (a part of the Mars Group) and Twiflex Limited (part of GKN and Tomkins). Nick has a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering (M.Eng) from the University of Bristol.
Ivor Dunbar, Non-Executive Deputy Chairman
Ivor is the chairman of Project Trust. He lives in London and is a non-executive director of Powa Technologies Limited (a financial technology company) and Bluefield Harrier Limited (a solar power company).
Educated at Inverness Royal Academy and University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, Ivor has spent most of his professional career as an investment banker with Barclays de Zoete Wedd and until recently with Deutsche Bank.
Ivor is a capital markets specialist and at Deutsche Bank he was head of global capital markets, co-head of investment banking and a member of the executive committee of Deutsche Bank's corporate and investment banking division.
André Brown, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer
André, the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Company, has over 25 years' experience in
developing innovative technologies. He has been instrumental in the development of the Group and has helped to grow its customer base from zero to a list of well-known names in the retail arena.
Previous positions include group mergers & acquisitions director for Nettec plc, strategic alliances director for MAID plc, chief executive officer of the eCommerce division of Dialog plc and one of the leaders of the team that originally brought Adobe Acrobat to the UK marketplace.
André holds a BSc. in economics from the London School of Economics and qualifications in corporate finance and marketing innovative technologies from the London Business School and Harvard Business School, respectively.
Mark Johnson, Finance Director
Mark joined ATTRAQT in August 2015. He has been Finance Director of several entrepreneurial and high-growth businesses, and has over 20+ years of commercially driven experience. Before joining ATTRAQT, Mark was Commercial Director at Celador Entertainment, the internationally renowned media firm, where he oversaw all the finance, legal and back-office functions including all M&A.
Mark has an honours degree in Accountancy and Financial Analysis from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and has been CIMA qualified since 1995.
Edward Ewing, Independent Non-Executive Director
In a career spanning three decades, Ed has worked extensively as a senior executive in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors in management, sales and product/service development roles.
Previous international roles have included working for Apple in Europe, strategic planning and programme director for Scoot.com plc and managing operations in Northern Europe for Quark Inc. He was responsible for establishing the digital division for global publisher Boat International Media, including successfully launching boatinternational.com and establishing it as one of the leading online market place for pre-owned superyachts.
Along with advising a number of clients on strategy and business development, Ed has a portfolio of
companies based in North Norfolk, and most recently he was instrumental in raising over £750,000 in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage to help secure the future of one of the UK's youngest ancient monuments.
Robert Fenner, Non-Executive Director
Robert is a partner in the international law firm Taylor Wessing LLP and has been a solicitor for 24 years. He is a corporate lawyer specialising in advising companies on all aspects of corporate law including listings and mergers and acquisitions.