Loyalzoo, the UK’s first cloud-based loyalty app for independent shops and eateries has announced the success of its first crowdfunding campaign. Aimed at raising £120,000, the Seedrs campaign hit its target less than 24 hours after going public.
The rush to invest exceeded even the bullish expectations of Loyalzoo’s founders.
Based in Chiswick, West London, Loyalzoo offers a loyalty app to independent merchants as a replacement for traditional loyalty cards. Many big retailers such as Starbucks are getting rid of their loyalty cards and using apps but, as so often happens, independent shops risk being left behind. Loyalzoo was set up to give these small shops the same technology and a chance to compete with the big brands.
According to co-founder, Massimo Sirolla, a loyalty app works far better for independents than it does for the big guys. “Customers can hold all their loyalty programmes with all their favourite shops in one place. That makes a lot more sense than having an app for each shop.”
With its simple and elegant design, and minimal sign-up requirements, Loyalzoo is a cinch for anyone to use, whether the busy merchant or the technophobic senior. “People are a bit taken aback at first that this is so easy,” says Sirolla, “then they love it.”
Last month, in recognition of its aim to change the face of Britain’s high streets, Loyalzoo was named by Everline Future 50 as one of the UK’s top 50 most disruptive businesses.
For decades, Britain’s high streets have become more and more alike as the big retail chains have slowly colonised our shopping areas. Independents have struggled to survive in the face of this remorseless advance. Loyalzoo aims to disrupt this trend by giving independents the power to connect with their customers. It puts the very latest technology at the service of traditional shopping.
Loyalzoo’s founders believe that it is this support for the independents which makes their business so attractive, not just to merchants and their customers, but to small investors and the public at large. They believe the success of their funding campaign owes something to the affection the public feels for small independent shops. “People may shop online or at retail parks,” says Sirolla, “but their heart is with the independents. And this is not all sentimental by any means. Sure, lots of small shops are closing down, but many new ones are opening. Just look at the number of independent restaurants popping up all over the place.”
The app is gaining in popularity, not just in the UK, but as far afield as Japan and the USA. Loyalzoo is a local app that can be used by independents anywhere in the world. As such, it is a business with enormous potential for the investor. While thrilled with the speed of uptake from crowd investors, Loyalzoo have decided to keep open the investment channels a little longer to allow more people to be a part of this great campaign. “There is such huge growth potential here,” added Sirolla, “and this one just might make your locality a better place.”