Wealth Club has led a £1.5 million investment round raising £1.3 million under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) for Advanced Commerce, the visual merchandising platform for online retailers such as LK Bennett and The Conran shop. The platform helps retailers merchandise their websites effectively, delivering a better online shopping experience in order to increase sales and reduce drop-off rates and basket abandonments.
Advanced Commerce was founded by André Brown who previously founded Attraqt – a merchandising platform used by over 300 enterprise retail clients, from ASOS to The White Company and Screwfix – and subsequently helped it float on AIM in 2014.
This is the second fundraise by Wealth Club, after raising £1.3 million in late 2021, co-investing alongside institutional investor, Haatch Ventures. This brings the total raised by Wealth Club to £2.6 million, so Wealth Club clients now own a significant minority holding in the business.
Alex Davies, CEO and Founder of Wealth Club said: “The UK e-commerce sector is estimated to be worth more than £150 billion, partly thanks to the shift to online shopping during the pandemic. However, many retailers struggle to keep up with users’ expectations, for instance, up to 70% of baskets are abandoned – and that alone can cost e-retailers £millions in lost sales. Advanced Commerce is helping solve this. Its platform is the digital equivalent of a good shopkeeper, arranging products on shelfs to maximise sales. And the results speak for themselves: increasing average values orders by 12-15% and the volume of orders by 5-10%.
An opportunity to invest in a start-up where the founder is a sector expert and on top of that has a proven track record with a similar business, is hugely attractive. Our clients recognise a good opportunity when it presents itself and were quick to invest.”
Andre Brown, CEO of Advanced Commerce said: “We were delighted to raise a further £1.5 million in order to continue growing the business at its current pace. This investment will enable us to accelerate growth and expand geographically and develop new products in the same merchandising ecosystem. The software we have developed is called GrapheneHC and is effectively three technologies in one including site search, visual merchandising and product recommendations. We want this technology to become the gold standard for all online retailers.”
Fred Soneya, Co-founder, Haatch Ventures said: “Haatch are thrilled to once again be backing the team behind Advanced Commerce. The progress since our initial investment in 2021 has gone from strength to strength seeing the company grow significantly with 31 signed clients and 15 live on the platform including the likes of Baby Mori, Pangaia, Anya Hindmarch, The Conran Shop and LK Bennett, as well as having a very strong pipeline of clients for the coming months. We have high conviction in this experienced team and look forward to supporting them as they become the No.1 credible player in this space.”
Alex Davies continues: “EIS enables individuals to participate in the growth of exciting early-stage British businesses with the added bonus of generous tax relief both when they invest and exit the investment. This enhances returns when things go well and softens the blow when they don’t. With tax rates at their highest for many years the relative attraction of investing through the EIS scheme has become ever greater.”
About the Enterprise Investment Scheme
The tax advantages of EIS include:
- Up to 30% income tax relief with option to carry back to the previous tax year
- Tax-free growth – no capital gains tax to pay on any gains
- Defer capital gains made elsewhere
- Loss relief – offset losses against income or capital gains tax
- IHT relief after two years