An online platform described as ‘Tinder for retail buyers and product suppliers’ has secured a £300,000 investment.
Product Guru, which helps retailers find new listings, has received financial backing from Asia-based retail technology investor Belmond Capital, Scotmid and Scottish Enterprise.
Buyers from Tesco and John Lewis are among those that have signed up to the technology, which launched in 2018 after founder Simon Coyle spotted a gap in the market.
The platform operates a ‘freemium’ business model in which basic features are free for suppliers and retailers.
A subscription service is also available to brands providing extras including sales analytics, product engagement statistics and product trends.
The £300,000 investment would aid further platform development in analytics and intelligent recommendations for both buyers and suppliers as well as marketing activity, Coyle said.
“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 said. “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.”
Patricia Poon, managing partner and founder of Belmond Capital, and a former head of 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.”
Paul Cross, senior executive and innovation specialist at Scottish Enterprise, added: “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.”