Programme:Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, managed by Maven Capital Partners and part of the Northern Powerhouse Fund invested a six-figure funding package in Margin Guardian Ltd, a platform that provides fashion retailers with data insight and targeting services.
Funds will allow the business to invest in its platform, commercialise and develop an android version of it’s app, in addition to the iOS version, as well as fuel its marketing activities.
Headquartered in Liverpool, MG has built a platform that provides retailers with unique data insights – such as price, viewed products and saved products – direct from the consumer. These insights then enable fashion retailers to make more informed decisions on markdowns of stock, reducing leakage and enhancing profit margins, a by-product of blind reductions.
Data provided to MG’s partner retailers is generated through the Squished app, a multi-faceted browsing platform that enables consumers to browse, track and monitor high street fashion items on a single app. The data generated by MG enables retailers to identify trends and inform future pricing and discount pricing strategies.
In recent years the retail analytics sector has experienced a digital revolution and it is anticipated that the shift in consumer preferences and behaviours will continue throughout the 2020s. Factors driving growth of data analytics and business intelligence in the retail sector include growth of the e-commerce sector, increased retailer spend on data insights and revenue optimisation. The market was valued at c$5.29 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach c.$15 billion by 2025.
MG was co-founded in 2018 by Richard Blanchard, Stephen Goodheart and Stewart Cox, a team of commercial and technical operators with extensive experience in executive-level digital, retail e-commerce and marketing strategy. Collectively, they have previously worked for major retail organisations including Matalan, Harvey Nichols, Pets at Home and Robinsons.
Dean Cox, Senior Investment Manager at Maven Equity Finance, said: “MG was founded by a strong team of retail experts and the technology they’ve created addresses a genuine need for both retailers and consumers. MG have received encouraging traction from several high-profile retailers, and we’re pleased to support Richard, Stephen and Stewart at such a pivotal point in the company’s growth journey. We look forward to working with the team to help drive MG forward.”
Richard Blanchard, CEO of Margin Guardian, said: “We believe retailers increasingly need advanced data insight to maintain competitiveness and profit. Our unique purchase intent data will allow them to do just that. We are excited to be partnering with Maven on our journey as they truly understand the data revolution underway.”
Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank, said: “Providing investment for innovative, high-growth companies such as Margin Guardian, is part of what we set out to achieve when we launched the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund in 2017. This deal highlights the support provided by our fund managers and demonstrates the rich pool of potentially world beating companies in Liverpool City Region. It is good to see another Northern business seeking opportunity and driving forward new, data-led solutions. “
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.
Maven Capital Partners UK LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Firm Reference Number 495929
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