Gresham House Ventures, a growth equity investor specialising in software and digitally driven businesses in the consumer, healthcare and services sectors, has invested £5 million into RetailTech innovator Proximity Insight (PI).
Proximity Insight offers retailers an app to revolutionise the way they build relationships with customers. The global software-as-a-service (SaaS) company was co-founded by Salesforce experts, Kris Moyse, and Matt Lacey, and is led by retail expert, CEO & co-founder, Cathy McCabe, previously VP of Customer & Payments at luxury fashion house Burberry and CIO at British fashion brand Jaeger. Together, they have built rich clienteling technology that caters to every part of the customer journey. PI is now launching as the first retail team super-app enabling all retailers to maximise personalisation, drive loyalty and sell more.
Using the PI app, retail teams can instantly get to know each customer through their profile, displaying their preferences, trends, and purchase history. Equipped with customer knowledge, retail teams can then use PI’s full functionality to communicate, serve, and transact with customers all from a single tool. This complete end-to-end, omni-channel functionality is what makes the Proximity Insight app “super” for retailers, providing them with an enormous competitive advantage, both digitally and in-store.
PI is the only retail solution of its kind natively built on top of the Salesforce platform, augmenting the benefit of Salesforce products, while also integrating smoothly with all other leading CRM and commerce software solutions.
The growth capital investment, which is part of a £5.5mn investment round alongside existing individual investors, is PI’s first from an institutional investor and follows significant growth in 2021, with revenues increasing over 100% year-on-year.
The deal also marks the first combined investment across Gresham House’s Baronsmead and Mobeus VCTs. Gresham House acquired the Mobeus VCTs business in September 2021, cementing the group as a leading player in the VCT segment, with c.£900mn of capital under management. Gresham House recently raised £75mn for the Baronsmead VCTs, and £35mn for the Mobeus VCTs within a record 22 hours.
PI’s growing customer base includes more than 20 brands across 25 countries in North America, Europe and Asia and spans the fashion, beauty, jewellery, electronics, and homeware sectors. Renowned brands already on board include Selfridges, John Lewis, David Jones, Rodd & Gunn, Orlebar Brown and Lafayette 148.
The funding will be used to expand PI’s sales and marketing team, build a significant presence in North America and further develop its SaaS product. In addition to providing growth capital, the Gresham House Ventures team will leverage its expertise in the digital consumer space to advise PI on strategic growth opportunities and support senior recruitment by providing access to its deep network of retail and technology sector professionals. Joe Krancki, Investment Director at Gresham House Ventures who spearheaded the deal, will join PI’s board.
Key PI impact for retailers
- Increase customer data capture and acquisition
- Outreach open rates of 60-70%
- Boost average transaction values by 30-40%
- Conversion rates of 25-30%
- Increase sales per store by 5-10%
Joe Krancki, investment director at Gresham House Ventures says:
“Despite the enthusiasm surrounding e-commerce, the after-effects of the pandemic have clearly shown us that stores still have a vital role to play. It is important, however, that they make use of digital technologies to meet the demands of the modern-day consumer. The fact that retailers are increasingly making technology innovation a strategic priority coupled with a strong endorsement from Salesforce, means PI is well-positioned to build on its early global growth. Cathy is an exceptionally strong and experienced leader, and we look forward to supporting her and the PI team through the next stage of growth and beyond.”
Cathy McCabe, CEO and co-founder of Proximity Insight adds:
“From the outset, it was clear Gresham House Ventures shared our belief in the critical role technology will play in supporting the new era of retail, in which digitalisation will enrich customers’ in-store and online shopping experiences. The team’s combined expertise and proven track-record in scaling software specialists will be fundamental to unlocking our next phase of growth, as we look to meet growing demand from retailers – and customers – for digitally enabled omni-channel capability. Gresham House Ventures’ confidence in our vision and value proposition is a huge testament to our product and team and we are excited about bringing our partnership to life.”