In this week’s member interview we talk with David John, founder of Loyalize.
I was struct by how bold Loyalize’s mission is, certainly something that is all encompassing and ambitious. I like that it lays a line in the sand that many start-ups should aspire to.
Our mission is to change the way organisations engage with their customers.Team Loyalize
I must also admit I was looking forward to speaking to David. His industry and loyalty in particular have been an area I have personally worked in so I was armed with a ton of questions. Although it’s fair to say our conversation became more of a conversation than and interview. But hey, they’re the best ones!
How did Loyalize start?
David launched Loyalize four years ago. His previous career in commodity trading and financial consultancy had given him a great grounding but his passion was to start and grow his own business. Initially Loyalize was a b2c proposition integrating payments and loyalty into a direct to consumer programme. This brought with it a number of challenges and retailer uptake was slow. One fruitful conversation later however and Loyalize pivoted to a b2b white label solution allowing the business to integrate with existing platforms in the form of an of the shelf solution. They haven’t looked back.
Timing is everything
Whilst innovation has continued a pace in payments, loyalty has struggled to keep up. Consumers and retailers have created demand for ever more frictionless solutions and the notion of getting out your key fob or plastic card seemed somewhat arcane.
This is where Loyalize step in, connecting the two processes into a simple, single, streamlined transaction. The integrations they’ve developed make it super easy for retailers to adopt and from a consumer perspective it’s all part of the purchase process. The real value here is that loyalty can be connected to every transaction, no more fumbling for your clubcard. This brings huge benefits, more data for the retailer, more rewards for the consumer and less plastic in the market.
Covid, yes I have to mention it, however has added an extra dimension to the pot. Retailers are not only looking for solutions that make happier customers but also to keep them safe. We are in the era of contactless, cash seems to have disappeared overnight. All this ads up to a concerted effort to make the at till experience as fast, safe and easy as possible. Loyalize are front and centre in this process.
Alongside David he is joined by a CTO, Head of Finance and two Business Development people. In his own words they’ve made deliberate decisions to keep their headcount lean. They have plans to expand but Covid has paused this for a while until they are confident new hires will add the value they seek. Importantly David has assembled a strong board with highly experienced advisors. This is a big tip for any earlier stage businesses, having a great advisory board can do wonders for your growth trajectory.
The funding journey
Like virtually every start-up we speak with Loyalize was initially funded via friends and family. This year they have embarked on their first formal raise. They are well into their SEIS/EIS pre-seed raise of £250,000 with a small percentage left to go. They hope to close in the next couple of months and are excited at the opportunity that sits before them heading into 2021.
As David says they are super well placed given current and likely future market conditions.
Learn more about Loyalize and their fund raise here.
Loyalize on Linkedin