Appear Here, an online marketplace for short-term retail space, has closed a funding round. Howzat Partners (backers of Trivago), MMC Ventures (backers of AlexandAlexa) and Forward Investment Partners (existing investors and backers of uSwitch and Hailo) took part. Other participants in this round include Meyer Bergman, Playfair Capital and Ballpark Ventures, as well as Marc Hazan (of Spotify) and Miroma Ventures (investors in Pinterest).
Appear Here, the UK’s largest online marketplace for short-term retail space, is pleased to announce that it has closed a £1 million funding round. Howzat Partners (backers of Trivago), MMC Ventures (backers of AlexandAlexa) and Forward Investment Partners (existing investors and backers of uSwitch and Hailo) took part. Other participants in this round include Meyer Bergman, Playfair Capital and Ballpark Ventures, as well as Marc Hazan (of Spotify) and Miroma Ventures (investors in Pinterest).
Appear Here is the only company providing an online booking platform for short-term retail space to the leading property companies British Land, Legal & General and Capital & Regional. The company was founded last year by 21-year-old Ross Bailey – an entrepreneur who started out with his own pop-up shop on Carnaby Street, selling limited edition T-shirts to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The involvement of both established investment funds and individuals from the digital and property industries confirms the growth potential of Appear Here’s disruptive business model. Appear Here will use the funding to support accelerated geographic expansion – making even more short-term retail spaces available across the UK – to scale up its operations to meet increasing demand and to continue strengthening its technology team. Appear Here received early-stage investment in December from Forward Investment Partners, Ballpark Ventures and angel investors.
Sascha Hausmann, partner at Howzat added: “We are always on the lookout for potential game-changers and that is what we have found in Appear Here – a company that is disrupting the commercial real-estate market and providing new revenue sources and marketing opportunities to landlords, retailers, brands and entrepreneurs. With thousands of brands and retailers already on its books, and an ever-increasing number of spaces available to hire, the potential for growth is massive.”
Appear Here counts many well-known brands among its repeat customers including Google, Microsoft, American Apparel and Diageo as well as smaller independents and entrepreneurs such as Stylist Magazine, Peak-A-Boo Vintage and Candy Kittens – founded by Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing. Since launching in January 2013, Appear Here has signed up over 3000 brands and retailers, giving them access to a database of 250 spaces nationwide, and has gathered over 450 years’ worth of projects in the pipeline.
Ross Bailey, CEO and founder of Appear Here commented: “This funding round allows us to continue laying the foundations of our disruptive business, based upon helping landlords and tenants use retail space in an efficient and profitable manner. We are delighted to welcome on board our new investors, who bring with them such impressive expertise in technology, property and media. Brand cycles are speeding up, average lease lengths are coming down and consumers want rich buying experiences that aren’t confined to the internet. These trends point to a great future for Appear Here.”
Nic Brisbourne, director of Forward Investment Partners said: “What attracted us to Appear Here, and specifically the fresh talent of Ross Bailey, was the company’s ability to spot a real gap in the market and then move swiftly to execute, becoming the current leader in the short-term retail space. Appear Here is a great fit with our strategy of backing businesses that support the next revolution in online retail, which is going to see online and offline blurring – Appear Here enables that to happen more efficiently.”
Appear Here connects commercial landlords who have space with brands, retailers and entrepreneurs who want to hire retail space for short-term projects such as pop-up shops, product launches and brand showcases – in an online, platform-based process that is as easy as booking a hotel room.
For further information, interview requests and images please contact:
John Elliott, Powerscourt – [email protected] / 0207 324 0492
Carmen Murray, Powerscourt – [email protected] / 0207 324 0496
Juliet Clarke, Powerscourt – [email protected] / 020 3 328 9383
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Appear Here
Appear Here is an online platform connecting retail landlords with entrepreneurs and others who wish to rent short-term retail space. Appear Here currently covers Bath, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Manchester, giving start-ups, designers and international brands the chance to take an empty space, share an idea and create a moment. Over 3,000 brands and other businesses have signed up to Appear Here, giving them access to over 250 high-quality spaces. The company was founded in the summer of 2012 by Ross Bailey and its backers include Forward Investment Partners, MMC Ventures and Meyer Bergman. Russell Buckley, the former European head of Google’s Admob, is a board member.
About Forward Investment Partners
Forward Investment Partners provides venture and growth capital for start-ups. It is one of the three investment divisions of Forward Internet Group (“Forward”), a London-based investment group established and managed by entrepreneurs. Forward creates, acquires and invests in web and consumer businesses, nurturing ideas, enabling growth and optimising brands. Forward was established in 2004 as TrafficBroker, an affiliate marketing company. Forward Private Equity enables transformative growth for companies with established management teams; Forward Investment Partners is described above; Forward Labs supports entrepreneurs in residence with seed capital, advice and support. Since 2004, Forward has invested in over 40 companies, including uSwitch, Zopa, unbound, Hailo and Hubbub.