Wi-Fi-focused firm launches, backed by seven-figure funding

Stampede is the 'best friend' of every pub, restaurant and hotel owner, according to Patrick Clover. Picture: contributed.
Stampede is the 'best friend' of every pub, restaurant and hotel owner, according to Patrick Clover. Picture: contributed.
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A WiFi-focused Edinburgh-based firm helping businesses to boost customer engagement has today launched with seven-figure seed funding, enabling it to grow globally and double headcount.

Stampede has debuted with £1m from investors including Techstart Ventures, Galvanise Capital and angel investor Judy Wilson, as well as the Scottish Government.

The firm, previously known as Blackbx, operates from Leith, offering digital growth services, giving offline businesses online tools to help them connect with customers and boost growth. Customers include The Corn Exchange and Brew Lab in Edinburgh.

It said the funding will allow it to increase its team, expand its sales remit and continue developing its suite of services - and it aims to contact every pub, bar, restaurant, café, hotel and shop in the UK over the next 12 months – 530,000 businesses in total.

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Stampede’s flagship product, a Wi-Fi based customer engagement and marketing analytics tool, is currently used by more than 800 venues. The new funding will allow the company to expand in the UK and internationally as it grows its team from 32 to 60 employees.

Insight

Stampede founder and chief executive Patrick Clover said Stampede is the "best friend" of every pub, restaurant and hotel owner.

“Our mission is to give small businesses the same tools as their online counterparts. This will provide a level of customer insight and marketing automation previously only available to large brands with large marketing budgets and complex digital tools. We are called Stampede because we want to grow customer numbers for our users fast, but this growth isn’t limited to our customers. Stampede is growing rapidly, which is only going to be accelerated by this recent injection of funding.”

As well as offering venues a secure, branded Wi-Fi log-in portal, Stampede says it also lets venues display short videos or landing pages of their latest promotions direct to customers’ mobiles when they arrive, and post-visit, send offers such as free food/drinks on a customer’s birthday.

Mark Hogarth, partner at Techstart Ventures, said: “Techstart only invests in the most ambitious tech start-ups and founders, a description that suits Stampede and Patrick well. We were initially drawn to Stampede by the scale of Patrick’s vision and the company’s already impressive ability to deliver digital marketing capabilities to operators of physical venues. We’re excited to be part of this seed round and look forward to supporting Patrick and his team as they deliver the next stage of Stampede’s growth”.

Angel investor Judy Wilson said: "It's getting increasingly difficult for hospitality and retail businesses to compete for attention with online marketing. Stampede is a clever piece of software that uses the existing Wi-Fi system to engage with potential customers. In our view it is a game-changer for offline businesses.”