London start-up SHAREIGHT has highlighted the growing importance of mobile commerce as an investment opportunity by raising £600,000 in 24 hours from over 240 investors through the equity crowd funding platform Seedrs.
The round is currently in an overfunding period and is expected to exceed £600,000 (US $1,000,000) today. SHAREIGHT has set new records for the speed and amount raised on the platform - excluding Seedrs's own campaign in 2013.
SHAREIGHT was founded to overcome the challenges faced by consumers who want to shop via their smartphone. As most online retail platforms have been developed for PCs and tablets, smartphone users habitually encounter problems in browsing websites, comparing different brands and purchasing goods, all of which can be confusing and time consuming and lead to high abandonment rates.
SHAREIGHT's solution is to aggregate everything on the high street into one designed-for-mobile platform that provides easy-to-use browsing, shopping, saving, communicating and sharing of products.
The substantial fundraising, which includes commitments from significant angel investors as well as all of SHAREIGHT's employees, is a clear indicator of confidence amongst investors about the future of mobile commerce, as more shoppers turn to their smartphones to look for items and make purchases.
According to the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index, m-commerce generated £3 billion worth of sales in the UK in December alone - representing nearly 30 % of the total £11 billion generated in online sales in that month. Globally there are an estimated 1.5 billion smartphone users, representing a potentially huge market opportunity.
SHAREIGHT will use the funds raised on Seedrs to further develop its popular social mobile shopping app of the same name, which searches for items from multiple retailers and displays the top eight results for comparison and purchase.
Among the planned activities for SHAREIGHT is the development of a super-easy payment solution and the creation of an Android version of its app, which will make SHAREIGHT's unique shopping experience available to Britain's 11 million Android users.
"Our ability to raise this kind of capital in such a short period is a testimony to where the mobile commerce sector is heading in the UK and how our service is filling a lucrative gap in the market," said SHAREIGHT CEO and co-founder Grant Slatter. "We are going to use this new investment to address important business requirements that will help to deliver the best mobile shopping experience. This includes an easier way to pay for goods - which is a major contributor to abandoned mobile payments - as well as compatibility on all types of smartphones."
Henry Whittaker, CFO and co-founder of SHAREIGHT, said: "The public response to our crowdfunding initiative has exceeded our expectations. We want to thank those who have taken a stake in the company and to assure potential investors who missed this round that there will be more opportunities to join SHAREIGHT's journey in the near future."