Vypr scales up for expansion after £2.5m investment

Richard Law

Fast-growing Manchester-based consumer insights business Vypr has received a £2.5m growth capital investment, backed by YFM Equity Partners (YFM) through its British Smaller Companies VCTs.

Vypr said it plans to strengthen its sales and marketing operations as it invests in its team and expands into new sectors and overseas markets.

Founded in 2013 by Ben Davies, Vypr has built a cloud-based data validation platform that enables manufacturers and retailers to save time and costs on new product development by providing insight into what customers want to see on the shelves.

It has a 15-strong team and expanded its consumer panel into France and Germany in 2020.

The company has developed an industry-leading process that combines research into behavioural science with its own well-segmented consumer panel, enabling clients to test every aspect of their product innovation, from packaging, pricing and naming to product claims and ranging.

Vypr works with retailers such as The Co-op Food and brands like Weetabix and Müller.

In addition to the primary service of providing near real time consumer responses to steers, Vypr has developed a number of additional products such as an analytics tool for profiling multiple products within a given category or classification, a function which assesses consumer value perception of products and models pricing elasticity, and a brand sentiment tracker.

The investment from YFM will enable the business to grow its sales and marketing team as it builds on its strong customer base among food manufacturers, retailers and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) brands and moves into new vertical sectors.

Vypr will also continue to invest in product development as well as exploring further international markets, building on its European presence.

Chair of Vypr, Richard Law, who is an expert in data and data analytics driven disruption, said: “Vypr was set up by our founder, Ben Davies, to speedily give product developers, marketers and retailers access to accurate, insightful shopper data, enabling them to make more informed decisions about NPD.

“With ever-increasing consumer demand for interesting products driving innovation, our clients are looking to launch fewer, but more successful, products as well as optimising their share of the available market.”

He added: “The Vypr platform has proved able to provide them with this valuable intelligence in less than an hour – it eliminates the need for expensive research and reduces the number of failed product launches. We’ve had phenomenal feedback from clients who say it has transformed the way they work.

“The success of Vypr is down to the vision of our founder and the world-leading team of people that we have managed to bring together. I’m very confident of Vypr’s long-term strategy and its continued success.”

Richard said: “Having known the YFM team for some time, we were confident that they would be able to support us as we invest in a first class team to take the business forward, turning a strong product in a nascent market into a global leader in its field.”

Dan Freed, partner at YFM, said: “Vypr has developed an agile platform which focuses on providing rapid and robust consumer insight and is valued by many well-known clients.

“We believe that it has a great opportunity to capitalise on the increasing digitisation of traditional market research methodologies. We look forward to partnering with the team as the business executes the next phase of its growth strategy, targeting new clients, sectors and geographies.”

The YFM team comprised Dan Freed, Ian Waterfield, Laura Sisson and Andy Thomas.

Robert Ledger provided financial diligence. Commercial diligence was carried out by Luminii, management diligence by Catalysis, technical diligence by Jeremy Bygrave and David Gallimore, tax by Alexander & Co, and legal advice by Irwin Mitchell.

The company was advised by Ryan Niblock and Nigel Barratt of Hurst Corporate Finance, and by Gateley (legal).

Ryan Niblock said: “Vypr has developed a world-leading market research and consumer intelligence platform, and YFM’s investment will enable the company to accelerate its growth plans nationally and internationally.”