Liverpool’s Arete leads £3m investment into analytics platform

Richard Hammond and Rocky Howard, Uncrowd

North west-based multi-family investment office, Arete, has led a £3m investment into experience analytics platform, Uncrowd.

Created by retail and systems experts Richard Hammond and Rocky Howard, Uncrowd is a cutting-edge platform that allows global retailers and brands to measure customer experience through innovative methods of data collection.

It was recognised as one of Silicon Valley’s best retail tech start-ups at this year’s Plug and Play Fall Summit and has earnt a place on the Plug and Play accelerator programme.

Unlike traditional customer analytics, Uncrowd works by collecting objective data and observations to generate an “unbiased view” of how a company is performing against its competition, whilst detecting any key areas of improvement.

The platform identifies why a customer chooses one company over another, providing businesses with deeper insights to allow them to make key decisions that will help them to increase their market share.

The deal will see Liverpool headquartered Arete add to its growing portfolio of tech-led businesses and scale-ups, in a year that has seen the firm make a number of investments into companies such as Manchester-based Peak AI and global multi-channel tech business, Tactus Group.

Ben Hatton, partner at Arete, said: “We’re really excited to be partnering with Uncrowd.

“The business is already operating at a global level, which is down to the hard work and expertise of the senior management team which has come together to create a stand-out proposition.

“In just four years, Uncrowd has managed to achieve recognition from tech giants Microsoft and Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play, the largest early-stage accelerator platform in the world.

“These are huge achievements for a company so young, which makes this a fantastic opportunity for Arete. We’re looking forward to working together with Richard, Rocky and the wider team to drive Uncrowd to the next level.”

Uncrowd co-founder Richard Hammond said: “The traditional customer analytics industry has historically focussed on a two-dimensional understanding of the customer and their motivation, which is great, but there was a real gap in the market that needed to be filled in terms of what is going on elsewhere in the space.

“Uncrowd works by looking at the wider picture, using relative attractiveness to measure a retailer’s performance – because that is the key to developing your business. When you know your relative attractiveness versus your competitors, then you have the full 3D picture.

“We have chosen to partner with Arete because the team really understand what we are about as a business and they offer a real partnership when it comes to investment, which was a huge priority for us.

“We had a number of options, but with Arete we saw a genuine sharing of expertise and we respected them as bringers of extra value right from our first conversation. We’re looking forward to embarking on a long and successful relationship, leaning on Arete’s extensive knowledge of the tech and digital sectors to really help drive our business to its next stage of growth.”

The transaction was led by Ben Hatton and Jamie Newall at Arete. Matt Noon and Elan Iorwerth of Hill Dickinson (legal), David Crout and Jill-Marit Lerum Cornes of PMSI (commercial), Phil Cox of Iafeya (technical) also advised on the deal. Begin and Matrix Capital also invested as part of the round.

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