Ambitious Manchester app developer raises £2.1m in funding round

Andy Barlow

Manchester based developer Chatloop has raised  £2.1m in a funding round from private investors as it prepares for its official UK rollout of an app it claims is the fastest mobile app browser.

The funds raised will allow Chatloop to drive user numbers and increase engagement, build out the internal team, and continue its fundraising ambitions.

The mobile app is designed to let people loop in their friends to discuss content on any website,  and has been awarded default browser status by Apple – the only UK app to have received this accreditation, which means Chatloop is now available on 4.2 billion devices globally.

Launched in the UK in Beta in December 2022, the business has grown from 3 to 11 permanent employees in the past year and is set to pursue a wider Series A raise midway through 2024.  

One of the businesses involved in the early testing of the technology is ecommerce giant THG. 

An unnamed member of the THG team is quoted by Chatloop in a release as saying: “Personalisation in a digital landscape and building emotional connections with customers are just a few of the common characteristics that unite the world’s leading brands. Brands that understand and embrace the individuality of their customers offer a unique opportunity to cultivate lasting relationships by making a mass market offering feel one-to-one.”

Founded in 2021 by Andy Barlow, an experienced technology developer and former co-founder of digital adoption platform AppLearn, Chatloop claims to be “a world-class browser that is faster than Chrome, Safari or Firefox with the best aspects of social sharing”.

Barlow said: “Being awarded default browser status by Apple is a huge milestone for the Chatloop team, who have worked tirelessly for the last ten months to ensure our app meets Apple’s stringent integration requirements.

“Chatloop is bridging the gap between brands and users by making it much easier to share the things you love as you browse. Apple’s endorsement and the generous backing of our investors will supercharge our mission to deliver a people-first web experience that works for everyone,” he added.

The investment will also drive forward the implementation and delivery of Chatloop’s Open Innovation Programme for brands, which is partnering with notable brands across the retail, travel and hospitality sectors, to co-create the company’s business proposition.

Barlow came up with the idea after taking issue with a breaking transfer story about his favourite football team, Manchester United. Finding no way of responding to the report directly on the team’s website, Barlow conceived a new type of web engagement. 

Now 11 strong, Chatloop’s team is based in Huckletree’s Ancoats workspace.

The ambition is to grow its early adopter audience to 250,000 daily active users by the end of the year.