UK start-up secures more than £600k investment from high-profile investors since launch
people.io - the service that pays consumers for dynamically licensing their data and attention to brands, has completed its second investment round and has now secured more than £600k since its launch in Q1 2016 with a mix of SEIS, EIS and convertible debt.
Since UK launch was announced in January 2016, people.io has enjoyed great success with more than 3000 beta users registered for the service, helping to refine the user experience ahead of a nationwide roll out later in the year. Confirmed investors are drawn from the finance, publishing, telecoms, media and insurance worlds and include some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs.
Investors in this latest round include Thomas Høegh (founder of Arts Alliance, LoveFilm and Growth Street), Nick Robertson (founder of ASOS), Sean King (founder of Seven Publishing), and Founders Factory (co-founded by Brent Hoberman, Jim Meyerle and Henry Lane-Fox). This follows an announcement last month of a strategic partnership with Telefonica-backed accelerator, Wayra Deutschland to enable a launch into the German market by Q3 2016.
The industry’s renewed support and belief in the consumer-centric model championed by people.io can be seen through its invitation to present as one of the Unilever Foundry 50 at Cannes Lions and as a ‘Rising Star’ during Founders Forum 2016.
This support comes amidsts rapid industry shifts resulting from the growth of ad-blocking and the recent announcement of EU GDPR. Daniel Cooper, a leading EU data privacy lawyer and Partner at Covington has been acting as an Advisor and Counsel to people.io throughout its expansion to ensure the right balance can found between current regulation and consumer empowerment.
Funds from the latest investment round are earmarked for product development in readiness for a national UK roll-out in Q3 and a beta launch in Germany before the end of the year. Ahead of consumer pilots throughout 2016, people.io is actively seeking strategic and commercial partners in the UK and Germany.
Nicholas Oliver, founder and CEO of people.io said:
“It is exciting to see so much support for people.io from some of the most respected investors in the UK, many of whom are successful entrepreneurs in their own right, putting us in a strong position to drive rapid growth and scale during the next stage of our journey. Their personal confidence in our model gives us renewed confidence that our consumer-centric model is the right one.”
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people.io is a marketplace that puts consumers back in control by allowing them to dynamically license their data and attention to brands. The platform enables consumers to earn credits by sharing information and engaging with content or updates from relevant, local businesses. Credits can be exchanged for products and subscriptions from your favourite brands or even given as a donation to charity. people.io will never share an individual’s data with third parties. All user data remains under licence from the consumer, with the option to opt-out and have their data deleted from the platform at any time.
Behind people.io is a team committed to putting consumers first. Using their expertise from the worlds of advertising, finance and consumer tech industries, they’re working hard to put people back in control of their data. For far too long, consumers have been subject to irrelevant, intrusive marketing with nothing in return for their data. We think now is the time to change.
Since being founded in 2015 they have been through Startup Next (the #1 pre-accelerator run by Techstars), completed two investment rounds and are now part of Wayra Deutschland (Telefonica's global accelerator) and Founders Factory, with plans to launch in multiple EU markets by the end of 2016.
About Nicholas Oliver, Founder
Nic is a digital evangelist with a breadth of experience in business and innovation. He launched his first digital production company at the tender age of 15 and since then has built a stellar career in the advertising, marketing and digital innovation sector. As Global Creative Technical Director for Team Detroit (WPP) he worked with Ford Motor Company to identify emerging technologies and partnerships that could create more authentic consumer conversations.
Throughout his career, Nic’s focus has been on creating the best experience for the consumer, as he believes that great experiences create the best forms of engagement. It was seeing how brands are constantly looking for better ways to engage consumers meaningfully that inspired Nic to set up people.io.