Programme: Future Fund
In the world of e-commerce, speed is essential. But when COVID-19 hit, this IT company saw potential investors cancel upcoming investor meetings and was forced to put back its plans by a year as a result. With all these challenges, how was the business able to move forward?
Read what it had to say in this Future Fund case study.
British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?
Andrew Veitch, CEO of MachineLabs: MachineLabs is a database marketing for e-commerce stores on the Shopify platform. We help small e-commerce businesses on Shopify use marketing to sell more of their products. We’re based in Edinburgh and have customers in 23 countries.
The coronavirus has affected a huge number of businesses across the UK. What problems were you facing as a result of the outbreak and what made you apply to the Future Fund?
When the virus broke out, a series of critical funding meetings we were due to attend in Silicon Valley were cancelled. Zoom is a great tool for factual communication but it’s difficult to build trust and fundraise without face-to-face contact.
How long did the application process take? Did you need any support?
I was able to complete the application in the time it took me to drink a cappuccino! The website was very simple. Its standard documentation removed any of the usual legal negotiation and made it a very fast process. Instead of arguing about legal terms and conditions, we were able to focus on the important objectives of our business.
Winning in software is all about speed. The faster we deliver features to customers, the more successful our company will be. Without the Future Fund, we would have been slowed down by at least a year, and that could have been fatal.
Andrew Veitch, CEO of MachineLabs
What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying to the Future Fund?
The Future Fund is an easy way to complete a funding round and the structure of a convertible loan makes the valuation discussions easier.
How has the Future Fund helped your organisation to weather the outbreak? And what might have happened if you hadn’t received the money?
The Future Fund allowed us to get through the COVID-19 outbreak and to take advantage of the growth in e-commerce caused by traditional retailers having to close or scale back.