Amazon to launch platform to help British start-ups sell their products

Launchpad service will partner with VCs and crowdfunding platforms to identify companies that will benefit from a 'new shop window'

Amazon is launching an online platform this week that will help start-ups across Britain sell and market their products and provide a ‘new shop window’ for businesses to reach consumers.

Its Launchpad service – which piloted in America in July – will promote products on a dedicated area of the Amazon UK site, helping start-ups to manage inventory, distribute products through its delivery network, and receive marketing support, in exchange for a cut of the sales.

Amazon will work with crowdfunding platforms, such as Crowdcube and Kickstarter, and venture capital (VC) firms, such as Andreessen Horowitz, to help decide which start-ups should feature on the platform.

Among the first start-ups to feature on the site will be Kano; the DIY computer kit founded by Young Guns Alex Klein and Yonatan Raz-Fridman, the WiFi-enabled iKettle; created by 2015 Startups Awards finalist Smarter, and Mous’ Musicase; an iPhone case which also holds your headphones.

Amazon.co.uk managing director, Christian North, commented: “We know from talking to start-ups that bringing a new product to market can be just as challenging as building it.

“Amazon Launchpad gives start-ups support . . . so they can focus on inventing on behalf of customers.”

James Griffith, co-founder of the Mous Musicase, added:

“Amazon Launchpad is hugely exciting for us. Having Amazon include our first product, the Musicase, on the Launchpad page is a huge vote of confidence for us, and for the entire UK start-up scene, and will hopefully inspire more people like us to make their dream product a reality and bring it quickly to the mass market.

“It will revolutionise how you can scale a product startup by providing global reach for free. There are so many amazing products from start-ups out there – it’s great that they’ll now be getting a leg up to compete with even the very biggest players”.

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