Tech Pitch: Pollen
The FinTech company offering 'Velocity Capital', a new way to fund and accelerate the growth of any app business
Company name: Pollen
Founders: Martin Macmillan (41), Richard Skaife (41) and Gordon Fitzjohn (60)
Background: Macmillian launched and built tech businesses in FinTech, music and media sectors; Skaife built up several mobile businesses, including YUZA and Fitzjohn was MD of Deutsche Bank’s corporate trust business and now is an investor and advisor to FinTech start-ups
Based in: Carnaby Street, London, W1F
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
Pollen is pioneering the new category of velocity capital; a way to expedite the growth of digital businesses. Focusing initially on mobile apps, Pollen allows developers to unlock yesterday’s sales revenue to fuel today’s growth. We plan to deploy in excess of $150m over the course of 2014, supporting the development of the app economy, and will do this by unlocking capital held in the App Store, delivering 95% of developer proceeds every seven days. As part of its service, Pollen is helping to educate developers around effective paid user acquisition strategies, building awareness, defining best practice and creating demand.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
Currently, app developers can wait more than 60 days to be paid for their app sales or in-app purchases from the leading app stores. Pollen unlocks this revenue early, paying 95% of proceeds to developers every seven days. This enables companies to quickly reinvest earned revenues back into their business, accelerating their user acquisition campaigns or product development cycles. The importance of paid user acquisition campaigns to drive growth and increase the visibility of an app has never been higher.
Missing out on a top slot in terms of app store downloads can dramatically hinder the growth potential of an app, as it loses momentum. By providing growth companies with velocity capital, as well as providing expert counsel and support in developing paid user acquisition strategies, Pollen can help companies boost visibility and even reinvigorate existing apps.
Are you funded?
Pollen is funded by a range of institutional and angel investors. Investors include ClalTech (wholly owned by Access Industries), Archimedia and a number of active angels including Shukri Shammas and Alvaro Alvarez del Rio (Initial Capital). Pollen is a YUZA incubated venture.
What were you doing before starting?
As an app entrepreneur, I (Macmillan) was frustrated by the time lag between when app sales occurred and when developers got paid, and the lack of understanding of traditional financial services business to bridge the gap. With a background as a bond trader, I set out building a team of founders and technologists to solve the problem – and solve a disconnect between today’s digital economy and traditional financial services businesses.
Pollen’s wider leadership and advisory team encompasses significant expertise from the mobile industry, financial services sectors, and an advisory board that brings experience from companies including Apple and NaturalMotion.
What the best thing about where you’re based?
As a FinTech company that supports app developers, it was essential for us to have a presence in both London and San Francisco. London is leading the way in FinTech growth while San Francisco continues to be the epicentre of app development and ad networks.