Tech Pitch: StreetHub
Startups finds out more about the e-commerce app helping independent retailers to “fight back”
Company name: StreetHub
Founders: Mandeep Singh (30), Alex Loizou (25), Maxim Berglund (31)
Background: Singh was formerly in private equity and also worked as a retail strategy consultant at OC&C. Berglund comes from a background in retail investment at BC Partners, and Loizou has been tech founder of a number of start-ups and was part of Entrepreneur First’s inaugural cohort.
Based in: East London
Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?
StreetHub has just launched an iPhone app enabling shoppers to browse a combined, real-time catalogue of 10,000 unique home and fashion products, from over 300 independent boutiques across London.
All items are available instantly for click and collect or delivery in as little as 90 minutes. We do this by giving our retailers a live inventory management application and the ability to promote the service with window vinyls, plaques, shopping bags, maps and other collateral.
Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?
E-commerce now accounts for just over 10% of UK retail spend, but over 50% of UK retail is researched online and purchased offline locally. We connect the two, allowing you to browse from the comfort of your smartphone but still experience the products offline. Moreover, independent home and fashion retailers lack the scale and resources to take advantage of this behaviour despite having the original and appealing product range that shoppers want.
StreetHub bridges the online to offline gap for consumers using the smartphone, and brings together local independent shops in one place, supporting them by increasing their exposure and driving footfall. In essence, we’re using the smartphone to help independent retailers fight back.
Are you funded?
Yes. StreetHub raised a $1.2m seed round in December 2013 from Octopus Investments (YPlan, SwiftKey and Zoopla), Index Ventures (Farfetch, Net-a-Porter, ASOS) and Playfair Capital (Deudil, Believe.in), as well as a group of angel investors including current or former executives from eBay, Just-Eat, Shutl, Vodafone and Google.
What were you doing before starting?
Singh was formerly a private equity investor at one of Europe’s largest funds, BC Partners. He also worked as a retail strategy consultant at OC&C and advised Arcadia/TopShop, JJB, Wal-Mart amongst others, which was where he first saw the impact that online was having on offline retail. During this time he was also seconded to the Asda marketing strategy team, and worked on the small store and non-food pricing strategies. He started his first business, a web development agency, when he was 15.
Berglund was formerly in private equity at BC Partners with Singh and was also board director of Nille; one of the Nordic’s largest discount retailers. He also worked as an analyst in private equity at Goldman Sachs.
Loizou was previously part of the founding cohort at Entrepreneur First (EF) and co-founded Knode.io. He also worked as a freelance iOS developer and worked at IBM.
What’s the best thing about where you’re based?
Being based in London has been challenging but fantastic. It’s a centre for international talent (we have 10 nationalities in the team!), but it’s also a city where customers are spoilt for choice so we’ve had to work hard for our success thus far. However, we think it will stand us in great stead when we expand geographically.
East London has been particularly great; we’re surrounded by great start-ups and great shops. It’s no coincidence that it is one of our biggest areas, with over 50 independents on-board so far! We’re now based at the Rainmaking Loft, which has fantastic views of St Katharine’s Docks. It’s motivating to be in such an inspiring place.