Tech Pitch: Udozi

Conceived at university, Alan Gabbay shares how his platform works like a search engine for the high street

Company name: Udozi
Founders: Alan Gabbay (30)
Background: Born and raised in North London, Alan holds an undergraduate degree in Computing and a Masters in Real Estate. Alan came up with the idea of tracking stock of high street stores at university, before setting up Udozi in 2008.
Based in: London – W1

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

Udozi works like a search engine for the high street. If you search for an item, Udozi brings up information on where that item, and other similar products, can be found nearby, and allows the user to reserve the product to collect in store. As well as providing information on stock availability, it also provides details on shop contact details, location, opening times and any relevant offers. There are currently over 3.3 million products on Udozi across 170 shops, from boutiques to larger stores including Toys R Us, Maplin and Evans Cycles.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

The internet has changed the way we shop – in just a few clicks, you can instantly find what you want, compare prices and buy the item you need. But you can’t do this on the high street. If you’re in a rush it can be difficult to find exactly what you want – especially if you don’t know the area very well. That’s why the idea for Udozi was born. With Udozi, consumers can search for exactly what they want in physical stores, instantly see what is in stock and then go in store to buy it on that same day. We’re disrupting the way people shop on the high street, by merging together the strengths of in-store shopping (something which has been around for hundreds of years) with the latest technology to make it even better and more convenient.

Are you funded?

Udozi is privately funded.

What were you doing before starting?

After leaving university, I was involved in several high street regeneration projects – like the development of The Heart in Walton-on-Thames. This fuelled my passion for the high street, so I went on to found Udozi with the aim of developing a service to better support the struggling high street and drive people back into stores.

What is the best thing about where you’re based?

Udozi is all about shopping on the high street, so we’ve based ourselves in the heart of the UK’s shopping capital – London W1. We’re just off Oxford Street, which is great as we are surrounded by traditional shops and retailers of all different sizes. When we set up Udozi we focused our efforts on building up our presence in central London and we’re now looking to grow and expand around the UK. But it’s still great to be surrounded by the stores that first signed up to Udozi when we started a few years ago.

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