TruRating is revolutionising consumer insight, using the point of sale to collect mass, accurate feedback
- London, United Kingdom
Categories: Data & Analytics Digital Mixed B2B/B2C
- Social Media
- Company number
- Incorporation date
- 12 Oct 2012
- Investment sought:
- Equity offered:
In a difficult trading environment, merchants are ever more focused on enhancing experiences to evolve and grow their business.
They want to listen to customers to improve. But there’s a problem.
Giving feedback is time-consuming. Only a fraction of customers do it, so the feedback isn't as reliable or representative as most merchants want. Too often, results aren't trusted to drive key decisions.
TruRating changes this. We use the point of payment - in-store, online and however customers pay, now and in the future - to ask every customer a single question.
It’s so easy, we get exceptional response rates (up to 90% instore, 50%+ online) and accurate, actionable insight.
We’ve collected 38m ratings and, crucially, connect what people think to what they buy and how much they spend.
These merchant insights are just the start. Our ratings help consumers find recommended businesses and our data can drive better decisions for a host of 3rd party businesses.
Our aim is to be the world’s broadest and most trusted provider of consumer insight.
We provide merchants, consumers and 3rd parties with information to make better decisions and elevate consumer experiences.
Collecting huge datasets of consumer trends and product data in real time also creates an opportunity to monetise our data - notably with consumer goods companies, investors and professional services firms.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Secured painstaking partnerships with many of the world’s largest payments businesses.
Created a scalable solution that can ‘go-live’ across hundreds of locations a day with little support requirement and no need for new hardware or capital spend.
Developed IP and partnerships that we believe provides a defendable ‘moat’ and opportunity to own a ‘market of 1’ for in-store and multi-channel point of sale insight.
Doing this has allowed us to:
Provide mass multi-channel insights in near real time – with brands hearing from up to 90% of their customers.
Collect 38m ratings and 2bn data-points from 2,000+ merchant outlets in 6 countries.
Give these huge instore ratings volumes an online presence via Google search (helping SEO and online ‘findability’).
Make locations using TruRating some of the most reviewed in the world.
Attract different sizes of business across verticals. Our users span grocery, fashion, sports apparel, automotive, pharmacy, beauty, QSR, restaurants, taxis and leisure.
Prove our value, drive RoI and retain happy merchants – YTD churn is <1%.
Build a pipeline of dozens more brands – rolling these out across their stores would deliver 40,000+ outlets.
Win multiple payments and retail tech awards and graduate from the Microsoft Accelerator.
Raised £21m in investment from a network of Family Offices / VCs, HNWIs and groups of individual investors/angels.
Our plan is to use our unique data assets to build 4 global ‘businesses’:
Current efforts focus on Merchant Insights. This creates a platform to monetise the other businesses from 2019.
Merchant Insight is based on a SaaS model. We charge:
• A monthly fee - typically £20 per ‘outlet’ for our enterprise solution
• A one off set-up fee - typically £50 for enterprise customers
• A monthly fee for TruRating Online (based on transaction volumes)
• Bolt-on fees for bespoke reporting, consultancy, social content and a C-SAT survey
As volumes grow we plan to monetise the consumer recommendations site via a booking engine, ‘click-throughs’ and advertising.
We intend to monetise the aggregated transaction and product data we collect via fixed fee reports and retainers with 3rd parties. With the scale and granularity of data we expect, this may become our largest revenue steam.
We also plan to charge a fixed fee for 3rd parties to access batches of polling questions.
Use of proceeds
We have secured £7.4m in our current funding round and plan to close a further £7.5m – including funds raised through the crowd. The aim of the round is to support us in achieving our break-even point in 2019 and provide us with what we believe is a significant cashflow buffer. It will also provide funds to continue our international expansion and progress across our 4 business areas – merchant insights, consumer recommendations, 3rd party analytics and polling.
The vast majority (77%) of our costs are staffing. We’ve invested in a sophisticated and experienced team to deliver complex payment and data analytics technologies.
We’ve built scalable technologies that mean as we grow revenue we expect our cost base will remain relatively low. We intend to continue to invest in sales, merchant services and data expertise to progress rapid expansion and a first-rate product and customer experience.
The company has a director loan of £500k accruing daily interest at a rate of 2% p.a. above the Barclays base rate. This will be repaid when the company is deemed to have the financial capacity to do so. The funds raised will not be used to repay this loan.
Please note that the company has a class of share (C Shares) that has an anti-dilution protection if the company raises at a valuation that is less than the valuation set by this round. If the company does raise at a down-valuation this will result in an issue of further shares to these shareholders, which would dilute Seedrs investors. Shareholders holding these shares currently represent 23% of the shareholder base. Seedrs investors will not receive shares that have this protection as they are not eligible for EIS tax relief.
TruRating has 3 main stakeholder groups:
1. Payment Partners - Creating a broad 'enabled' market – instore via payment devices and online - is key to everything we do. We've secured hard won partnerships across our target markets, which means our merchants can access TruRating without needing hardware or capital budgets. To reach large volumes of merchants, we continue to work with partners as a sales and marketing channel once 'enabled'.
2. Businesses - Our key initial targets are merchants who benefit from our insights and our ability to drive customer awareness / traffic. We've built a scaleable solution that delivers simple, actionable insights to all types of merchant - large or small. In the future we intend to provide transaction & product insight, and polling solutions to consumer goods companies and other 3rd parties.
3. Consumers - The consumer is the lifeblood of TruRating. It is key that as we grow they understand we help them find the best businesses, improve their experiences and each rating adds to a charitable donation.
Characteristics of target market
The market for our core 'merchant insights' business really is incredibly broad.
We are live with Tier 1 international brands through to local single outlet SMEs in-store and and online
Our relevance extends across verticals and we have proven value / ROI in grocery, fashion, speciality retail, restaurants, pubs, QSR, salons and leisure.
Ultimately, our market is any retail or service business which offers an experience and where we can collect a rating from a validated customer.
This allows us to grow across platforms and react to changing payment methods – even frictionless payment solutions such as Amazon Go will continue to provide a form of digital receipt and this provides the opportunity to collect a rating.
Key to our short-term focus is ‘going live’ with high profile, high volume merchants. Delivering huge ratings volumes every day in itself becomes a powerful marketing tool – we will be prominent in the customer journey, gaining a high profile amongst other merchants whilst creating brand awareness amongst consumers and confidence with SMEs.
Securing major brands draws on direct sales process and creating profile and awareness in the retail / customer experience markets.
To do so we combine sales prospecting with event presence, PR, thought leadership and partnerships with the likes of Microsoft (we are alumni of Microsoft Ventures) and leading professional services and consultancy businesses.
Our payment partners are another key part of our marketing and channel strategy. They market and sell TruRating directly to their SME customers whilst providing us with introductions, endorsements and event opportunities with enterprise clients.
We believe that we have no direct competitors – we understand that no existing solution is able to collect mass feedback via the point-of-payment instore and online.
The barriers to entry are high – it has taken years to overcome the complexities of delivering a 3rd party application on payment devices - and we've created additional barriers through our pending patents and exclusivity provisions.
The nearest competitors for our ‘merchant insights’ business are mystery visitors, exit survey or receipt-driven survey solutions. We provide a level of detail, timeliness and ability to take action that we believe cannot be matched by existing solutions.
Large merchants use us to replace or extend existing ‘voice of the customer’ programmes, whilst small businesses typically cannot afford these, so we make meaningful customer insights available to a new market.
For consumers, we enter the market of TripAdvisor and Yelp but are able to represent the views of the majority – without the need to decipher the reviews of an animated – or potentially fake – minority