MY ENTREPRENEURIAL STORY: Matt Warren, Veeqo
Matt Warren, is CEO and founder of Veeqo – an online order and stock management platform for multi-channel retailers. Warren talks about the ideas behind his company, raising funds, and deciding how to spend them.
I spent 12 years building and running ecommerce businesses which sold across multiple channels including retail shop, websites, Amazon and eBay. We struggled with having 4 different systems to manage orders, stock levels and so on - and I refused to believe that I was the only retailer facing these challenges on a daily basis. Surely this process could be made simpler?
I decided to take matters into my own hands and build a solution which would fix this problem: so Veeqo was born.
Founded in 2013, Veeqo is one dashboard for retailers to manage and ship all their orders from their websites, eBay, and Amazon. It also has its own cloud-based till which means it can be used within retail stores. Another key benefit of Veeqo is that it keeps stock levels up-to-date across all those channels, so when someone buys something on a retailer’s website, Veeqo will adjust stock-levels in eBay and Amazon for them.
Veeqo is enabling retailers to sell across more channels, giving them extra exposure which turns into more sales and higher profit for the retailer. Using Veeqo allows retailers to massively cut down the time they spend on managing and shipping their orders out every day. An average order that takes up to 5 minutes to dispatch takes just 35 seconds to complete when using Veeqo software. We achieve this by having direct integrations with all the major parcel couriers, so we can easily print shipping labels with just one click. This means retailers can spend less time working in their business giving them time to work on their business instead – for example, focussing on marketing or seeking out opportunities for business growth.
After recently closing a very successful crowdfunding round where Veeqo became the first Welsh company to raise over £1m, my top priority when allocating out funds was to grow and nurture the Veeqo team. We’ve hired more people to help us improve the product, and are very focussed on making the best possible solution for retailers and each investment of the money we have raised goes towards making sure we are a market leader. We also intend to launch in the US soon, so money will be put towards setting up an operation there to handle sales & support.
We still face challenges today – and it’s becoming increasingly hard to find talent to join our team. Our ambition is to be a world-leading retail tech company, so we need to find world-leading team members. We work closely with two local Universities to ensure we can get access that talent before they depart. The recent Tech Nation report revealed that UK digital hubs are thriving, and it’s clear that there are plenty of opportunities for this emerging digital talent to stay in the UK and contribute to its thriving digital economy. We hope our involvement with industry events such as Digital 2015 will go some way to encouraging talented British tech brains to pursue careers in this sector and harness the power they have to become the game-changers of tomorrow.
As a digital company we constantly need to adapt to an increasingly competitive environment – again another reason we attend events like Digital 2015 to learn, connect and share insights with the rest of the industry. We do this simply by building what we believe is the best product out there. I don't think means having the most features or the most buttons – in fact, the opposite. I believe the best products are straightforward and simple, a pleasure to use, and work to make users’ lives easier. Creating such a product is a lot harder than just cramming in new feature after new feature; we have to listen to and understand what our customers need and want. This means investing in a whole host of things such as research, customer interviews, mock ups, and customer feedback before we start thinking of launching a new feature.