Smedvig Capital lead £9.5m Series B investment in app commerce company Poq

App commerce company Poq has announced the completion of a £9.5 million Series B funding round, led by Smedvig Capital with significant participation from Beringea and additional investment from existing investor Revolt Ventures. This round brings the total amount raised by Poq so far to £16.5 million.

Following its Series A in 2016, Poq has grown annual recurring revenue by 400%, and counts House of Fraser, Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, Holland & Barrett, Hotel Chocolat, Fragrance Direct and Made.com among its clients.

As the pioneer in the “apps as a service” space, Poq has built a platform that enables any retailer to launch and maintain an app in record time and at a fraction of the cost a traditional agency app would cost.

This new funding will be used to drive growth in the UK and Europe, as well as the US where the company plans to open offices. The US market currently accounts for 20 per cent of the company’s revenue; Poq’s US client list includes the department store Belk and fast fashion giant Fashion Nova. Alongside completing its Series B round, Poq is bolstering its senior leadership team, with its first appointment being former Just Giving chairman Jonathan McKay, who joins as chairman.

Oyvind Henriksen, CEO and co-founder of Poq, commented: “Apps play a huge role in ensuring that customers stay engaged with and loyal to a brand. Our research proves that shoppers actually spend, on average, more than three-and-a-half times more in e-commerce apps than they do on equivalent mobile websites[1]. The contribution of apps to mobile commerce is so significant that it is imperative for retailers to adapt to the latest technologies available in order to remain competitive.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring on board Smedvig Capital with their large experience in enterprise SaaS and are grateful to receive continued support from our long-term investors Beringea and Revolt Ventures. This will help us grow in the US market, and has also allowed us to welcome Jonathan to the team as chairman. Jonathan’s wealth of experience in scaling up technology businesses has already proved to be invaluable to us, and we’re confident that his leadership and experience will dramatically accelerate our growth.”

Jonathan McKay, Chairman at Poq, said: “The energy and pace of growth at Poq made it an intriguing company for me to join. App commerce truly is the future, and the huge interest from the US market represents a fantastic opportunity to help Poq scale its operations even more rapidly. I’m thrilled to be bringing my experience to this exciting phase in the company’s journey.”

Jonathan Lerner, Managing Director at Smedvig Capital, commented: “We have been following Poq for a long time and have watched their blue chip client list and top quality team grow at a fantastic pace. We are very excited to join Oyvind, Michael and the rest of the Poq team as they continue building the clear category leader in the fast growing app commerce space. ”

Eyal Malinger, Investment Director at Beringea, said: “We have been continuously impressed with Poq’s fast-paced expansion. Poq’s ability to scale at such a rate is a true demonstration of the sheer agility of the platform, and the retailers that it has so quickly attracted are impressive proof of the demand for the company’s unique service. The fast-growing demand for the Poq platform in the US is hugely exciting, and Beringea is committed to supporting Oyvind, Michael and the Poq team on their journey to global success.”

[1] ‘App commerce peak trading report shows increasing impact of app channel on peak performance’, https://poqcommerce.com/app-commerce/2018/02/press-release-app-commerce-peak-trading-report/

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