Manchester sustainable e-commerce start-up Veo raises six-figure funding
Investors in this round: Solid Bond Venture Builder, Innovate UK
Manchester-based sustainable e-commerce start-up, Veo, has raised £300,000 of angel investment through Solid Bond Venture Builder and a grant award from Innovate UK.
Online shopping and lifestyle marketplace Veo aims to make sustainable shopping accessible to all through a curated platform of independent brands who champion health, diversity and sustainability.
The Manchester-based start-up ensures a feel-good online shopping experience by empowering consumers with the knowledge that products they purchase are ethical in origin and support independent brands, small business owners and artisans.
The marketplace currently showcases over 300+ independent brands (and growing*) that adhere to Veo’s ‘earth friendly’ sustainability criteria, including governance, manufacturing, labour and workforce policy, and supply chains. (*Brands can register their interest to open a shop at https://veo.world/join-as-a-vendor/)
The raise includes £150,000 raised through Solid Bond Venture Builder, which specialises in supporting early-stage founders/business with dedicated business support, investment and mentoring from investors who have scaled and exited businesses. This private investment has been matched with Innovate UK grant funding awarded through the Regional Angel Investment Accelerator (RAIA) programme. This Innovate UK programme is facilitated by Leeds-based investment non-profit, NorthInvest, in partnership with the Innovation SuperNetwork, North East BIC, and the UKBAA.
The funds will be used to further develop the platform technology, their marketing strategy, operational costs and team expansion. Veo has already created 5 new full-time jobs as a result of the investment and to support its future growth plans.
Founder Joe Darwen, said: “Veo combines the scope and convenience of a multi-vendor marketplace like those we are familiar with, but for high quality, sustainable goods with traceable origins. Consumers are becoming increasingly mindful of the social and environmental impact of their purchases and eager to support unique statement brands and diverse artisans struggling in the current crisis. So, our core innovation solves the scalability problem inherent in large marketplaces, and allows Veo to democratise technology from which many SME businesses are currently largely excluded. The Innovate grant supports Veo’s mission to help sustainable businesses flourish and become resilient, by enabling conscious consumers to discover sustainable products and brands that promotes independent business.”
NorthInvest Investment Director, and Access to Finance Manager at the Innovation SuperNetwork, Jordan Dargue said: “We’re delighted to support Veo in securing this funding. The RAIA project is focussed on helping innovative Northern businesses secure finance for growth by attracting co-investment from Angels. Manchester and the wider North are a hotbed of innovation, and I’m delighted we‘ve been able to help another disruptive business grow their offer and reach new markets.
“Founder Joe Darwen and his experienced team have succeeded in finding a commercially viable way of creating a multi-vendor online shopping and lifestyle marketplace with high quality, yet affordable, sustainable goods with traceable origins championing health, diversity and sustainability and we look forward to witnessing their progress.”
The investment in Veo. came because of a pitch event delivered jointly by NorthInvest and the Newcastle Angel Hub. NorthInvest and the Newcastle Angel Hub bring investors together and connect them with businesses at all stages of growth seeking investment. The Newcastle Angel Hub is delivered by the Innovation SuperNetwork, which is part-funded by ERDF, in partnership with Invest Newcastle.joe