A Middlesbrough software firm that helps e-commerce stores drive sales has raised £2m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF) as part of a £2.25m funding round.
The investment – which also included funding from a private investor – will enable Salesfire to add more AI-powered features to its platform and double the size of its team, creating around 50 new jobs in the Tees Valley. Salesfire helps online stores optimise conversion rates by personalising and enhancing the customer journey.
Its rapid site search enables visitors to see an almost instant set of product results, making it easier for them to find what they are looking for. The platform also makes intelligent product recommendations and provides targeted messaging to prompt visitors to complete actions or finalise their purchases.
Salesfire was founded in 2017 by Rich Himsworth who had previously worked in software and marketing agencies. The company now serves over 650 customers including Moss Bros, Sports Shoes and Hamleys, and has annual recurring revenue of over £2m.
Rich Himsworth, founder, said: “Salesfire aims to replicate the in-store experience, where sales assistants and effective signage help customers to find the right products and maximise sales. In the current challenging retail environment, it is even more important that online stores make the most of their marketing spend. The investment from Mercia and NPIF will enable us to develop exciting new features to make the platform even more powerful.”
Will Clark of Mercia said: “Salesfire is the only platform of its type that offers this level of functionality at a price that is accessible to businesses of all sizes. Rich leads a dynamic team who understand the needs of ecommerce companies and continue to grow the user base. This investment will allow them to take their product to the next level and target the global market.”
Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank, said: “Great businesses thrive right across the North and we are pleased to see Mercia finding strong companies in Tees Valley to invest in. This investment in SalesFire will create many new highly skilled jobs in Middlesborough, which is part of our goal in delivering a stronger North. The power of technology and AI is becoming more advanced year-on-year, and this especially prevalent in the North of England.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.