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World domination the target for Wellington firm Collect

29 Nov 2017

Heavyweight backing has energised Wellington-based firm Collect which aims to be a leading provider of marketing to help small retailers build better relationships with customers.

Wellington business Collect
Collect co-founders Matt Thomas, Brady Thomas, and Brent Spicer.

Collect have in excess of 15,000 retailers globally – more than 70 per cent are based in North America. There are more than 15 million consumers on their database.

Collect’s suite of services include loyalty schemes, sales campaigns, customer feedback collection and direct messaging to customers, for both physical retail and online stores.

Collect’s services integrate with big e-commerce platforms including Shopify, BigCommerce, Vend and Kounta. They are also a foundation partner of 9Spokes, the NZ/ASX listed company.

A strategic agreement with Australia’s newest bank, Tyro, has just been signed which will fuel further growth.

They have also launched a project to leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to completely automate marketing for small businesses. An ex-Palantir data scientist has been employed to lead the project and they have just received a Callaghan Grant to help fund the project.

Staff levels are expected to grow from the 11 they have today to over 30 in Wellington and another 12 globally by the end of 2018. Expansion comes after they successfully closed on ongoing Series-A funding of $2.5 million.

Collect Co-Founder Brent Spicer says the market that the SaaS [software-as-a-service] company operates in is huge with US$22 trillion spent in retail in 2016, 91 per cent in brick-and-mortar stores, of which 98 per cent are small to medium-sized.

“There is no incumbent in our space and our new investors believe that our approach can make us number one, globally.”

The Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) guided Collect through the process of obtaining capability grants from the Callaghan Institute.

WREDA’s Business Growth and Innovation General Manager David Jones says Collect are helping shine the light on Wellington’s innovative tech sector.

“They identified a hole in the market and had the talent and drive to make global inroads. It’s satisfying to know that WREDA has played a small role in their success.”

Collect are also establishing an office in San Francisco led by Mr Spicer who has relinquished his role of CEO role to his co-founder Brady Thomas.

“We’re growing quickly, have lots of partnership agreements to activate and are starting to hire,” Mr Thomas says. “The board agreed to appoint me to keep continuity of management and to allow Spice to focus on nailing the North American opportunity”.

Matt Thomas, the third co-founder and brother of Brady, remains in the role of Chief Product Officer.

Collect recently won the Wellington chapter of the AWS Aussie VC (Venture Capitalist) Tour against 128 other companies.