NPIF – Maven leads £1.65m funding round in eSales Hub
- £1.65m Series A funding secured
- Investing in artificial intelligence technology
- Plans to create 25 new jobs
NPIF – Maven Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (“NPIF”) and managed by Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”), has led a £1.65 million funding round for eSalesHub, a Yorkshire tech firm analysing big data using A.I to optimise clients marketing spend. The NPIF – Maven Equity Fund invested £1.35 million, alongside the £300,000 from the Maven VCTs.
The new funds, alongside internally generated cash, will be deployed to scale the business and further develop its proprietary A.I technology solutions. Expansion is expected to create 25 new jobs across technology, data science, business development and sales & marketing at the company’s Doncaster head office.
“The time is right to accelerate our growth and invest across the business in our proven technology solutions to expand their take-up and unlock new A.I applications,” said CEO and founder Mark Taylor.
eSalesHub operates in the £2.5bn1 UK data analytics and insights market, with an existing product suite that covers call centre and recruitment media, tracking and analysis. In terms of call tracking, the trend in recent years to online shopping has been mirrored with rapid growth in online marketing, which in 2020 is estimated to account for 69p2 of every £1 of UK marketing spend. Despite the growth in online, tracking sales from online clicks through offline sales remains as important as ever. Click through calls from Google alone are estimated by the Company to exceed 750,000 each and every day, as consumers still require that human interaction before making purchases of goods and services. This has created problems for marketers, who historically have been unable to track the customer journey when it shifts from online to offline, making accurate measurement of digital marketing success and value for money, impossible.
eSalesHub’s technology was developed in-house to solve this problem, connecting the on and offline customer journey to provide meaningful insights into all elements of the customer experience, broken down by demographics. The technology automates call tracking, covering both the classification of calls into categories such as Sales, Customer Service or Supplier and also tracks each call through to its outcome. This provides clients which include British Gas, Connells Estate Agency and Europcar, full marketing attribution back to the initial keywords that triggered the enquiry, enabling marketing professionals to accurately measure the effectiveness of their digital marketing spend. This rich dataset is used not only to save marketing pounds but also to improve client’s customer service offering by understanding where sales and customer service operations are currently falling down.
Regarding recruitment, large companies typically lack the integrated systems to track back and understand the original source of the applicants who have proved to be both their best and worst employees in terms of ability and retention. The company’s recruitment solution combines the source of applicants with payroll and other internal data to measure the success of direct hires from different media channels.
Mark Taylor, CEO and founder of eSalesHub said:
“Our A.I technology has the power to analyse big data, including categorising 10,000 customers calls in just 0.2 seconds, providing clients with a real time, complete view of the customer journey, actionable customer insights and an average 20 per cent more value from their Google spend. However, we are only just scratching the surface of the A.I. opportunity and have ambitious plans for expansion beyond our current call centre and recruitment product suite.
The backing of NPIF and Maven Capital Partners will enable us to triple the local workforce and bring more high quality tech jobs to Yorkshire. We will grow our sales and marketing team to raise awareness of our proven product suite, combined with increased investment in technology and business development to extend the application of A.I as we seek to become Yorkshire’s leading technology business.”
James Rosthorn, Investment Manager at Maven Capital Partners said:
“eSales has developed a technology platform that address a genuine data gap between online click and offline conversion. The business has already achieved a number of milestones and supports a growing list of impressive clients. We’re delighted to back Mark and the team at such an exciting stage in the company’s development and look forward to working alongside them to support their growth plans.”
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.
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Before founding eSalesHub, Mark Taylor spent over 15 years in senior marketing roles for consumer brands including Virgin Active, Esporta, Hilton Hotels and Halfords. The idea for eSalesHub came to Mark on a Marketing Forum with 150 fellow Marketing Directors, holed up on a boat moored off Guernsey. One of the biggest topics of debate at the event was the challenge of measuring marketing efficiency for customer journeys that involved both on and offline elements, an issue Mark had longed considered. Over a drink in the bar, Mark sketched out an idea to an acquaintance who subsequently became his angel investor. Over a McDonalds at Newbury Services on the way home the next day, he decided to quit his job, phoned his wife and resigned the following week.
eSalesHub uses A.I to track big data in real time to measure the media source of offline conversions that have been generated by online clicks. Their technology includes an A.I real-time call reporting and recruitment analytics. Clients can generate an average 20% more on their digital marketing spend by focusing on the keywords and media channels that drive the required conversion. The data also provides invaluable insights into customer demographics and the client’s service offering, which can be used to increase sales conversion rates.
eSalesHub has over 260 clients across the UK and Europe including leading brands Connells Estate Agency Group, British Gas, RED Driving School, Bensons for Beds, Triton Showers and Europcar.
The business is backed by Maven Capital Partners, who provided the funding for the Company’s Series A investment round, which completed in March 2021, raising £1.65m.
About Maven Capital Partners UK LLP
Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (Maven) is an independent private equity house focused on the provision of flexible equity and debt funding for UK SMEs, and one of the most active managers in the UK having invested over £500 million in British businesses since 2009.
Headquartered in Glasgow, and with eleven offices throughout the UK, Maven has over 100 investment and support professionals providing a truly nationwide coverage. Maven has £660 million funds under management and ready to invest, and manages assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, UK regional fund mandates, and Maven Investor Partners, a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors.
About the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development.
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity.
• The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company.
• The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Humber, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, York, North Yorkshire and East Riding
• The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.
• The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley.
• The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at www.thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk/bbb