Cash injection for online platform that simplifies how retailers find challenger FMCG brands

Simon Coyle, Product Guru chief executive officer

ONLINE product discovery platform, Product Guru, has secured funds of £330,000 to disrupt the traditional retail buying process by re-inventing how products end up on shelves.

The investment of £230,000 from Scotmid Coop and Techstart VC, with a further £100,000 funding from the Scottish Enterprise, follows a period of rapid growth for the retail tech company.  

Despite the ongoing challenges faced during the pandemic, Product Guru has more than doubled its workforce and seen sign-ups increase by 310% in the first eight months of 2020, with product submissions on the platform growing by 1000% in the same period.  

Product Guru helps FMCG, home, gift and travel suppliers of all sizes by opening up opportunities to connect with some of the UK’s most well-known retailers via an innovative online software platform.

Since launching in 2018 a raft of high street retailers, including John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and TK Maxx, have signed up to use its services.

Simon Coyle, Product Guru CEO, said: “2020 sent shockwaves through the high street, and nothing will ever be the same. Having worked in retail for 20 years, this has made me even more ambitious with our plans for growth over the next 18 months.

“Our vision is to shake up how retail buying works. The system was broken even before COVID, with buyers missing opportunities to find the products their consumers wanted and suppliers desperately trying to find the right channel to reach buyers.

“More than ever, retail needs to adapt and find new ways of working. As activities move online and remote working becomes the norm, Product Guru is uniquely placed to continue revolutionising how products end up on shelves.

“This funding has come at a critical time as we look to build upon the success of our rapid growth. Continually developing our services to meet retailers’ needs will allow us to connect and match even more suppliers and buyers, helping us to build upon the disruptive changes we’ve made to the sector.”

The investment will also allow Product Guru to recruit two highly skilled senior developers to support the launch of the platform’s premium subscription service in 2021.  The new service will offer greater opportunities for suppliers to catch the attention of retail buyers.

Calum Forsyth, Techstart Ventures investor, said: “Small and challenger brands punch well above their weight in markets that have traditionally been led by large corporations.

“Through consistent reinvention, innovation and a focus on the customer, we have seen unprecedented levels of growth among these brands. In attempting to capture a portion of this, retailers face challenges in both product discovery and workflow management.

“Product Guru is a very elegant solution that sits at the heart of this marketplace challenge. We are delighted to be backing the team and joining them on this journey.”