Stampede launches with £1m seed funding, to become an essential service for UK hospitality sector

Patrick Clover, Stampede founder and CEO

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STAMPEDE has launched a £1m seed funding from investors including Techstart Ventures, Galvanise Capital and angel investor, Judy Wilson, as well as the Scottish Government.

Previously known as BLACKBX, Stampede is a Leith-based start-up offering digital growth services. It provides offline businesses online tools to help them connect with customers and grow faster. This replaces wasteful physical promotions and advertising. The funding will allow Stampede to grow its team, expand its sales remit and continue developing its suite of services. 

Stampede’s flagship product, a Wi-Fi-based customer engagement and marketing analytics tool, is currently used by over 800 venues. The new funding will allow the company to expand in the UK and internationally. Stampede will be growing its team from 32 to 60 employees with the specific goal of contacting every pub, bar, restaurant, café, hotel and shop in the UK over the next 12 months – 530,000 businesses in total. 

“Stampede is the best friend of every pub, restaurant and hotel owner,” said Stampede founder and CEO, Patrick Clover. “Our mission is to give small businesses the same tools as their online counterparts. This will provide a level of customer insight and marketing automation previously only available to large brands with large marketing budgets and complex digital tools. We are called Stampede because we want to grow customer numbers for our users fast, but this growth isn’t limited to our customers. Stampede is growing rapidly which is only going to be accelerated by this recent injection of funding.”  

The Stampede team

Stampede offers numerous services covering the entire customer sales cycle, letting customers mix and match from the following complimentary services: 

In-venue services: Stampede offers venues a secure, branded Wi-Fi login portal so that customers can access online services without a painful registration process. Stampede also offers an Instagram-style “Stories” service which lets venues display short videos or landing pages of their latest promotions direct to customers’ mobile devices when they arrive at the venue. This can be an additional new touchpoint with customers, or replace traditional paper fliers and posters entirely, letting venues instantly display new promotions without printing new materials and wasting paper.

Post-visit services: Stampede offers a platform for venues to communicate with customers through automated email or SMS campaigns after their first visit. This can include free food/drinks on a customer’s birthday, special offers for regulars who have not been seen for a while, or simply notifications of relevant events and deals. 

Attract and return services: Stampede enables food & drinks venues to improve their average review score and attract more new customers by prompting their most loyal customers to leave reviews within two hours of a visit. Furthermore, Stampede enables venues to track the results of their marketing campaigns, see when customers return, how long they stay and which offers they use. This lets them learn more about their business, understand which campaigns work best and adjust future outreach accordingly. 

“Techstart only invests in the most ambitious tech start-ups and founders, a description that suits Stampede and Patrick well,” said Mark Hogarth, Partner at Techstart Ventures. “We were initially drawn to Stampede by the scale of Patrick’s vision and the company’s already impressive ability to deliver digital marketing capabilities to operators of physical venues. We’re excited to be part of this seed round and look forward to supporting Patrick and his team as they deliver the next stage of Stampede’s growth”.

“It’s getting increasingly difficult for hospitality and retail businesses to compete for attention with online marketing,” said angel investor, Judy Wilson. “Stampede is a clever piece of software that uses the existing wifi system to engage with potential customers. In our view, it is a game-changer for offline businesses.”


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