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29 February, 2016 - 14:50 By Kate Sweeney

Payment app seeks £450k on Crowdcube

Droplet

A fast growing mobile app that combines loyalty with payments is one of the first companies in the UK to return to Crowdcube to achieve its aim of being in 20 cities by the end of 2016.

Droplet, which has been operating in Norwich since 2012, will look to secure more than £450,000 of funding in a second round bid that went live last week.

The decision comes after the company achieved its 12-month business plan of setting up and rolling out in 10 major cities, including Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and London.

It has also gained further commercial traction after securing a landmark deal with Elior, a global contract catering company that looks after 3.8million customers across 13 countries every day.

“In the UK, £1 in every £7 spent is attached to a loyalty programme. The problem is that most people don’t want to carry around a wallet stuffed with paper and plastic cards,” explained Steffan Aquarone, who started the firm with Will Grant.

“We know from apps like Starbucks that mobile offers a powerful way for merchants to make things simpler and easier for their customers – but people don’t want their phones crammed with different apps either and that’s why we built Droplet as a universal app that any business can use.

“Last year we had an established business and user base but no loyalty features or revenue. Since we added Rewards to our offer our active usage has gone up four-fold and our income is growing between 50 and 100 per cent a month. Elior adopting Droplet as a form of payment and loyalty scheme at one of their main locations is a major breakthrough for our business and could open the door to working with a whole host of different organisations.”

The founder claimed that Droplet was the only payment system that is fee-free for Norwich merchants, who pay a fixed monthly subscription to run their loyalty programme through the app.

When customers arrive all they need to do is press one button and their face and name will appear on the merchant’s screen so they can be charged and given their stamps. The transaction is completely secure and an instant push notification is sent to tell you how much money has been charged.

Norwich is the company’s most successful location with more than 300 merchants signed up and over 7000 users regularly choosing to collect rewards and make payments through the app. So far, more than £250,000 in local trade has been retained and this figure is expected to double once the ‘Rewards’ platform and ‘Norwich Points’ gather pace.

“We’re at the stage where we’re very nearly ready to raise the sort of money that powers the likes of Deliveroo,” added Steffan, who has been invited to announce a world-first new feature for Droplet at Money20/20 Europe in Copenhagen in April.

“Once the growth is predictable, larger financiers come in to speed it up, which is how challenger businesses like ours get so big, so fast.

“And our mission is big, make no mistake about it. We want to put Droplet’s industrial-strength mobile marketing tools in the hands of every bricks & mortar business in the UK, then Europe and then the rest of the world.”

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