E-commerce start-up Qubit raised £16m to expand to US

 

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The Independent Online

A London start-up that works with the likes of Topshop, Liverpool FC and Thomas Cook has raised $26m (£16m) to export its technology to the US.

Qubit, founded by four ex-Googlers, lets businesses personalise their websites for individual customers, showing different things to different people.

Co-founder and chief executive Graham Cooke explained: “If you are a first time shopper at Topshop, they can create an engaging video that brings that person around to how great the brand is. On the same page, for a regular visitor who’s been looking at dresses, you can show them the last item they were looking at.”

Qubit, which also works with the likes of Jimmy Choo, Virgin Active and John Lewis, today revealed it has raised $26m to expand its presence in the US, as well as open new offices in Southern and Northern Europe and invest in developing the company’s tech.

“We are a UK headquartered engineering business so we’ll continue to hire the best software engineers and product management talent from across Europe and the world and build the technology here in London,” said Cooke.

 

Cooke, an American, praised London as a global centre for e-commerce, saying: “We decided to start it in London because it has a competitive advantage in e-commerce. It has the highest spend per capita than anywhere else in the world.“

The latest round of funding came from London venture capital firm Balderton Capital, which has in the past backed the likes of Lovefilm and Betfair; Salesforce Ventures, the investment arm of billion dollar US technology company Salesforce; and Accel Partners, the venture capital firm that has invested in the likes of Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify.

Accel Partners’ Philippe Botteri said: “The way we look at our investments is to look at the big trends and try and think who will be a winner. What we’re seeing is a shift in the industry from mass marketing to something that’s more segmented.”

Cooke declined to reveal how much Qubit is currently valued at, but Botteri said Accel generally takes 20-25 per cent stakes in companies it invests in with a view to eventually selling for around $500m (£308m). This would imply that Accel thinks Qubit could one day be a multibillion dollar company.

To date Qubit has raised $36.5m (£22.5m).

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