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‘Game changer’ Appear Here nets £1m funding

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Appear Here, the online marketplace for short-term retail space, this week netted £1m in funding from investors who hail the company as a potential game-changer. Appear Here was founded by 21-year-old Ross Bailey, who himself started out with a Carnaby Street pop-up shop selling limited edition Diamond Jubilee T-shirts.

The company, which enables retailers, brands and entrepreneurs to book short-term space owned by the likes of British Land, Legal & General and Capital & Regional, plans to invest the money in expanding geographically, scaling up its operations and strengthening its technology.

Funding has come from Howzat Partners, who backed Trivago, MMC Ventures, who backed AlexandAlexa, and Forward Investment Partners, who are invested in uSwitch and Hailo. Spotify’s Marc Hazan and Pinterest investors Miroma Ventures were also involved. The funding comes almost a year after Appear Here won early stage investment from Forward Investment Partners, Ballpark Ventures and angel investors last December, ahead of its January 2013 launch.

Sascha Hausmann, partner at Howzat said: “We are always on the lookout for potential game-changers and that is what we have found in Appear Here – a company that is disrupting the commercial real-estate market and providing new revenue sources and marketing opportunities to landlords, retailers, brands and entrepreneurs. With thousands of brands and retailers already on its books, and an ever-increasing number of spaces available to hire, the potential for growth is massive.”

Repeat customers for Appear Here include Google, Microsoft, American Apparel and Diageo as well as smaller independents and entrepreneurs such as Stylist Magazine, Peak-A-Boo Vintage and Candy Kittens – founded by Made in Chelsea’s Jamie Laing. Since launch the company has signed up more than 3,000 brands and retailers.

Ross Bailey, chief executive and founder of Appear Here, said: “This funding round allows us to continue laying the foundations of our disruptive business, based upon helping landlords and tenants use retail space in an efficient and profitable manner. We are delighted to welcome on board our new investors, who bring with them such impressive expertise in technology, property and media. Brand cycles are speeding up, average lease lengths are coming down and consumers want rich buying experiences that aren’t confined to the internet. These trends point to a great future for Appear Here.”

Nic Brisbourne, director of Forward Investment Partners, said: “What attracted us to Appear Here, and specifically the fresh talent of Ross Bailey, was the company’s ability to spot a real gap in the market and then move swiftly to execute, becoming the current leader in the short-term retail space. Appear Here is a great fit with our strategy of backing businesses that support the next revolution in online retail, which is going to see online and offline blurring – Appear Here enables that to happen more efficiently.”

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