One of Wales’ leading tech firm, Veeqo, has been acquired by e-commerce giant Amazon.
Established by Matt Warren in 2013 Veeqo has a global client base for its e-commerce tech platform that helps retailers, including Amazon, sync their inventory and fulfil customer orders.
Amazon said it is committed to investing in the Swansea-based business, which currently employs 70, but is actively recruiting for new high-paid roles.
The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but provides an exit for investors including Octopus Ventures, which led a £3.3m equity round in March 2019. Mr Warren is remaining with the business.
In a statement Amazon said: “We’re excited Veeqo has joined Amazon. It’s an innovative company that helps sellers manage their multi-channel business and provides an outstanding experience to shoppers.
“We plan to continue investing in new features and improvements to help Veeqo serve sellers globally from its home in Wales, facilitate growth for sellers’ multi-channel businesses, and enhance the experience of their customers.”
“We’ll carry on investing in new features and usability in our product from our headquarters in Wales. We look forward to discovering all the ways we can work with Amazon to build on our existing tools, develop new services and, ultimately, serve you better.”
In a blog post Richard Bolton of Octopus, who focuses on software investment, said : “It’s been a busy couple years for Matt and his team due to the pandemic induced e-commerce boom, we are excited to share that Veeqo has been acquired by Amazon.
“However, no matter how good a product is, you still need to get your sales strategy right. We supported Veeqo as it developed a product led approach, by expanding its free-trial offering and focusing on attracting the small online retailers it knows best. It proved to be the right call.
“The lesson here is twofold. First, pick an investor with a long-term outlook, which is willing to back the management in bold decisions. And second, don’t overlook the value of an excellent product. Veeqo’s success with its sales strategy was only made possible because its product was so good.”
Silicon veteran Martin Fincham, who was appointed chair of Veeqo following its 2019 investment, said in a Linkedin post; “Our plan was to raise a Series B round in late 2021 and grow the company past £10m plus annual recurring revenues for a hopeful £100m plus exit valuation. We felt that hitting these milestones would be of note to entrepreneurs and investors alike, thereby shining a spotlight on Swansea.
“Little did we know that the mighty Amazon would make an offer that we couldn’t refuse and ‘little ol’ Veeqo would find itself running in the engine room of the world’s largest online retailer.
“Amazon has an admirable track record of investing locally after such an acquisition, so I sincerely hope that, in a few years, when driving past Swansea Bay on the M4 motorway, I will be blinded by the sun glinting off the windows of Amazon Tower housing 1,000 plus Veeqo employees.”
He added: “Whilst in some parts of the media one can find negative narratives about ‘big American companies’ buying ‘little British battlers’ or ‘entrepreneurs selling out too early’ there are times when one plus one truly equals three.
“Amazon acquiring Veeqo is a positive step for the team, customers, partners, investors and people of Swansea and South Wales. Few British software companies ever get to make such a global hit. This feat is often best achieved by being inside and exploiting the massive reach of a company like Amazon.”
In a statement on its website Veeqo said:” We’ll carry on investing in new features and usability in our product from our headquarters in Wales. We look forward to discovering all the ways we can work with Amazon to build on our existing tools, develop new services and, ultimately, serve you (customers) better.”