Arete leads £3m analytics firm investment

In the latest of a series of deals, Liverpool private capital investor Arete has led a £3m investment into a data collection and analytics specialist. Tony McDonough reports

Arete, Uncrowd
Richard Hammond and Rocky Howard, founders of Uncrowd. Picture by Richard Jarmy Photography


Liverpool private capital outfit Arete has led a £3m investment into a data collection and analytics businesses.

Created by retail and systems experts Richard Hammond and Rocky Howard, Uncrowd is a digital platform that allows global retailers and brands to measure customer experience through innovative methods of data collection.

Arete was established in Liverpool city centre in late 2020 by a team of experienced investment specialists and has already concluded deals worth tens of millions of pounds. In October it announced a £1.6m investment into a luxury travel venture.

Uncrowd was recognised as one of Silicon Valley’s best retail tech start-ups at this year’s Plug and Play Fall Summit and has earned a place on the Plug and Play accelerator programme.

Unlike traditional customer analytics, Uncrowd works by collecting objective data and observations to generate an unbiased view of how a company is performing against its competition, whilst detecting any key areas of improvement.

The platform identifies why a customer chooses one company over another, providing businesses with deeper insights to allow them to make key decisions that will help them to increase their market share.

Ben Hatton, partner at Arete, said: “We’re really excited to be partnering with Uncrowd. The business is already operating at a global level, which is down to the hard work and expertise of the senior management team which has come together to create a stand-out proposition.

“In just four years, Uncrowd has managed to achieve recognition from tech giants Microsoft and Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play, the largest early-stage accelerator platform in the world.

“These are huge achievements for a company so young, which makes this a fantastic opportunity for Arete. We’re looking forward to working together with Richard, Rocky and the wider team to drive Uncrowd to the next level.”

Co-founder Richard Hammond has more than 30 years’ experience in the retail sector and is the author of Friction/reward: Be your Customer’s First Choice. This then became the framework for the Uncrowd business model, following a collaboration of ideas with fellow co-founder and friend of 21 years, Rocky Howard.

He added: “The traditional customer analytics industry has historically focused on a two-dimensional understanding of the customer and their motivation, which is great, but there was a real gap in the market that needed to be filled in terms of what is going on elsewhere in the space.”

The transaction was led by Ben Hatton and Jamie Newall at Arete. Matt Noon and Elan Iorwerth of Hill Dickinson (legal), David Crout and Jill-Marit Lerum Cornes of PMSI (commercial), Phil Cox of Iafeya (technical) also advised on the deal. Begin and Matrix Capital also invested as part of the round.

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