Industry veteran Justin King joins retail tech platform The Snappy Group as senior adviser and investor

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The Snappy Group, the technology platform that connects consumers with their local businesses, is pleased to announce that Justin King has become a senior adviser to the company and made a significant investment in the business. It is envisaged that King will join the Board as non-executive director following the Series A fundraising that has recently been launched.

King, one of the UK’s leading food retailers, was CEO of Sainsbury’s between 2004 and 2014. During this time he led the business through a major turnaround followed by nine years of profit growth. Before joining Sainsbury’s, Justin was head of food at Marks & Spencer. He held many high-profile roles in a thirty-year career spanning consumer goods and grocery retailing. Justin is currently a non-executive director of Marks & Spencer and a member of the Public Interest Body of PwC. King will bring this wealth of retail understanding and business experience to the Board of the Snappy Group, as the Ccompany seeks to grow the services it provides to local retailers and hospitality organisations.

The Snappy Group’s Series A fundraising will enable the company to continue its rapid expansion in convenience and hospitality. Participants in the Snappy Group’s initial seed rounds, beside the management team, included Kelvin Capital, Scottish Enterprise and Mercia Asset Management.

Local businesses and communities are at the heart of the Snappy Group’s mission. The Group’s website and proprietary mobile app technology provide local businesses with an affordable, bespoke e-commerce delivery and Click & Collect solution for local consumers. The company works in partnership with local businesses to provide an outsourced tech platform, tailored to their specific needs, that can drive significant revenue uplift.

The Group has gone from strength to strength, having grown from 220 business partners in 2019 to 1,150 today with more than 700,000 consumers using the platform across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and annualised Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) approaching £100m for the year ended March 2021.

The Snappy Shopper app: consumers can order groceries from their local convenience store and have them delivered by the store’s own drivers to their homes from as little as 30 minutes. No longer solely reliant on footfall, this allows businesses to extend their customer base and service, as well as compete in this fast-growing home delivery market. Retailers can increase revenues significantly with average basket spend more than trebling online compared to in-store. At the same time Snappy Shopper enables retailers to maintain their in-store value proposition online by limiting the charges that lead to consumers facing higher prices when ordering. The company currently serves retailers from most major players and has partnership agreements with several regional Co-op’s, Nisa and SPAR.

The Hungrrr app: offers the hospitality sector, including restaurants, hotels and stadia, an affordable alternative to the larger established players to take online orders, whether that is ordering drinks to a table in a pub, breakfast to a hotel room or pre-ordering food at a major sporting event. The platform’s white label functionality and branding can be tailored to each client which has proven attractive to businesses such as Hilton, BrewDog and Subway.

King said: “I have been hugely impressed by the Snappy Group’s affordable solution, leadership team and rapid growth. The Company is championing the needs of businesses in their local community. Its proprietary technology provides local businesses with an affordable delivery solution which enables them to compete in this fast-changing market segment. This not only caters to the trend for top up shopping but also an increasing desire by consumers to access and support local enterprises. “This is an exciting and pivotal time for the business and I believe that I will be able to add significant value. I look forward to working with the management team as the business continues its expansion and grows its market share further within the thriving UK convenience market and beyond.”

Mike Callachan, co-founder of Snappy Shopper, said: “We are very excited to have been able to attract Justin’s interest and investment. Justin is one of the UK’s most successful business leaders and brings a wealth of experience within the retail and FMCG sector, which will be invaluable as we expand further.

“Prior to the pandemic, the Snappy Group was already established in both hospitality and grocery home delivery. The lockdown has served to accelerate the online trend, but we strongly believe that the shift in consumer behaviour will persist in the long term. While we expect the rapid rate of growth in deliveries to slow slightly as lockdown eases through the summer months, the online market is a long way from maturation.”

“Our mission is to give communities on demand access to the products of local businesses. In this context, our platform is based on genuine partnerships and the principle of mutual benefit. The platform therefore evolves to suit their needs and I believe our flexibility, commitment and commission structure differentiate us from our competitors.”

John McNicol, founder of Kelvin Capital, said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Justin King as Senior Board Adviser to the Snappy Group, one of the most exciting Scottish software companies. The Group’s rapid expansion has exceeded our expectations to date and this appointment represents a significant milestone in the aspirations of the company.”