aisle 3 successfully raises £250,000 and why you should care
Ecommerce startup aisle 3 has completed a successful follow on funding round, raising £250,000 via Angel Investment Network, the world’s largest online angel investment network. Aiming to become ‘the Wikipedia of product search’ the business secured the funds in just six weeks with the company’s valuation more than doubling in the past five months. Experienced angel investors have backed the founders’ vision for a new, disruptive ecommerce marketplace offering truly personalised experiences for large networks of engaged shoppers.
This raise is the second completed successfully in just five months, with the company being backed with almost £500,000 in pre-seed funding. It represents an impressive trajectory for a startup born during the height of the pandemic that has been built entirely remotely. Founded in March 2020, aisle 3 aims to give shoppers the complete view of all of their buying options on a single screen, so that they can make purchase decisions based on their personal values such as price, delivery, locality, sustainability or brand loyalty.
What’s the big deal with aisle 3?
Having launched initially within trainers, aisle 3 aggregates retailer offers and rich product information by deploying machine learning and AI algorithms. The team has developed their proprietary web crawler, software and product aggregation algorithms from scratch. The funds will be used towards further developing the brand’s product, tech build and scaling the team.
This is actually a really interesting business – while there is a certain tranche of shoppers who always start their search on Amazon, there is another who always start on eBay. You’ll often find products on one site priced differently on the other. That’s just the two ecommerce giants in the UK – when it comes to shopping your favourite independent website how often do you compare prices and how easy is it?
Say you’re after DIY tools, do you go to eBay, Amazon, B&Q, Jewsons, Wickes, Screwfix and any number of a myriad of other DIY suppliers to check prices, or do you just check one or two sites and press the buy button? Products from manufactures like Draper or Stanley will appear on all of these sites so how do you get the best deal? aisle 3 reckon that they have the solution.
aisle 3 are also a vehicle where smaller retailers, without the budgets for paid search that the mammoth ecommerce giants have, can compete and that’s where it gets really interesting – It’s early days as trainers is a niche but vibrant category, as aisle 3 build out their platform this will be one to watch.
The co-founders Thomas J. Vosper and James Valbuena have 30+ years of collective ecommerce experience at retailers including Amazon, Tesco, Lastminute, VASHI. In a short space of time they have grown to serve 2,000 organic shoppers each day, have a waiting list of over 600 signed retailers, and 20+ Digital Agencies with more than a million products.
“We are thrilled to have conducted our second successful raise in just five months backed by our current investors who saw our progress as well as gaining the trust of significant new investors. Raising investment in any climate is very difficult and takes hours of meetings, calls and late nights; so having subject matter experts buy into our vision of building a scalable, disruptive business and cleaning up the standard of product information is a huge validation of our mission and the team we have put together.
We believe shoppers are short changed in getting the best deals despite the illusion of choice on the internet. Whilst it is incredibly easy to book complex products such as car insurance or flights through comparison sites it still remains impossible to find the best deal for the right size trainers without opening multiple tabs and checking a myriad of retailers.
We’re trying to crack the three fundamental issues in online shopping. Product comparison, product discovery and a fair marketplace for brands and retailers. Unlike the closed shop of other platforms this is a win/win for shoppers and retailers and offers a huge, positive network effect.”
– Thomas J. Vosper, co-founder, aisle 3