November 24, 2013 7:50 pm

Start-up for retail websites set to list

Mopowered, a start up that helps retailers such as Next optimise their websites for smartphones, intends to float on Aim as retailers gear up for a fight over the fastest growing segment in ecommerce – mobile.

The London-based group intends to raise £4m to beef up its sales team as increasing numbers of retailers redesign their websites to account for growing mobile traffic.`

About 15 per cent of online transactions will be done through mobile devices this year, according to EMarketer, the research group. This figure is expected to hit 27 per cent by 2017.

While traffic from mobile devices is shooting up, desktop computers still account for the vast bulk of actual sales online, providing a role for companies such as Mopowered to help plug the gap.

Dominic Keen, chief executive of the group, said: “The idea is to bring our merchants’ payments experience down to a ‘one-click’ check out.”

While larger companies, such as Amazon, have the means – and customer numbers – needed to introduce such a system, smaller retailers often cannot, explains Mr Keen.

But various gambits, such as using a customer’s mobile GPS to work out a home address, make it quicker to complete orders on mobile, which can be more fiddly than using a desktop. “Data entry is a big barrier to sales,” said Mr Keen.

Although the bulk of Mopowered’s customers are small to medium-sized businesses – with online revenues of between £1m to £50m – it also has some larger clients, such as the BBC Shop, which sells BBC merchandise, and the book chain Waterstones.

“The very, very big retailers are more likely to have bespoke solutions,” said Mr Keen. “By definition they want more control.”

The float will give the company a value of £12m-£15m, with no shareholders selling out in the float.

Mopowered said that it would expand its sales team from eight to 20 people as it attempts to gain market share in the relatively nascent market. It would also look at launching its product in countries such as France and Germany.

The company operates a software as a service model, charging customers a fee of between 1 and 3 per cent of each mobile transaction.

N+1 Singer is acting as nominated adviser and broker.

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