Veeqo, the Welsh startup bringing big-business stock management to the little guys
One of the most important aspects of any business is its ability to problem-solve. It goes without saying that any business which can’t has no legs as a viable business. When the Swansea-based tech startup Veeqo looked into the wooly sector of inventory management for internet retailers, it thankfully found just the market it was looking for.
Founded in 2013 by long-time retail entrepreneur Matt Warren, Veeqo was born out of his increasing frustration with the complications of selling a large volume of products through his online high-end watch store. Naturally, instead of making a compromise, Warren decided to find a digital way to make his – and other retailers’ – lives easier.
Within the space of just a few years, Veeqo has gone from strength to strength. Having already raised over £1 million through crowdfunding platform Seedrs, its investors include the likes of New Look founder Tom Singh. This once small Welsh startup now has offices in New York to bolster its service.
I caught up with Matt Warren to find out just what Veeqo is all about and where it’s going over the coming years.
Where did the big idea for Veeqo come from?
I originally ran an e-commerce company selling luxury watches. As a business owner, I was constantly asking myself “Am I making money?”. I felt like I was working hard but could never see a snapshot of my business.
We sold through multiple channels such as a website, several retail stores and on Amazon. In order to get profit reports, I was constantly logging in to different systems and exporting reports. It was a nightmare!
That’s where I came up with the idea of Veeqo. A piece of software which would give me an overview of my inventory, accounts, shipping and purchase orders, across all my channels.
What big problem is Veeqo solving?
Matt Warren, Veeqo founder
As you grow and explore more channels, it becomes extremely hard to manage your business. Orders are coming in through multiple channels, and ensuring you have the right amount of stock is difficult.
Veeqo updates your stock in real time across all your channels to avoid overselling. Furthermore, it can give you accurate reporting to avoid overstocking. Additionally you can have preset order levels against items and generate purchase orders within Veeqo to ensure items are always in stock.
Another big benefit that our users love is our courier integrations. This allows them to bulk-print all their shipping labels at the end of the day through Veeqo, saving them hours every week.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome since starting Veeqo?
The constant challenge is getting the balance between growing as fast as possible, which means investing in product/marketing/sales and not running out of money!
I think every startup founder has the exact same problem, especially if you have raised money and have to invest that money to try and grow. A few times we’ve gone over our runway, and I’ve had to do some magic until a new round of investment comes in.
Where do you see Veeqo being in five years’ time?
That Veeqo will be a £100m+ company with offices around the world. Over the last year, so much has happened for us. We’ve released an app, acquired another company and grown our revenue 400% – along with releasing a host of new features. If we can carry on with that trajectory, then it’s going to be very exciting.
What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting Veeqo?
I wish I was aware that my vision for Veeqo would take time, and it would be unrealistic to think that I could achieve what I wanted to achieve in the first year. Therefore I wished I had built only a part of the vision, but had done so to a very high standard.
Instead what I did was build my complete vision for Veeqo. To be honest, [when I started] it was average at best. This meant it was very difficult to acquire customers very early on. It meant that Veeqo didn’t initially stand out to customers, or differentiate itself from the competition.
Obviously, in time, we’ve really honed in on how our customers feel, adding a tonne of integrations, and really improved the product itself.