Today UK startup Blueprint, a new Whatsapp and SMS e-commerce platform, has announced closing a €1.1 million seed round led by Magnus Rausing’s MAHR Projects and including Founders Factory and Hambro Perks. It’ll use the funds to ramp up the development of its true conversational commerce platform, which allows consumers to purchase products and speak to brands through a single SMS or WhatsApp message.
Blueprint, founded in 2019, aims to disrupt the retail process that has been built on email or online communication and traditional, clunky checkout systems. Using a mix of sophisticated natural language processing and machine learning in combination with real-world customer service agents, Blueprint is reimagining the antiquated payment and communication models. The startup is working with FMCG, health, wellness, beauty and home brands to put the customer relationship at the centre of its platform and make purchases possible with one message. Overall this process offers brands instant higher retention, greater customer engagement and a clearer ROI on marketing.
There is already a great appetite for Blueprint’s offering. More than 200 companies, including challenger brands like Ugly Drinks, Ohne, and Empirical Spirits, have signed up to the waitlist. The Blueprint team, led by co-founders Harvey Hodd (CEO) and Rory Jeffries (COO), will launch the platform in private Beta in May with full roll-out expected in Q3 2020.
Harvey Hodd, CEO and co-founder said, “We started Blueprint following years of experience struggling with the slow, disconnected and impersonal nature of marketing and the clunkiness of purchasing online. At the same time consumers have become fatigued with long-term, fixed subscription services that don’t offer them flexibility in purchasing. We’re blurring the lines between conversation and commerce to create a modern purchasing experience. This new investment will help us push further to break down the barriers that previously held both consumers and vendors hostage.”
Magnus Rausing, founder of MAHR projects added, “Harvey and Rory’s Blueprint platform represents the future of how we will buy and unlock a totally new type of commerce. They truly understand this space having been on the other side as an eCommerce brand themselves and have taken their learnings to build an industry-leading platform. The potential for conversational commerce is immense thanks to its central role in building the 1:1 relationship between consumer and brand, enabling speedy purchasing and a personalised customer experience.”
Blueprint is currently part of the Founders Factory accelerator programme.