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Colchester-based adtech secures £450K pre-seed to develop SaaS platform for influencer marketing


According to IDC, the penetration rate of public cloud software services (software as a service or SaaS) among applications worldwide has been quite high between 2015 and 2020. In 2020, 71 percent of human capital management (HCM) applications were projected to be delivered via software as a service.

SaaS-based adtech from UK

To bang on the sector, WYSPR, a London-based AdTech startup specialising in influencer marketing has now raised a pe-seed funding of £450,000. 

The investors include East of England Angels through Anglia Capital Group including: Patrick Smith (Lead), former Chairman of Swinton holdings, Simon Bax, Former CFO of Pixar and CEO of Encompass Digital Media, Trevor Wheatly-Perry, Director of Everbridge EMEA, and Barry Chevallier-Guild, Ex-Owner of Aspall Cyder.

Outside of ACG, investment has also come from Alan Gross, Founder of Chefworks, and the University of Essex.

WYSPR raised its minimum target of £275,000 within 1 week through Angelia Group and had its first commitment just 10 minutes after pitching. The Pre-seed round gained so much interest that WYSPR over funded by £100,000 with other investors still interested in funding for future rounds.

The British startup aims to expand its offering and also develop a SaaS-based platform for its users. Further, the funding will enable WYSPR to add more members to their team to develop their SaaS offering, drive user acquisition, and to drive their expand to meet their users’ demands. 

Meanwhile, WYSPR is currently free to download from the IOS app store with the Android in development to be released this summer.

With the latest funding and expansion of WYSPR come at a critical time for both brands and UK consumers. With cookie tracking and unique identifier tags being restricted, brands and marketers are looking to reassess their digital ad strategy with new innovations, WYSPR provide a direct, targeted, and measurable alternative. Meanwhile, consumers are need of new supplementary income sources, with their influence being an asset that they we are unable to monetize before.

“We believe that brands and consumers are both better when they work together, WYSPR’s goal exists to connect them in a direct and genuine manner.” Oliver Bourne, Co-founder.

“I very much like the concept of Friendvertising which sits at the heart of WYSPR’s business, brining greater integrity to influence marketing. I am also impressed with the huge enthusiasm Eliot and Ollie bring to this project. They have already proven their idea works and I’m delighted to support them in their bid to build the business up to industrial scale.” Patrick Smith, Investo

World’s first ‘Friendvertising’ platform

As per the company press release, WYSPR claims to be the world’s first ‘Friendvertising’ and social data collection agency offering a bespoke crowd-promotion service. Founded by Oliver Bourne and Eliot Wood who brought the company alive from their University of Essex accommodation, WYSPR allows brands to use real people and their consumers to advocate for them on social media. This way brands get the most authentic marketing possible whilst giving power back to the individual, allowing them to sell their data and influence in a clean and ethical manner.

Till now, WYSPR has been operating in its commercial testing period limiting users and only working with select brands such as The Athenian and Yo! Sushi, despite demand increasing.

In their commercial tests alone, WYSPR’s Friendvertising has shown to increase the average engagement of a campaign by 10x. The average influencer campaign achieves 2.4% engagement rate whereas a Friendvertiser achieves upwards of 15% on a feed post and 30% on a story. This is how WYSPR has achieved engagement rates of over 45% on campaigns.