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Sheffield-based software firm Airship raises half a million to help hospitality businesses boost sales

Image credits: Airship

E-word of mouth is a crucial factor for hospitality businesses. Achieving customer loyalty is a primary goal of hospitality businesses, and developing data-driven software is one mechanism for doing so. Based out of Sheffield, Airship is a data-driven hospitality loyalty engine that helps hospitality businesses to boost sales.

Secured £500K

Recently, the company has secured £500K from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF). The latest funding announcement comes around two years after securing £500K from the same investor. 

The company intends to use the funds to further develop its technology and create four new jobs in the coming months. 

Specialised in software technology

Founded by former publican Dan Brookman and IT specialist Rob Marcer, Airship Services is specialising in technology for the hospitality industry. The company’s first product is customer relationship management (CRM) software, while its second, Toggle, helps operators to sell gift cards and experiences.

Airship’s growth

During the pandemic, the company offered Toggle free of charge to help struggling hospitality businesses develop new sources of income, generating £5.5m of additional revenue.

It also launched the ‘track and trace app,’ which was used by operators including Costa Coffee, Greggs, Wetherspoons, and Pret a Manger.

Despite the restrictions during the pandemic, the Sheffield-based company managed to increase its customer base by 400% since the start of the first lockdown. 

Its products are used by around 400 brands across over 4,000 locations including, YO! Sushi, Leon, Revolution Bars, Welcome Break, and Roadchef.

Airship has also grown its annual recurring revenue by 200% to over £1m in the year to the end of May and took on 12 additional staff, bringing the total number to 30.

Dan, the company’s CEO, said: “The past year has been one of the most difficult in living memory for hospitality operators, and we have done all we can to help them survive. However, there is now a strong sense of optimism, and operators are expecting a boom in business. The funding will help us to further develop the products and take advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

Will Schaffer, Investment Director with Mercia, added: “The pandemic has increased uptake of technology and made hospitality firms more aware of its role in driving their business forward. Dan and the team have bucked the trend over the past year and with the hospitality sector now reopened, there is lots of potential for further growth.”

 Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank said: “Seeing growth in revenues, staff numbers and landing household names for clients is excellent news for Airship Services. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is pleased to be supporting dynamic businesses that are identifying opportunities amidst this challenging period, and diversifying their offering accordingly.”