There are two certainties in life - we will all shop online and, despite what the headlines say, tech people are always going to be obsessed with unicorns. Okay, so maybe there are more concrete certainties in life, but Mark Twain once said 'never let the truth get in the way of a good story' so artistic flair is at play here.
Basket is a tech start-up, founded by Lex Deak and William Neill, which helps you get the best deals online. Basically, you add all the items you are browsing, across different sites, into one place, then the Basket app will alert you to any price drops or deals on your bookmarked items. It also allows you to share your bookmarked items with your social media followers - any 'influenced' purchases will earn you a commission.
Now, where have you heard the name Lex Deak before? He's a serial entrepreneur and appeared on the UK version of the TV show Dragons' Den in 2009 looking for funding for Family Fridge Ltd - which he got.
Deak's latest start-up Basket is once more involved in a competition, this time it is a race to unicorn status.
Crowdcube and James Watt, co-founder and CEO of Ellon, Scotland-based (and controversial) brewing company BrewDog are running a project which brings the public into the journey of a promising start-up that is pipped for unicorn stardom. We know that the powers that be say that we shouldn't be chasing unicorns, but it makes for great coverage, and 'The Next Unicorn' is a catchy title.
Fun fact: The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland and yet Caledonia has produced only one of the tech variety in Brewdog.
Basket came up trumps in a 'judges houses' type pitching competition held in James Watt's London penthouse (hey don't hate the player, your craft beer obsession pays his mortgage) and Deak and Neill checked out with £250,000.
“It’s difficult to find real innovation in tech and e-commerce, but Basket is something I would 100% use myself. It genuinely helps the consumer and I think it’s got applications in the UK and globally,” says Watt.
The next phase of this round will see Basket aim to raise £2 million through Crowdcube, enabling anyone to join Basket’s investment community and help accelerate product development.
"The way people buy things online - and the decision-making process they go through - has remained largely unchanged since online shopping began. This doesn't serve consumers or retailers or anyone else in the supply chain as well as it should, and that’s what Basket is aimed at shaking up. This funding from James is a vote of confidence in our vision and the huge potential we know there is for Basket to change the game across industries and geographies. We’re well-positioned to lead in an era where e-commerce isn’t just about buying and selling products online, but about creating meaningful and personalised shopping experiences," says Deak, CEO of Basket.
“More practically, the cash injection enables us to expedite our plans and carry out more product development even sooner, and expand into new sectors and markets. Our primary goal remains consistent: to provide the best shopping experience for consumers while enabling retailers to thrive in the digital economy."