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We chat with Northern Ireland based startup, Receet...

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by Startacus Admin

Hopefully you won’t have failed to notice that here at Startacus we've recently been having a real focus on certain regional startup hotspots across the UK and Ireland that we reckon are of particular note.

So far in our 'Startup Cities' series, Belfast, Bristol and Glasgow have been getting the Startacus treatment, which has seen us giving an insight into the people, passion and places that make up each startup ecosystem.

And this leads us nicely on to our interview with Jason Lacken, founder of Receet. Receet have recently been through the Invest Northern Ireland programme, which is aimed at developing high growth potential, global start-ups- N.B. It’s open again for entries in August. In essence, the programme targets start-ups who have the passion and energy to succeed on an international stage and offers them up to £20k of financial support, mentoring, and expertise. “Happy days”, as many a Northern Irish entrepreneur would say!

And what of Receet? Well they are just mid full launch of their customer engagement product which gathers detailed retail insights into customer behaviour at independent businesses, and at the same time rewards said customers for sharing that insight. A win win.

We thought then that it was a pretty opportune time to have a chat with founder Jason Lacken to find out more about the concept behind Receet, that initial eureka moment, the support that has been received in developing the business so far, and the next steps for this innovative startup.

Hi there Jason, great to chat. Give us your Pitch! What and who is Receet for and what problem is it trying to solve?

Receet is a customer engagement engine that gathers detailed insights into customer behaviour at up to 30 million venues in 33 countries, offering our business customers actionable insights into this behaviour and the tools to reach out to individual customers in a tailored and personalised way.

Jason LackenThe product is aimed at independent businesses and retailers, to give them the same intelligent marketing tools that the big retailers use for a fraction of the cost and with no special ePOS equipment. Our mission is to empower customers with the value of the data they generate and enable businesses to communicate with customers more efficiently and effectively.

How much has the concept behind Receet changed from that initial eureka moment?

A couple of years ago I was involved in a small fast food business, it was the middle of the recession, revenue was down and costs were up. I started to look around for a way to help turn this around. Like a lot of other businesses we turned to the "Daily Deal" sites in the hope of increasing the business profile and bring more customers in through the doors. It was a disaster - and not a cheap one. So I started to look around for a more sustainable and cost effective way for me to interact with my customers, to make sure my offers reached the right customers at the right time. I found that there was no product with the features I was looking for so I decided to build it myself.

The first iteration of the concept was a location based offer delivery system, on which work commenced. However shortly after work commenced I had something of an epiphany; while on the way home from a friends stag weekend I sat in a train station watching a friend studiously pull a series of receipts out of his pocket and carefully tear them to pieces. When I asked what he was doing he said that if his wife saw them she'd know everything from how much money he’d spent to what time he went to bed. It was right then that I realised that if a small business was able to use the information contained on the receipts that they produce to communicate with their customers, in just the same way that the big retailers do, that this would be a hugely powerful tool! And so Receet was born.

You are based in Northern Ireland. Where did you go to get the startup support you needed and how valuable was the support you received?

Our initial port of call to get this up and running was Invest Northern Ireland. We used research and development support to get our product developed and also secured a place on Invest NI’s Propel programme. Propel provides a blend of workshops, mentoring and business planning and focuses on getting a business investor ready.

How stiff is the competition in this marketplace and what makes Receet stand out?

The consumer loyalty market is very crowded and highly competitive, however there is nothing on the market that can offer similar capabilities to ours, for either our business customers or our end users. For our end users, we give them rewards for practically every pound they spend, everywhere! This means we can help them save money with every purchase. They will also receive personalised offers and promotions, just for them, from the places they like for the things they like to buy. For our business customers, we connect them with their customers in an intelligent and personalised way, which is 300% more effective than any other type of marketing.


What type of feedback have you received from both the general consumer and the merchant? 

Our feedback has been great, both customers and businesses love how easy Receet is to use. We’ve designed it from the ground up to operate with the minimum amount of friction possible. Our consumers like that they get something back, no matter where they go. Our business customers like the value for money- our entry level package is free and even the all singing all dancing package is just £50/month.

What stage are you currently at in launching Receet and how can the Startacus audience get involved?

We have completed our soft launch and the full launch has literally just happened too! We are working along with North Down Borough Council and Bangor Town Centre Management to roll Receet out to the businesses of Bangor to encourage local customers to shop locally and support their local independent businesses. But Receet can be used anywhere, so download and get snapping, anywhere!

If you like what you see here on Startacus, why not become a member of our growing community? It's free! And you'll get all this - exclusive access to our Business Toolkit, discounts and offers galore for your business via our member only business deals, the chance to network and connect with loads of fellow self-starters, and maybe even become our celebrated 'Self-Starter of the Week' and tell the world your startup tale! Join right here for free

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Published on: 28th June 2014

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