London-based Embargo raises $1.1 million in latest funding round

Embargo, the loyalty solution for hospitality businesses, has raised $1.1. million (£830,000) in its latest funding round.

The London-based startup received cross-sector financial support, with individuals and companies from the hospitality, real estate and sport sectors investing. Notable individuals who are invested in the business include renowned angel investor and founder of DesignMyNight, Nick Telson; founder of ASDA-backed Lean Kitchen Networks, Faraz Nagree; serial restaurateur Loui Blake; and the Founders of HEX Digital.

The company has enjoyed significant growth during the pandemic. While Covid-19 has been damaging to the majority of the hospitality venues, it has also forced these businesses to consider how they can better engage with and reward loyal customers.

Over the past 12 months the number of coffee shops and restaurants using Embargo has increased by over 300, reaching more than 800 locations on the platform. Clients include major speciality brands such as Crosstown Doughnuts, Notes Coffee and Bars and The Gentlemen Baristas.

Commenting on his investment in Embargo, Nagree said: “I loved the unique concept, the team, the user traction and how users are responding through high engagement. Loyalty is about perfect execution and building a solution the customers love. Embargo is the one who got it right.

“We looked around on the market and couldn’t find a better, simpler loyalty solution therefore investing in the business was an easy decision”.

Founded in 2017 by Tsewang Wangkang and Frederick Szydlowski, Embargo offers a loyalty app to consumers where they can collect loyalty stamps in their favourite restaurants, coffee shops and bars. It provides a contactless and paperless customer journey, making it easy to get rewarded for frequent visits and purchases.

However, the centrepiece of Embargo is its plug & play CRM system, which provides hospitality businesses with valuable insight into their customers. Hospitality businesses can quantify their loyal customer base, communicate with them and react if regulars stop coming.

Embargo currently actively operates in the UK and Poland but also has presence in countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Portugal and Serbia. It plans to scale up international operations over the coming months.

Tsewang Wangkang co-founder and CEO of Embargo, said: “The success of our latest funding round, teamed with the strength of cross-sector support we received, marks another exciting milestone for the business. Indeed, we now have the resources to confidently scale up operations, across the UK and beyond.

“As hospitality begins to recover from the pandemic, there is a bourgeoning demand for digital solutions to help coffee shops and restaurants to identify and reward loyal customers. Actively managing the customer means actively managing the business. Consequently, Embargo has seen a spike in clients, including many brilliant brands. We’ve created a plug & play loyalty solution fit for today’s world, and it’s great to see so many businesses realising the benefits this provides within the competitive hospitality space.”

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