Two Shields Investments PLC – Investment in leading e-commerce platform WeShop
Two Shields Investments Plc, the AIM-quoted investing company, is pleased to announce a £150,000 strategic investment in WeShop Limited, a cutting-edge digital social network platform focused on the fast-growing and highly valuable e-commerce sector. The Investment is in line with Two Shields’ strategy to build a portfolio of investments focused on opportunities in natural resources and technology, in particular those which offer significant re-rating potential, including, inter alia, rapidly emerging technologies in blockchain, cybersecurity and technology metals.
Key information on WeShop is as follows:
- UK based purpose-built social e-commerce platform looking to capitalise on its early mover advantage to become a global leader in the rapidly growing social e-commerce sector – a blend of social networking and e-commerce viewed as the next stage of the online retail revolution
- Backed by high profile external investors
- Led by a Board and management team with extensive retail knowledge and experience including:
o Matthew Hammond, current managing director and CFO of mail.ru, which is the largest internet business in Russia in terms of mobile daily audience and which is quoted on the London Main Market with a market capitalisation of £5.7bn
o Andrew Lawley, previously director of strategy at Dixons Carphone Warehouse
o Baroness Mone of Mayfair OBE and Leo Mansell, Vice President of UK Youth
- Retail partnerships in place with major brands and retailers including ASOS, Harrods, Nike, Tesco and Boots
- The WeShop platform, which has deployed £10million to date, has been successfully tested by over one million users
- Management and Board supported by a world class technical team
- The Investment forms part of a larger pre-IPO fund raise being undertaken by WeShop ahead of a planned IPO on the London Stock Exchange Main Market
Chairman of Two Shields Investments, Charlie Wood, said, “The Board of Two Shields is confident that the investment into WeShop represents an excellent opportunity to gain exposure to an innovative concept as well as to the emerging social e-commerce sector. This investment is in line with our strategy to identify and invest in forward looking, innovative opportunities in a diverse range of technology sub-sectors. Just as e-commerce disrupted the traditional bricks and mortar retailers on the high street, WeShop, with its cutting-edge social e-commerce platform, now promises to disrupt the established online retail market. With social e-commerce expected to become a US$350 billion market in the mid-term, the size of the prize is huge. Thanks to its impressive roster of high profile backers, proven management team, and a defined growth strategy, WeShop is well placed to become the go-to social e-commerce platform and in the process create an extremely profitable and valuable business.
“The WeShop investment neatly complements our interest in leading global cyber security company, BrandShield Ltd. With sales increasing at a rate of over 50% per annum, BrandShield is growing rapidly, while at the same time continuing to develop MyShield, the world’s first de-centralised anti-scam platform that utilises blockchain technology. We are confident that WeShop has the technology, backing and the expertise at its disposal to offer attractive returns and I look forward to updating shareholders on WeShop’s progress, as we add another high impact opportunity with significant re-rating potential to our portfolio.”
Managing Director of WeShop, Andrew Lawley commented: “The WeShop Board is delighted to welcome TSI as an investor. We are confident that WeShop can truly transform the way that people shop online. We believe that WeShop can create a vibrant and engaging social experience in which friends and followers can share and discover great products, and importantly can share in an innovative reward structure. We have exciting growth plans for the business and look forward to working with TSI to deliver significant value growth.”
TSI has entered into a Share Placing agreement with WeShop Limited, a company duly incorporated under the laws of England & Wales to participate in a share placement in the amount of £150,000.00 (“the Placing”). On closing of the Placing, the share capital of WeShop will be 5,013,049 fully diluted shares. The Placing is at £5.98 per share which represents for TSI a shareholding of 25,084 shares representing 0.5% of the WeShop fully diluted equity.
WeShop’s digital platform utilises both social media and e-commerce to provide a unique opportunity to use social networking to enhance the online shopping experience. The platform combines trusted social network assets of reviews, likes, and shares with an engaging online retail experience specifically tailored to the individual user. It enables users to gain rewards by recommending products to their network of online friends, building upon the established phenomenon of individuals receiving social validation via likes and comments on social media posts. This creates a virtuous circle for users and brands/retailers: users benefit from the convenience of having access to 1,000s of brands and millions of products on one platform plus a two-way sharing of ideas with friends to participate in a rewards system; brands/retailers benefit from increased sales and awareness.
WeShop’s powerful search and browsing capability aggregates millions of products from over 250 established retailers. WeShop already has existing contracts with several major brands and retailers nationwide, including ASOS, Harrods, Nike, Tesco and Boots, with over 7.6 million products available for its users to buy or promote across multiple categories including men and women’s fashion, homeware, technology, travel and lifestyle. Users gain commission via the products they promote with the reward structure ranging between five to ten percent of the recommended retail price of the product. WeShop believes that the system of earning rewards alongside the implementation of a direct integration system, developed by WeShop, has the potential to create a unique online retail eco-system that benefits users, retailers, brands and manufacturers.
WeShop has had over one million unique users on the platform and continues to work to improve user experience on the platform and its engagement and marketing strategy. It plans to launch a high-volume brand awareness marketing campaign in the short term to increase the number of registered users above one million. Initial testing resulted in over 400,000 products added to users’ tailored profiles.
For year ended 31 March 2017, being the latest period available, WeShop made a loss before tax of £3.5m and net assets of £1.7m.