Octopus Investments (‘Octopus’) has announced an investment of £2 million into PrismaStar Inc. (‘PrismaStar’), one of the leading product search companies in Europe. This investment in PrismaStar represents the 18th deal concluded by Octopus this year, reaffirming that the company is one of the most active private investors in SMEs in 2010.
PrismaStar was founded in 2005 and has designed and patented technology to help consumers find the very best products and services, personalised to their individual tastes, in the e-commerce market. It enables users to find products based on multiple product specifications, not only on “price” or “brand”, giving shoppers the confidence to make the best decision about which product to buy. By using sophisticated data collection and data management systems, PrismaStar can continuously, automatically, and highly accurately fill and update all its product specification databases across thousands of product and service categories, thereby offering a better shopping experience to internet shoppers.
The injection of funding with help PrismaStar increase its footprint on the growing US, UK and EC market for online retail, forecast to be worth $945bn in 2012. The patented technology helps consumers move from simply browsing to buying quickly and reliably. Some e-commerce websites across Europe have already recorded an increase in sales conversion from 30% to 50% since using the technology.
Alan Wallace, from Octopus, commented: “PrismaStar has an outstanding management team and technology that is making internet product search significantly easier and more pleasurable. This focus on improving the consumer experience fits perfectly with Octopus’ philosophy. With PrismaStar’s search technology, e-commerce retailers are now able to increase sales productivity on almost any e-commerce website.”
Joshua Tabin, CEO of PrismaStar, commented: “Having the backing of an experienced investor such as Octopus is a great step forward for us. Their support will help us grow and expand the business into new markets where internet shopping is fast becoming the norm. But Octopus has already provided much more than pure funding – their advice and guidance will continue to be invaluable in helping us prepare for the future and realise our true potential.”
Alan Wallace led the deal on behalf of Octopus. Funds were provided from the Octopus Titan VCT funds, the Eureka EIS Portfolio Service and the Octopus Venture Partners.
Octopus was advised by Shoosmiths (Legal), Data Point Research (Commercial Due Diligence) and Mayfield Consulting (Financial Due Diligence).
PrismaStar Inc. was advised by Taylor Wessing and Beanstalk Management.