Online shopping and lifestyle marketplace Veo aims to make sustainable shopping accessible to all through a curated platform of independent brands who champion health, diversity and sustainability.
The Manchester-based start-up aims to engender a feel-good online shopping experience by offering products that are ethical in origin and are supportive of independent brands, small business owners and artisans.
The marketplace currently showcases over 300+ independent brands that adhere to Veo’s ‘earth friendly’ sustainability criteria, including governance, manufacturing, supply chains, and labour-workforce policies.
“Veo seeks to transform how we live how we produce, and how we consume”
In their own words, Veo “seeks to transform how we live, how we produce, and how we consume; to disrupt antiquated economics, and introduce new and positive systems that reinvent the relationship between business and consumer, revamping the very nature of supply and demand for the better”. They continue, “for us, sustainability isn’t a choice, but a necessity. Providing an avenue for consumers to lead healthier and happier lives through sustainable choices, and use of products that not only last longer, but are higher quality and are the better alternatives to those widely available”.
Veo recently raised £300,000 of angel investment including half via grant award from the UK government’s Innovate UK. £150,000 was raised through Solid Bond Venture Builder, which specialises in supporting early-stage founders/business. The private investment was matched by the Innovate UK grant which is facilitated by Leeds-based investment non-profit, NorthInvest. The funds will be used to further develop the platform technology, their marketing strategy, operational costs and team expansion. Veo employs seven staff at its Manchester base.
Founder Joe Darwen said: “Veo combines the scope and convenience of a multi-vendor marketplace like those we are familiar with, but for high quality, sustainable goods with traceable origins. Consumers are becoming increasingly mindful of the social and environmental impact of their purchases and eager to support unique statement brands and diverse artisans struggling in the current crisis. So our core innovation solves the scalability problem inherent in large marketplaces, and allows Veo to democratise technology from which many SME businesses are currently largely excluded. The Innovate grant supports Veo’s mission to help sustainable businesses flourish and become resilient, by enabling conscious consumers to discover sustainable products and brands that promotes independent business.”
NorthInvest Investment Director Jordan Dargue said: “We’re delighted to support Veo in securing this funding. The RAIA project is focussed on helping innovative North businesses secure finance for growth by attracting co-investment from Angels. Manchester and the wider North are a hotbed of innovation, and I’m delighted we’ve been able to help another disruptive business grow their offer and reach new markets.
“Founder Joe Darwen and his experienced team have succeeded in finding a commercially viable way of creating a multi-vendor online shopping and lifestyle marketplace with high quality, yet affordable, sustainable goods with traceable origins championing health, diversity and sustainability and we look forward to witnessing their progress.”
[All mages are of the VEO website – all image rights remain there]