Penny Black, a startup making drab eCommerce packages more rewarding and personalised, has secured an additional £1.5 million in seed funding.

The fresh funding comes again from AGFA, the 150-year-old imaging technology company, and VC investor ninepointfive. They supported the business, which first launched in the UK and Europe in April 2022, with an initial investment of £1.3m in October 2022.

Both investment funds were triggered by the numerous partnerships and wins across the UK and Europe, with the business having shown steady month-on-month growth and attracted a number of new customers. 

These include sustainable toothbrush retailer SURI, gin brand Warner’s Distillery and health supplements retailer Zooki. Retailers and third-party logistics centres (3PLs) have been attracted to the easy-to-use marketing technology to help differentiate themselves from competitors.

“The moment consumers open their order will be an opportunity for brands to entice and retain consumers, helping them drive more revenue from existing customers,” said Penny Black CEO Douglas Franklin. 

“Our software seamlessly connects ecommerce stores, marketing tools, warehouse management systems and fulfilment centres, making sure brands can bring in customer data and create hyper-personalised experiences and printed material that delights customers the moment they open purchases.” 

Penny Black’s marketing SaaS tool for ecommerce brands is already being deployed across Europe by global fulfilment providers like Radial, Elanders, I-Fulfilment and Schroeders. 

“3PL companies currently struggle to personalise ecommerce packages and can’t do much beyond mass-printed, one-design, gift notes thrown inside. Our unique offering helps automate a revenue-boosting process for on-demand, beautifully-designed printouts, specifically geared towards each customer, location, product or package,” Franklin explained.

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Recent trials of Penny Black’s solution showed that retailers saw a measurable uplift in online sales after running personalisation campaigns, according to the company. SURI used its inserts to drive customer referrals and saw referral share rates up to 30%, driving more customers to discover the brand for the first time. 

Other brands managed to equate up to an additional £2.20 in revenue per insert sent, says Penny Black.

“The integration with our 3PL was super simple, the personalisation process is intuitive, and with regular testing and iterating, Penny Black has helped us unlock tremendous value through this channel,” said Gyve Safavi, co-founder and CEO of SURI.

Franklin added: “The moment consumers receive their online orders is the only touchpoint left for ecommerce brands to have a physical connection with them. 

“Brands need to surprise and delight customers to secure their loyalty, especially when acquiring new ones can be so expensive. 

“Riding the wave of global growth in eCommerce, we’re delighted to be attracting more interest. And this latest boost in investment will help us develop even further.”

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