Edinburgh-based eCommerce marketing specialist Machine Labs has raised £1m in seed funding.

The round was led by Techstart Ventures, and supported by angel investors Bill Dobbie and Richard Freedman, and the British Business Bank.

An extra £100,000 was provided in grant funding by Amazon and Scottish Enterprise.

It brings the total raised by the firm to more than £2m,  following its 2019 seed round.

Founded in 2018, the firm’s platform provides automated eCommerce marketing, using data science to improve email communications, customer relationships and ultimately sales.

Currently the firm works exclusively with Canadian eCommerce giant Shopify.

It said Covid-19 has coincided with an increase of 57% in use of Shopify as high street brands rely more on online sales.

Andrew Veitch, founder and CEO of Machine Labs said: “We’ve had a great first year with over 300 e-commerce stores from 23 different countries choosing Machine Labs to increase their sales. Right now, we work exclusively with Shopify who power over 1 million web shops around the world, of which 80,000 are in the UK. We are planning to add other e-commerce platforms next year.”

Veitch, previously founder of  food start-up Diet Chef, said the funding round went ahead despite the cancellation of several critical meetings in North America due to COVID-19.

He added: “This was far from the ideal time to be raising money. Fortunately, we had made enough progress in the critical US market, which accounts for most of our customers, to get the support from investors for our next step.

“I’m hugely grateful to everyone who wrote a cheque at this difficult time, and I’m excited about where we will be in 2021.”