Comment: Crowdfunding Magic

Published: 11:51:26 on the 30th Nov 2017

Author: Sponsored article


Alexandra Komissarova, CEO and founder of Retail Magic Alexandra Komissarova, CEO and founder of Retail Magic, shares details on the company’s CrowdCube campaign.

We know that our Magic technology is tremendously disruptive. Unlike all other technologies around, it achieves the full integration of mobile and offline commerce by allowing the integration of smartphones into the shopping experience. It is clear that smartphones are an indispensable part of our lives – in the UK over 88% of people under 54 have one (going up to 96% in 16-24 age bracket). However, mobile devices are being used as mere internet extensions with most retailers overlooking the fact that these devices not only provide internet access, but also can adapt to the context of their carriers, for example from their location or in our case which products they are selecting while shopping.

There is also the issue of social acceptability. There are technologies designated to understand customer preferences and actions in the retail environment, for example Amazon Go. However, these are implemented at a high cost: that of consumer privacy. The advantage of our technology over these are that it allows smartphones to track products “on the spot” without having to identify and track their carriers, and in that it offers strong opt-in, opt-out and customisation possibilities. For example, if you don’t want your selections to be tracked then just stop the app or activate the anonymity option.

As for retailers liking our idea, there are many of them. Farfetch is a good example. We have been approached by many other retailers. But this is not plain sailing: on the one hand we are not ready to roll out our products to them. On the other hand we feel that large retailers may at this stage want a too-large part of the pie and control over the protection of consumer privacy, which is part of our company ethos and vision. Also, we do not want to commit to exclusivity for a large retailer because we want our solution to be available for everyone.

That is why CrowdCube suits us well. Our technology has been created by consumers for consumers, and we expect consumers to support our ethos and vision and also make a good return from their investment. Should we succeed in this crowdfunding campaign we will be in a very good position to realise the social acceptability of our technology and make it available for everyone without major interference from the large players, and change the way people shop at global level, made in Britain.

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