EDINBURGH-based automated e-commerce marketing platform company Machine Labs has raised “seed extension” funding of £1 million, writes Ian McConnell.

The funding round was led by Techstart Ventures, which invested alongside Machine Labs’ founders Andrew Veitch and Kevin Dorren, angel investors Bill Dobbie and Richard Freedman, and the British Business Bank. The founders retain a majority stake.

Machine Labs noted that an additional £100,000 had been provided in grant funding by Amazon and Scottish Enterprise.

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Mr Veitch, chief executive 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.”

He added: “Right now, we work exclusively with Shopify, who power over one 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.”

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Machine Labs noted the Covid-19 pandemic had caused disruption to the funding round and “forced the cancellation of several critical business meetings in North America”.

However, it added that it had also resulted in an increase of 57 per cent in usage of Shopify as “high street shops were forced to switch to e-commerce”.

Mr Veitch said: “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.”