By Kristy Dorsey

Cashback app Swipii has opened its first-ever crowdfunding campaign as it prepares to extend its business network to fuel a “shop local” economic recovery from the Covid pandemic.

Based in Glasgow, Swipii is seeking to raise £750,000 via Crowdcube which will be used quadruple its existing network. Since its launch in 2018, Swipii has helped approximately 100 businesses, predominantly in Scotland, increase their customer engagement through personalised incentives.

The company is currently working with British BIDS, an advisory service to Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) throughout the UK, to roll out Swipii to hundreds more businesses as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.

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The crowdfunding follows a £1 million cash injection last year by Par Equity, which was completed in the weeks before lockdown and was earmarked for a push by Swipii into Edinburgh. To date, the company has raised more than £3m from investors including Edinburgh-based Par Equity, LocalGlobe, Rocket Internet and Kima Ventures.

Louis Schena, co-founder and chief executive of Swipii, said local independent businesses are the backbone of the economy. However, the “unfortunate truth” is they are decades behind online businesses and big corporations when it comes to technology.

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“Covid has widened this disadvantage and our mission is to level the playing field as markets open up,” he said. “This crowdfund will allow us to ramp up our expansion plans and give investors the opportunity to back local and become part of our growth journey.”

For every investment of £250 or more, Swipii will donate £5 to Social Bite to fund its mission of ending homelessness through social enterprise cafes.