Scottish cashback app Swipii has hired a major player in the hospitality tech sector after smashing a fundraising target.

Swipii added to its leadership team as it looks to quadruple its business network in 2021 to help local retailers rebuild their businesses post lockdown, it said.

Former leader of ResDiary Richard McCandless joins the team as commercial director and "brings a wealth of experience having scaled SaaS restaurant booking platform ResDiary worldwide across thousands of businesses in the hospitality sector".

Mr McCandless "will catalyse growth and sales across Swipii, leading the Scottish start up’s commercial efforts and establishing key partnerships", the firm said.

Swipii successfully raised £901,804 from 535 crowdfunding investors and existing backers Par Equity, reaching its initial target of £750,000 in the first 24 hours of launch. As part of the rewards offered to investors, Swipii raised £600 in donations for Social Bite to help fund its mission of ending homelessness through social enterprise cafes.

READ MORE: Extra funding will give Scottish firms the EDGE

Louis Schena, Swipii co-founder and chief executive, said: “The team at Swipii is delighted to have had such a positive response from the crowd and oversubscribed so early on. Our mission to better connect consumers and local businesses together is inherently social and community based, the crowd will play a vital role in our growth this year and beyond.”

“Last year was all about the product and the team, whilst we doubled down on the technology in anticipation of open markets. Today, we have the cutting edge product, the team, the crowd, the financing and booming reopening markets.

“It’s full-throttle ahead for Swipii this year, we have big plans, and with Richard joining us, these just got accelerated.”

Mark Logan, investor and board member, said: "I've watched the team execute exceptionally well throughout the period of the pandemic and be ready to take advantage of the economy’s re-opening. Their plan was clear: 'double down on product, be ready when markets open and accelerate growth in 2021'.

"Swipii's technology is perfectly timed, with merchants in need of digitalisation and consumers seeking to support their local communities whilst saving money in these challenging times.”

Paul Munn, Par Equity partner, said: “We've worked with the team for over two years now, followed up and led this round of funding. The product offering they've developed is best in class and they've taken advantage of the shut markets to extend their runway, double down on the technology and have made some impressive hires to an already all-star team.

"We've seen them aggressively execute on market share acquisition and growth in the past; 2021 is going to be a great year for the local high street across the UK and Swipii is now perfectly positioned. We look forward to seeing Swipii make the most of the opportunity in front of them."

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