Hive CEO Jonathan Jackson (far right) said the investment would "allow us to enter new markets".
Hive, the company that creates smart packaging for major consumer goods brands, has announced an investment of £2.5 million from private equity firm Encore Capital, which will allow it to transform its business by enabling a shift to a more subscription-based model.
The ultimate ambition is to give every consumer packaged goods pack a unique identity that facilitates engaging on-pack promotions, allowing brands to increase sales and build a direct relationship with consumers.
Hive expects to print over 6 billion Hive codes on packaging this year. The Hive code transforms plain packaging into smart, interactive packaging with its own identity and lifecycle – from being printed in the factory through to distribution, purchase, and finally, consumer engagement. This helps brands learn more about consumers of their products and develop direct relationships with them, while providing a clear link between behavioural activity and sales, the company said.
It has worked with major food and drinks manufacturers such as Pepsico, Heineken, Arla Foods and Nestlé, printing unique and secure codes on their products that have driven sales growth,in some cases by over 50% year on year.
The latest round of investment will be used to help Hive remove the capital cost of enabling printers to print Hive codes and roll-out a “coding-as-a-service” model that will give consumer goods brands far more control over their promotions with a subscription option.
Rajesh Shah, partner at Encore Capital, said: “We have been actively looking for investments in this space. Hive has developed a market leading technology that has made it an integral part of the marketing infrastructure for an impressive roster of CPG clients, and we believe there is exciting potential for growth. Jonathan and his team have an extensive understanding of the market and value creation opportunity, and our investment and experience in supporting fast growth companies will act as the catalyst for the business to deliver its growth plan and beyond.”
And Hive CEO Jonathan Jackson added: “The investment reaffirms our belief that CPG brands want to engage directly with their consumers and our Hive code-printing solution is the best way for brands to understand their consumers and link purchase to engagement. The funding will allow us to enter new markets where the capital investment required has been a barrier to growth. A promotion using unique codes will increase sales more than if the promotion is run without a code and we can continue towards our goal of giving every item of packaging an individual, unique identity to allow CPG brands to build a direct relationship with their consumer.”
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