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Development Bank of Wales invests £150,000 in digital high street app

Martin Greenland | 07:28 Wednesday 2nd May 2018

NearMeNow has secured an equity co-investment led by the Development Bank of Wales, which provided £150,000, with a further £60,000 obtained from private investors.

The app which has been designed to revive, adapt and diversify high streets across the country was devised by former risk analyst-turned-maths teacher Victoria Mann (pictured above, centre).

Victoria came up with the idea when she was sat in a hairdressing salon on a weekday morning surrounded by four hairdressers and three empty chairs.

"I thought there must be a way to fill those chairs and attract new customers at the same time,' said Victoria.

"Our high streets are under increasing pressure from online competition and yet, many people I speak to are still keen to buy local and use regional shops and suppliers.

"NearMeNow provides a cost-effective digital solution to help those businesses advertise and engage more effectively with customers and collaborate more efficiently with other local businesses.'

NearMeNow has received equity investment from Thud Media, the company's digital and branding partner.

It has also received investment from Martin Greenhalgh, who has taken on the role of chief technology officer at NearMeNow (left), and Sara Lynn Jones, who has joined as chief operations officer (right).

Jon Rennie, managing director at Thud Media (second left), added: "As a creative studio with both interactive and design expertise, this was an ideal opportunity to help bring an exciting start-up to the market and realise Victoria's vision for supporting local shops and services.'

Commenting on the investment, Victoria said: "I have worked on this idea for a few years now, so securing support from some great investors and the Development Bank of Wales is wonderful.

"Our pilot is nearly ready to go and we can't wait to help local high street businesses generate more customers, eliminate waste and boost their bottom line.'

Also pictured (second right): Carl Griffiths, technology seed fund manager from the Development Bank of Wales.

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