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E-commerce platform developer, Maybe Solutions, secures funding to create 10 new jobs and open a Birmingham base

An e-commerce platform developer that helps businesses, towns and cities analyse and engage with social media conversations has secured a six-figure funding package.

The funding, delivered by Maven Capital Partners through WM Debt Finance, Midlands Engine Investment Fund, will help Maybe Solutions execute its growth plan, create 10 new jobs and open a new office in Birmingham.

Maybe’s e-commerce platform enables users to react to the conversations happening around them on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and TripAdvisor. The platform uses artificial intelligence to help organisations benchmark their performance on social media channels by offering real-time insight and recommendations that can increase engagement.

By interacting with followers, influencers and other audiences in personalised conversations, the Maybe platform aims to increase its customers’ sales, conversion rates, and deliver insights from target audiences that improve product design, marketing and the overall customer experience.

Research by Forrester and Deloitte shows that currently $1.26 trillion of all global retail sales are ‘digitally influenced’, which accounts for 37 per cent of the total global retail sales market. By 2020, ‘digitally influenced’ retail sales are expected to account for 49 per cent of the total global retail sales market.

Polly Barnfield, Chief Executive Officer at Maybe Solutions, said;

We are delighted to have received this funding package from Maven and MEIF, which will help us unlock a new exciting phase of growth for the business. This is an extremely exciting time as we expand our team and operations into Birmingham.”

Andy Povey, Investment Manager at Maven Capital Partners, said,

We are delighted to support Maybe with a funding package from MEIF Maven Debt Finance. The management team brings a fantastic mix of experience from retail, marketing and technology to fuel the development of this platform in a marketplace forecasting high growth in the coming years. We look forward to supporting Polly and Diane as they implement Maybe’s growth plan, creating jobs across the region and making a positive contribution to the local economy.”

Ryan Cartwright, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said:

Maybe Solutions is a great example of the innovative businesses the Midlands Engine Investment Fund was set up to support. MEIF was designed to boost the region’s economy and help small businesses seize emerging growth opportunities not only in the UK, but also globally.”

A spokesperson from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

The MEIF is supported by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), and is an important aspect of GBSLEP’s commitment to strengthening the region’s provision of business support and access to finance. Opening up funding is critical in encouraging our large numbers of start-ups to scale up their operations and create new employment opportunities – supporting the wider economic growth of Greater Birmingham and Solihull in the process.”

The Midlands Engine Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Maybe was founded by a team of technology, marketing and retail specialists, including Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Polly Barnfield OBE, who brings over 20 years’ experience in digital marketing and tech. Chair, Diane Hill OBE, started her career at Cult Clothing, the predecessor of SuperGroup Plc, rapidly progressing through the organisation to become its Chief Operating Officer, transforming the company from a small, local enterprise to the global fashion retailer Superdry.