Tech start-up Neatebox has secured a significant round of funding which will allow it to scale up and reach more businesses with its Welcome app, designed to help firms provide a more disability-friendly service.
The Edinburgh-based business has received a further £180,000 from investors and will receive a second tranche of investment later in the year, bringing the total amount raised to £300,000.
Neatebox will use the funding to develop and improve software, expand its marketing activities and grow its team.
Some of the companies already using the Welcome app include Edinburgh Airport, Jenners, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest.
The funding comes from angel syndicate Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise and a number of private investors. Neatebox was advised during the investment by law firm Harper Macleod.
Neatebox founder and chief executive Gavin Neate, a former guide dog mobility instructor, created the app to originally be used at pedestrian crossings before focusing on its potential to solve a fundamental customer service need.
He said: “There is a massive opportunity to scale up and roll out Welcome to the point where it is omnipresent and it is reassuring that our investors share our ambition to make this a reality.
“We’re receiving fantastic feedback from both businesses and disabled users wherever it is deployed, and this funding will allow us to really scale the business and reach more venues and hopefully positively enhance the lives of more and more disabled people over the coming months.”
Disabled people can use Welcome to let services or venues know when they are going to arrive and what kind of extra support they might need. Their phone then alerts the service provider when they book, when they trigger the building’s Geo-Fence and when they arrive at the venue.
Meanwhile, Neatebox’s original Button app for pedestrian crossings is still gaining traction and the ambition is for this tech to be integrated in every pedestrian crossing around the world.
Jo Nisbet, partner at Harper Macleod, said: “We’ve been working with Gavin and the team for many years and have seen the business evolve and almost reach a tipping point where the question seems to be, why wouldn’t you have this technology in your premises?”
Image credit: Neatebox