Technology has opened opportunities for businesses and institutions to interact with customers digitally. But what about customers who find using technology more of a barrier than a gateway?
In a digital-first world, accessibility is a real problem.
Peter Ashall, CEO and Founder of Easology, says that his company is working hard to solve the problem:
“We started by looking for ways to help profoundly blind people interact with tablets, which is itself a challenge. We are having to use these kinds of devices not just for social activities but also for things like booking a doctor’s appointment, applying for a job or doing a bank transaction. The industry really is much more focused on introducing the next great camera, which is great, but there is this particular problem, which needs solving.”
Peter’s team quickly realised the broader potential to assist individuals facing challenges due to ageing, limited dexterity, or a preference for simpler interfaces. With early support from Samsung, Peter entered a mobile innovation competition hosted by BT, gaining recognition and momentum. This initial success prompted them to seek funding to further develop and scale their product.
Peter approached Swoop to help him raise equity funding for Easology.
Kerry Dwyer, Senior Equity Manager at Swoop connected the startup with angel investors who shared the business’s vision and recognised its social impact, making it an attractive investment opportunity.
Kerry was also able to offer valuable feedback on how to pitch the business optimally, helping Easology refine their messaging and improve their presentation to potential investors
“The interaction with Swoop and Kerry in particular was really good. Kerry is not a pushover, we needed a very constructive dialogue rather than somebody rolling over and saying, Yes, we’ll do everything for you. Kerry really gave lots of tough, clear insights.”
The company raised £350,000 in total, with Swooping helping him to close this round through a number of angel investors. Peter says that Swoop really delivered for him:
“I have no regrets partnering with Swoop. The challenge is that there are so many startups out there who are desperate for money, VCs are having to sift through those who are actually worth investing in. Kerry and the Swoop team did a good job in testing the waters, making the right connections and helping us tell our story in a way that would see us raise the capital we needed.”
Peter Ashall says that his experience has demonstrated the important role Swoop played in helping his startup secure funding and accelerate its growth:
“If you have a business that you want to take to market and a product which meets a real need, that’s what drives you. I’m looking forward to the next steps, the next raise and doing some more work with Swoop as well.”
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