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Angel Academe Leads Follow-on Investment in Clear Returns

Clear Returns, a high growth retail analytics company, has secured a further round of investment funding to expand European sales and prepare for expansion into the US in 2016. The organisation uses returns intelligence to help retailers maximize their bottom line by using big data and predictive analytics to ensure the products they sell stay sold, rather than come back as returns. The round was led by Angel Acadame and investors include Mark and Meganne Houghton-Berry.

Clear Returns secured investment after winning major retailers, including Argos, The Jewellery Channel, Gilt Groupe, and M&Co as customers. Using Clear Returns technology, retailers can:

  • Improve net profits by £1million for every £10 million refunded
  • Help shoppers keep more of what they buy, and to keep buying
  • Improve the return on capital employed in its stock holding by ensuring that returns are more accurately factored into the buying and re-ordering process

Vicky Brock, founder and CEO of Clear Returns with over 15 years’ experience in retail analytics, commented: “This is an exciting time for Clear Returns as investment is looking strong for 2016. The latest interest demonstrates the massive opportunity data in retail holds for the industry and how key influencers are now seeing this as a game changer, which will boost profits as customers keep more of what they buy”.

Julie Ashworth, Chairperson, Clear Returns added: “Retailer profits can soon erode when the cost of returned goods are taken into account. But with robust returns intelligence and vigilant analysis of the drivers, retailers can restrict the negative impact sent back items have on profits and ensure more shoppers keep what they buy.”

Ashworth continued: “It has been fantastic to obtain this level of support from investors and it’s a great opportunity to be part of an ongoing campaign for more women to be represented in this area.”

While women now control 48% of net wealth in the UK, just 6% are actively involved in angel investing, an underrepresentation which Angel Academe is campaigning to change, as Ramona Liberoff, incoming CEO of SPRING Accelerator and Angel Academe investor, explains:

“Despite their experience and budget responsibility, it is curious that so few angel investors are women. Angel Academe was founded to address this imbalance and encourage these highly professional women to become more actively involved in the investment community. As such, we are committed to supporting early stage businesses, like Clear Returns, while giving investors a female friendly, rather than a ‘female only’, environment in which to tap into a wide network of industry and specialist expertise.”

With a focus on helping UK tech start-ups access capital as well as the wider support that female investors can bring to their businesses, Angel Academe – which invested in Clear Returns during a previous funding round in April 2013 – was once again impressed by the strength of the retail intelligence company’s proposition and ongoing business case, as well as its data analytics capabilities.

Liberoff continued: “As a viable investment opportunity, Clear Returns ticks all the boxes, which is why we are supporting them for a second time. The team has delivered on its promises, provided a realistic growth trajectory and, most importantly, stuck to providing retailers with a solution that solves an important issue – in this case product returns. Retailers are awash with data but very few understand how to make the best use of it where it matters – namely, the bottom line; Clear Returns does just that and has a positive impact on business decisions to drive profit.”

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