As the UK shows signs of establishing its own billion dollar start up club with a wave of new investments, one company that stands out is Powa Technologies, the mobile commerce specialist founded by veteran entrepreneur Dan Wagner.
Powa Technologies was valued at £1.78bn ($2.7bn) after a series of heavyweight international investors recognised the transformational potential of its mobile commerce platform PowaTag. The company has secured more than $150m in institutional investment over the last two years, including a record-breaking $90.7m Series A round, the largest ever secured by a technology start up.
Dan Wagner, founder and CEO of Powa Technologies, said: “We should be confident in our ability as a nation to create our own world-class breed of technology leaders. Rather than following the Billion Dollar Club, we should all be focussing on the Billion Pound Club. There are many companies out there with the potential to achieve this, and we must create an environment that can nurture and sustain their growth.
He continued: “The increasing level of attention the UK technology scene has received in the last few years makes it clear the international investment community has begun to recognise our vast potential to innovate as a nation and build companies which can become international market leaders.
“I believe it is very feasible for the UK to produce a global digital champion that will secure ubiquity comparable to Microsoft or Google within the next five years. Heavyweight investors from around the world are starting to recognise the powerful potential for British companies on the global business stage.”
Powa Technologies is recognised by the Wall Street Journal’s prestigious Billion Dollar Startup Club, listing the world’s leading companies valued at over $1bn. Dan Wagner believes the investment attracted by the UK’s digital economy and the jobs created as a result plays a vital role in the country’s economic growth and movement away from recession. Job creation was a priority for Powa after the $76m investment it received in 2013.
The move even gained praise from Prime Minister David Cameron, who commented: “I am delighted that Powa is further contributing to the recovery of the economy with the creation of 250 jobs to expand their growing business. E-commerce is vital to our economic success.”
Dan Wagner added: “The UK’s own developing billion pound club is largely centred around digital innovation, especially the use of mobile technology. PowaTag itself is built on the vision of using mobile to empower consumers with a new level of freedom and flexibility in the way they shop and interact with brands in their every day life.”
PowaTag gives users the ability to engage with brands and complete transactions using an array of triggers, including scanning print material, Bluetooth beacons, audio tags and social media. Interactions such as shopping purchases or charity donations are completed with two taps of a smartphone using pre-entered payment and address information.