Coffee break shout app Appreci, which lets colleagues buy each other cafe beverages, has a new backer, with Sydney-based Lakeba Group, which specialises in commercialising technology startups, taking a 35% stake in the gratitude platform to help it scale globally.
The $430,000 investment is timely for the Queensland-based startup, which has 59 corporate customers, including Allens Linklaters, Deloitte, KPMG, Microsoft, and Piper Alderman, but has seen its events revenue stream disappear as the coronavirus response saw events cancelled or postponed.
Appreci is a web service and mobile app for giving thanks by shouting someone a coffee. The startup had been focused on providing businesses to reward staff and event attendees with credits towards a beverage delivered digitally, via its app, SMS or email. The credits are redeemable in participating cafes, so that even in you are working from home, you can still swing by the cafe for a takeaway.
Lakeba Group‘s initial support involved getting Appreci onto Microsoft Teams – the new office environment for more than 32 million employees worldwide, as it looks to scale the platform both in Australia and globally.
Before covid-19 hit Appreci had a period where it fulfilled 10,000 coffees through Microsoft Teams, all redeemed within 72 hours.
The startup launched last year and currently has ties through 220 Australian cafes and eateries, expanding to 1,700 cafes worldwide through a partnership with Suspend Coffees.
Lakeba Group CEO Giuseppe Porcelli said his company’s involvement will help the startup handle global demand, international currencies and international integration with collaboration platforms.
“As the saying goes, humanity runs on coffee. It’s a staple in office kitchens throughout the world. And served in cafes everywhere, often bought as a simple thank you to those we appreciate most,” he said
“Appreci brings the physical expression of gratitude and recognition into a digital environment. This combination of our physical and digital worlds is a key tenant of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and is what sparked our interest in the business.
Porcelli sees potential for Appreci to build customer loyalty and trust, especially in the financial services sector.
“Financial services often overlook loyalty and engagement technologies. But we believe they will be central to how we will continue to deliver value to customers and further refine and personalise services,” he said
“As we scale Appreci, we will be looking to include it into our fintech ecosystem. This will enhance our ability to meet customer desires.”