NPIF Equity

Product information platform targets US growth after £4m funding

Pimberly – a Manchester-based company whose Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) software helps businesses to boost e-commerce sales – has raised a further £4m from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), and Mercia’s own funds.

The latest funding round, which brings the total raised to date to over £14m, will enable it to enhance its platform, expand its US operation and make further inroads into the European market.

Pimberly’s platform helps manufacturers, distributors, brands and retailers to manage the data and digital assets required to create, market and sell their products. It brings product specifications and digital assets such as images, video, documents and 3D all together in one place, providing access to up-to-date accurate information. The platform is used by a host of leading brands including Footasylum, Monsoon, JD Sports, Cotton Traders, Dover Sadlery and Harvey Nichols.

Mercia and NPIF first invested in Pimberly in 2018. Since the last funding round in 2021, the company has increased UK staff numbers from 47 to 75, doubled the number of customers to around 115 and opened a US office in New York. It has also added market-leading AI features to its platform to improve its ability to handle complex data and create compelling SEO-optimised product experiences. Pimberly expects to create around 20 new jobs in the UK in the next two years, as well as growing its team across the US and Canada.

Martin Balaam, CEO of Pimberly, said: “The leading e-commerce businesses now sell on multiple marketplaces around the world, which means they have to list their products on numerous different sites and in different languages.  Our product helps them to enrich their product information with more relevant data, images, videos and 3D visuals and improve the customer’s shopping experience.

“Our growth to date would not have been possible without the backing of our investors, and we are pleased to secure their continued support. It demonstrates that Northern tech businesses seeking funding do not need  to look outside the region – the investment they need is available on their doorstep.”

Debbie Sorby, Senior Manager, British Business Bank, said: “As consumer behaviour evolves, we’re seeing an increase in e-commerce and a need to have effective solutions to service this demand. Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) software provides this, and offers solutions to a global network of clientele, strengthening economic performance on a large scale. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund remains dedicated to helping businesses like Pimberly thrive by providing finance to support ambitions, boost employment and provide further opportunities for growth. It’s a pursuit we’ll be continuing with the upcoming launch of NPIF II.”

Mercia was investing from its NPIF funds under management and its Northern Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs).

Will Clark, a Managing Director in Mercia Ventures, added: “The North West of England has built a strong track record for e-commerce, which stems from its role as a centre for the mail order catalogue industry and the textile trade before that. Pimberly builds on that tradition and is increasingly being recognised as a global leader in its field. The company has been expanding steadily and has created a strong foundation in the US market. This latest investment will help Martin and the team to accelerate its growth and take the business to the next level.”

The current NPIF investment phase has now completed with the British Business Bank launching the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund II in March 2024.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.