- Founded in March 2020, aisle 3 is a new, disruptive ecommerce marketplace offering truly personalised experiences for large networks of engaged shoppers.
- Aiming to become ‘the Wikipedia of product search’ aisle 3 aggregates retailer offers and rich product information by deploying machine learning and AI algorithms so Shoppers have a complete view of all of their buying options on a single screen.
- The team has developed their proprietary web crawler, software and product aggregation algorithms from scratch and in just five months have led two successful funding rounds raising almost £500k in pre-seed funding.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
I’ve spent over a decade working at the likes of Amazon and Tesco and I am still staggered that you can buy something complex such as car or life insurance on a comparison site. It remains a laborious task scouring the internet across a myriad of retailers, and opening up multiple tabs on your browser just to buy something like a pair of wireless headphones or find trainers in the right size and colour.
Having seen the inner workings of a price comparison startup I decided now was the time to create the source of truth that shows shoppers all of their buying options in one trusted location. We are finally at the intersection of technology, demand and funding to finally be able to aggregate all offers and products across the internet without the input of any retailer or brand.
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How has aisle 3 evolved during the pandemic?
The business was founded remotely and that freed us up to consider bringing in talent from across the world. We were fortunate in our first couple of hires in India that gave us the confidence to start building a team around them and we’ll deepen this over the coming months with the foundation of a new subsidiary company to provide better local support.
I’ve hardly seen my co-founder but we speak continuously throughout the day and are well used to working the other side of the screen. Our primary mission and the problem we are solving has never changed, if anything it has been validated by the increase in online shopping throughout the pandemic.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you require funding, it will be an almost impossible task alone unless you have a group of investors that back you across other ventures. The reality is that many startups flounder because fundraising is a full time job that takes the senior team out of the business for so long that they miss targets, struggle to hire or don’t develop the product/service. I was lucky to start with a co-founder that I could trust, is an expert in his field and has a comparable work ethic. Looking back it feels like a bit of a lightning in a bottle moment, but actually we make our own luck through hard work and good judgement. And when you see an opportunity – back yourself and take it.
What can we hope to see from aisle 3 in the future?
I’m really worried about the squeeze Big Tech is putting onto independent brands and retailers and their position has only strengthened in the midst of the pandemic. I believe the band of rebels that form startups have the most exciting opportunity to change the world and that’s where I hope to see aisle 3 fitting in – as a trusted partner for retailers and brands and a trusted Shopper destination site. We’re set up to aggregate products and offers in one trusted location which will not only make it easier for Shoppers to find the best deals, but they will also be able to share and engage with their nearest and dearest to discover new products and retailers.
We’ll be able to completely revolutionise the advertising experience which currently relies on interruptions when we can instead form a symbiotic relationship with retailers and brands that presents Shoppers with relevant, personalised offers at the right time. Voice and conversational commerce will begin to have more impact on the Shopper journey and we’ll continue to work hard on the enabling foundation which is best in class product and offer information and a source of truth for Shoppers.