The local presence management vendor PinMeTo is celebrating a major investment from the retail giant H&M, in a tactical round that the Sweden-based company sees as a stepping stone to further expansion.
“H&M’s investment was a strategic one for PinMeTo,” says the company’s COO Andre Tiwari. “Our goal is and has been to expand globally in 2018, and H&M brings invaluable knowledge and support for that goal.”
Although the company is based on Sweden, PinMeTo is a global vendor that helps chains and franchises reach customers on all relevant platforms. While discussions around the investment of 2,5 million Swedish Kronor from H&M have been ongoing for some time, the round was finalized only recently, as PinMeTo continues into a phase of steady growth, both internally and with regards to its customer base.
“Our sales strategy has been to build very strong case studies within market verticals and then use those cases to sell to similar companies. Having H&M as a brand will be extremely valuable to that end,” Tiwari says.
PinMeTo is not the only technology vendor that H&M has invested in. In recent years, H&M has started a venture capital operation, investing in young firms with activities associated with retail sales.
H&M had not been a PinMeTo client prior to the investment, however Tiwari says PinMeTo has been working with H&M’s high street fashion brand Collection Of Style (COS) since last year. H&M has also brought its Monki brand, an international retail concept, to PinMeTo.
“Our CEO, Daniel Melkersson, has had a goal of working with H&M for some time and so we started with one of their brands, then another, and then it was on us to deliver real results. I believe it was those results, along with our continued growth, that finally made this investment possible,” Tiwari says.
Growing a hyperlocal company in what has become a crowded market has presented some challenges for PinMeTo, as more vendors enter the presence management vertical. In the four years since it was founded, PinMeTo has continued to refine its focus and its target customer base. Its client roster now includes businesses like IKEA, Clarion Hotel, and Max Burgers, a Swedish restaurant chain.
“We never set out to be unique per se and we strictly limit our focus. We believe we offer more value by doing a few things extremely well rather than doing very many things less well,” Tiwari says. “For me, that is our key differentiating factor. When we release a product or feature it must be as good as, or better, than existing standalone market offerings. In this way, we never limit our future growth or scope, but we prevent feature creep.”
Running a local presence company in the diverse European market means understanding regional differences and selecting a regional sales focus with great care. Tiwari says it helps tremendously that Europe has a lot of English speaking business people, even though his company’s sales force has the ability to sell anywhere in the world.
While Tiwari is tight-lipped about PinMeTo’s future offerings, he says the company is looking to capitalize on Google’s version 3.2 API, which makes it possible to offer detailed Google insights for an entire business chain.
“Previously insights in Google My Business were on a per location basis. Meaning that if you wanted to know how all 50 of your stores were performing it meant hand loading and hand calculating your insights to get the totals,” he says. “Now we can offer on demand data for our clients from the company wide level down to the individual store.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.