Born just outside Birmingham in the UK, Lee Nazari has lived and breathed retail and hospitality since the age of 12. His father moved to the UK from Iran in the late 70s, without speaking a word of English. He worked his way up from pot-wash to business owner and from a young age, Lee started helping his father in his restaurants at the weekends.
After running multiple leisure venues, Lee took a leap into the financial sector and spent several years working at Morgan & Stanley. Further experience with well-known companies like Groupon, Living Social, and Wowcher, gave Lee an unique insight into the online discount industry.
However,whilst Lee’s star continued to rise, the future was not as bright for Lee’s father. When his father lost his restaurants, Lee was determined to make sure another company never suffered the same fate. He recognised that to ensure success, companies needed to keep a firm grasp on everything from profit margins, stock control, and staff productivity.
With a mission to create a cost-effective,one-stop shop for retailers to help run their business, Lee Nazari founded Swoopos in August 2017.Today, Swoopos is one of the most innovative mobile point-of-sale systems that connect businesses directly to their customers for easier, faster, and more rewarding transactions. It works intuitively alongside the Swoope customer app to enable seamless ordering and payment, as well as powerful mobile marketing and analytics. No stone has been left unturned.
In-Conversation with Founder & CEO of Swoopos, Lee Nazari:
Q.How successful was your first product?
We launched Swoopos in August 2017, and it has been a great first year. We have been fortunate enough to work with some of big brands straightaway, such as Subway and CostCoffee. Being a new player in the industry, there are always challenges but the v1.0 has done a great job and established us in the market. This has led us to close off a funding round of £1.2million to date. We offer so much value all in one place, and we have become the alternative to big expensive ePoS and payments systems. Now we are excited about the upcoming release of v2.0 in late 2018, and we believe that this will help us change how the retail and hospitality industries work faster.
Q.How the client responses have motivated you to shape your offerings and grow the company?
With only one year in the market under our belt, we have been excited about the good feedback we have received on the success of v1.0.At Swoopos, we are always looking to improve our offering, and all the upgrades and new features we have incorporated into v2.0 is based on our customers’ feedback. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Q.What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
Every startup faces challenges. No company grows without overcoming hurdles, and we were no exception. In the first year, we struggled to find the right strategic partners that would see the vision we have and help us achieve it. But, once we got the right partners on board, everything fell into places; everything started to click and the route to market became clear. It freed up a lot of much-needed resources and gave us time to focus on the most important part of Swoopos - the product.
Everyone can have an idea, but creating and executing a good business model that also gives value to customers, is the hardest part. Not many can sustain the balance well enough to succeed, especially without good guidance
Q.What makes Swoopos one of the fastest growing companies in the industry?
We are young and nimble, and can adapt quickly to the needs of our customers. This gives us the advantage to roll out new features and upgrades quicker and more cost effectively than our competitors. We have put together a product that incorporates a lot of elements that our competitors can only offer using 3rd parties, which can push the price point up for the customer. Therefore, this keeps us as the most comprehensive and affordable solution. Our entire product line is innovative; we respect what isn’t broken, but piece it together in a way that makes a much better product that can be future-proofed for years to come. And I believe this is our core point of difference.
The Future Vision
After the success of v1.0, Swoopos is going to launch v2.0 later this year, which includes some amazing new features, such as an e-commerce platform where clients will get a customizable, fully-maintained website, making it easy to do stocks and revenue reporting.
This will enable the company to work with a wide range of clients in new sectors and enable clients to stop having to rely on multiple products to the jobs they need. Also, Swoopos is working with a few, larger national brands to provide them with a white label version of the product system and app.
Looking to the future, Swoopos plans to deliver the best quality product to a wider audience, and definitely has its sights set on expanding into more global markets.
The Man Behind The Picture
Lee Nazari, Founder and CEO: Lee is from a hospitality and finance background with a big passion for technology. He has lived and breathed the fintech space and knows the nuts and bolts of the industry.