Since launching into the UK market in June on the back of a €9m investment, Irish online consumer brand Pigsback.com has already signed up 72,000 unique members and is on track to have 225,000 members by Christmas. “Essentially, it will take us six months to do in the UK what it has taken five years to do in Ireland,” says Pigsback.com founder and CEO Michael Dwyer.
In June the company revealed plans to expand into the UK market, focusing initially on the Greater London Area before gradually expanding to other urban areas through field marketing. It set up an office in the city at the start of the year in preparation for the launch, which culminates a long-held ambition for the company to enter the £650m sterling UK online marketing sector.
The company claimed it has attracted interest from the marketing sector in the UK and it has already signed partnerships with several leading brands including eBay, Blockbuster, UGC cinemas, CD Wow, Figleaves, Last Minute and Virgin Wines.
Dwyer told siliconrepublic.com broadband penetration in the UK – estimated at 60pc of internet users – is creating perfect conditions for online commerce. “Usage patterns in the UK show that people with broadband spend two and a half times longer on the web than dial-up users. People with broadband are likely to spend more and involve themselves in heavier applications and trends such as online poker, for example.”
“So far 72,000 people have signed up for our service and we estimate that this will reach 225,000 by Christmas. So by the end of the year we will have passed out Ireland,” he explained.
“We have experience strong traction in the UK market and the initial reaction from brands has been very good.”
Dwyer said the company is expecting to record a turnover of €5m this year, up from the €3.2m turnover reported last year.
He said the company is planning to make a turnover of €8.5m next year, fuelled significantly by the expansion in the UK market.
Pigsback.com employs 35 people in Dublin and 18 in the UK. “Our cost base is changing and we need to ensure that these businesses are properly resourced. Our overall headcount will expand to 55 people by Christmas and we intend to take on 10 new people next year,” Dwyer told siliconrepublic.com.
By John Kennedy