Appear Here plans international expansion following £5m investment

Appear Here, the company behind pop-up shops for the likes of Clarks, Coca-Cola and Net-a-Porter, is planning to ramp up its international efforts after securing £4.75m following an investment round led by Balderton Capital.

The company, described as the Airbnb of commercial property, was founded in London in 2012 by 22-year-old Ross Bailey

It the past 12 months it has gone from opening 80 pop-ups in central London to over 600 and from operating in five UK cities to over 20. It counts Marc Jacobs, Google, Diageo, Jamie Oliver, Moleskine, and the Science Museum, as well as start-ups such as Black Sheep Coffee, Paper London and Spoon Cereals among its clients.

Speaking to The Drum, Bailey said a decision hasn’t been made on the international territories it will expand into, but it will not involve opening offices in new cities.

Instead, the strategy is to help brands take their pop-up shop ideas to key retail destinations such as Paris, New York and Berlin and to work with global brands to open pop-ups in London.

“We get a huge amount of interest from brands in Paris looking to open in London, and huge US brands like Nike and Under Armour who want to come to London or other cities.

“The world is becoming a local village and we’re finding that brands much prefer to open a pop-up in London, and then New York, then Paris for example rather than all in the one city.”

Bailey added the investment will also help the company build its data capabilities.

“We’re getting such incredible data on retailers, brands, the exact location where a brand might get the most recognition and spend,” he explained. “We want to make sure we’re capturing all of that and utilising to make the ideas more successful.”

It will also continue to build its relationship with landlords including Transport for London, where it has been working on turning disused underground space – including that at Old Street Station – into pop-up locations.

The BRC estimats that pop-up add around £2.1bn to the economy each year, a figure which will increase by eight per cent by the end of 2015. Earlier this year, Bailey discussed with The Drum what is driving the pop-up market and what brands and marketers are doing in the space.

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