How to avoid tech giants – and support UK startups
By Marcus Gibson, Gibson Index and former FT Technical Correspondent
In a world dominated by big companies like Apple, Facebook, Uber, Google and eBay – or even Deliveroo – it sometimes seems impossible to break free from their clutches. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Take Deliveroo and the other restaurant aggregators of the “big three” Uber Eats and Just Eat. This cozy market allows them to charge up to 35% commission, which takes more than £ 1billion every year from local restaurants and takeaways: a takeout earning £ 3,000 a week through these platforms will pay off. £ 54,600 per year in commission.
A Glasgow entrepreneur launched a much better model, Sauce, which will belong to the community. Chris McColl ran his Glasgow restaurant, NY Slice, but found he couldn’t survive the onset of food delivery apps.
Now everything could change. Along with the fixed weekly subscription fees, which are waived if a business generates less than £ 100 in revenue, inclusion on the platform will be free for restaurants.
During COVID, consumers became very supportive of their local businesses – just look at the huge success of the UK’s 4,000 farm shops. Slowly expanding in the UK, Gravyy deserves our support. So invite your local chippy, coffee, and takeout to sign up.
There is no doubt that the American mega-company Amazon has done a tremendous job in perfecting the home delivery of consumer goods at bargain prices. But it’s not the only game in town.
Last year Visor Commerce Ltd – online trading as OnBuy – obtained significant venture capital funding.
OnBuy – create an ethical e-commerce ecosystem
The Dorset-based company – which topped BusinessCloud’s 100 E-Commerce Pioneers rankings – has quickly become Britain’s fastest growing e-commerce company. He now aims to take on Amazon, not only in the UK but in 42 countries, including the US and Canada.
Since its launch, OnBuy has accumulated 8 million customers and over 35 million products. Founder Cas Paton claims Amazon actually only has a 29% market share in the UK – with a large remainder taken by other companies.
He said: “We are targeting 1% of the global e-commerce market of $ 3.46 trillion, which equates to $ 35 billion, over the next five years.” It recruits at a rate of around 500 retailers per month and aims to become the world’s leading truly global marketplace, operating in more than 140 countries by 2023.
If you’re looking for a secure taxi service to get back late at night, Uber isn’t the only option. Recently, the average cost of an Uber trip has increased from £ 9 to £ 12, with some short journeys priced at £ 50 at peak times. Drivers are leaving Uber en masse, annoyed at having to work 60 hours a week as the American multinational earns $ 1.2 billion a year in Britain.
Drivers are not paid based on what customers pay. But yes, there is a very good alternative. It only uses black taxis and operates in most cities in the UK including Manchester, Coventry, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Get is considered by users to be the “smoother” among taxi apps: rides can be more expensive than an Uber, but at least you know the driver charges a reasonable fee for the ride.
Why VCs Need an Upgrading Strategy
As summer dies, we are still enjoying a sunny September (for now). Fortunately, there are alternatives to American-derived ice cream brands like Ben & Jerry’s. So, hop in your car or a train and head to the town of Ayr in the west of Scotland. There, a boutique dominates the city’s popularity issues like no other: that of Renaldo.
Since the 1920s this historic boutique has been passed down to generations of Italians for decades and is now owned by the husband and wife team Linda and Silvio Galli. For 25 years, they worked hard, turning the original store into a local favorite.
Using the same trusted recipe, their old-fashioned vanilla is hard to beat. A simple whole milk recipe with no additives in sight, but containing less than 3% fat, or only 130 calories per scoop. A liter of Renaldo ice cream contains more protein than a liter of milk.
But even better than their ice cream are their chocolates. These are firmly in the “to die for” category. Indeed, no one should go to their grave without seeing the Grand Canyon – or receiving a box of Renaldo chocolates.
Every time I win a new customer, I send them a box of Renaldo – and so far I haven’t lost any. Definitely the best in the world – and far superior to that of the big multinationals, whether American, Belgian or Swiss – order yours now from this British institution. Christmas is coming, so order early.