RLC Leads investment round in The Handwriting Company
RLC Ventures has led a £420k round of equity finance in Bristol based The Handwriting Company, which has developed a software that can learn anyone’s handwriting and robotics that re-create the idiosyncrasies and nuances of human writing. This technology has seen the likes of Super-Seed Ventures and Ascension Ventures and a number of notable angels also committing to the round.
The investment will be used to help recruit great talent for the company as well as for marketing purposes to increase their global footprint.
“We genuinely backed The Handwriting Company because the team is superb. The team has proven itself whilst previously running a business and Rob and Alex (Co-Founders) both have complimentary personalities that will improve their efficiencies and decision making. The product is great! I couldn’t tell the difference between something I’d written and the copy, not to mention the market opportunity is huge with the likes of Barclays and Panasonic already using the unique software” – Reece Chowdhry (Founder & CEO)
Overview of The Problem & The Market Opportunity
With a huge struggle to appear authentic when marketing your brand, personalisation goes a long way, just take a look at the man who built a £1bn business off writing handwritten letters! Our friends at The Handwriting Company have brought back what so many people have missed out on as one of the best communication tools around. With 95%+ open rates, 35%+ engagement rates and a huge element of personalisation. The Handwriting Company is making it accessible for brands, bankers and business owners to access a unique customisation tool at a scalable level. £4.4bn is currently spent on advertising and business direct mail annually and currently over £10bn is spent on greeting cards annually.
A unique opportunity for marketers has emerged at a low cost, creating higher levels of engagement and effective marketing as well as higher levels of personalisation.
Our Investment Thesis
The founding team at The Handwriting Company has vast experience having started their own previous company and worked at the likes of JP Morgan. The characters of the founders complement each other well and their background of studying together suggests that they will have few hurdles in terms of personality and ego clashes.
What RLC Ventures likes most:
- AI productivity gains – THC are putting a proposal together for US company which currently employees 50 people who physically handwrite notes to clients – crazy that this happens all over world let alone the USA – just tackling this problem would scale THC into a significant business.
- Client base – is so wide and hence the market is large, but we love application to areas of real estate – agents sourcing deals via letters & banking CEO’s having to send apology letters & political campaigns.
- Business to Business sales – strategy creates a more defensible business and ensures capital is not wasted on B2C marketing $$$.
- Scale – Given that THC have moved to provide software behind the handwriting engines to allow people to use their own or use others, they can scale rapidly without having people or printers or robots-think, Onfido for this space.
- Scalable software – that creates handwriting letters at least 15x faster and 50% cheaper than both humans and robots can.
- High defensibility – as the company has already built a large handwriting database with all the AI technology built in house.
- Low cost structure – as the core team is strategically based in Bristol
Overall, we were impressed by a strong founding team, their focus on data-based decision making, operational rigour, and a persistent focus on customer delight, backed by a large market opportunity in the marketing and personalisation space — culminated into us leading a £420k round into The Handwriting Company. We are very thrilled to work with their team in building a great household name together. They currently operate in Bristol and you will soon see their letters everywhere but it’s likely you wont know it!