Its mission is to make brands unmissable and for audio visual (AV) pioneer Inurface Media that means big screen displays and interactive experiences that coax shoppers to come, marvel, buy and stay.
Clients are icons such as Sports Direct, Gucci, Boohoo and Dr Martens who recognise the power of AV to attract and keep audiences, forging deeper connections with destinations.
As the welcome renaissance of London’s Oxford Street continues, the millions shopping there alone over the past year will have seen Inurface’s attention-grabbers.
“Our goal is to bring physical retail spaces into the digital world using the latest, most innovative solutions, creating, providing and maintaining full end-to-end solutions,” explains founder and chief executive Josh Bunce.
Inurface launched in 2008 and is now part of iuf, a bigger business group he has gone on to develop, comprising seven tech businesses that share complementary capabilities.
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With a fast-response support desk, installs and marketing, their solutions are wide-ranging from connecting devices – the internet of things, engineering and support services for display products and signage to creating digital experiences in physical spaces and workspace hubs.
Opening an office in South Africa is a recent new step and, with a team of 60 staff, the London-based company expects turnover to be £12 million this year.
Acquisitions have proved their worth with its Bauer Digital having an exclusive partnership with leading LED manufacturer Lighthouse that enables it to install show-stopping screens across Europe.
For its internet of things specialist Hubit profits were four times the purchase value in its first year with iup. “Staff were kept on and clients happy,” adds Bunce.
The group’s interactive experience arm Xi, backed by a £3 million investment, has built its own technology platform which runs all the bespoke-built apps and is seeing 40 per cent year-on-year growth.
“It’s something our competitors don’t have and we’ve created a host of cool solutions including for Manchester City FC,” says Bunce.
“There’s a next-level meet-the-players dream team fan experience for both the men and women’s squads that can be activated at home matches and taken on a trophy tour.
“And we have built a custom video booth for fans to choose their favourite players and then get photobombed – that comes with a video they can download to their phone.
“We work directly with brands now rather than through a third party. Referrals have been very helpful, working with Sports Direct introduced us to Adidas.”
More projects with screen wrap-arounds for arenas and stadiums, both perfect global stages, are also coming through and another sector that could get a big uplift from the adtech innovations are “car showrooms and dealerships – big opportunities there – they should get in touch,” says Bunce.
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In true entrepreneurial fashion his lightbulb moment came from seeing a screen on a pub wall in Australia.
With £2,000 of family backing and support from school friend and technical expert Henry Boydell “we’ve grown from a couple of screens in a coffee shop in Bristol into a full digital signage and interactive tech company,” he recalls.
“We reflect how needs have changed. Customers always want more, space in retailers has to be more physically engaging than ever.”
The US is a main target for growth along with Europe, where the business has opened up in Poland and Ireland to counter post-Brexit hurdles and higher costs.
Now the business is developing a new internal agency to marry sales and marketing, tracking returns on investment. “If useful we could extend it as a service to others,” says Bunce who also has plans to launch a new partnership scheme with other established entrepreneurs.
“As well as offering them a salary and equity in Inurface Media in a particular country, we’ll invest in their business and also provide them with our software, backing and mentoring. We’ll continue to keep scanning the horizon for companies ripe for acquisition.”
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