Former professional musician David Brown, 43, and his management team are bringing harmony to one of the great challenges of online shopping: the millions of internet transactions — some estimates say up to 90% — that are abandoned before completion.

The firm’s software platform tracks customer activity on websites, encouraging them to complete their transaction with artificial intelligence-driven web chat, or emailing them with discounts to encourage them to return to the page if they leave. Ve says that by turning these near misses into actual purchases it can help to boost sales by an average of 25%. Etihad, Vodafone and Topman are some of its 11,000 clients.

Chief executive Brown began his career as a professional pianist and composer, which led to him co-founding Serious, a digital publishing business. After selling that company, he moved from New York to London where he met Steve Clucas, the inventor of Ve’s original product.

Drawing on Brown’s media industry connections, the company has been financed by 400 private shareholders to the tune of about £51m and it has been valued at more than £1.2bn.

Demand from online retailers in the UK and overseas, as well as acquisitions, helped to boost Ve’s revenues to £20.9m last year.
Brown is confident about being able to defend the company’s position, saying Ve’s platform consists of 13m lines of computer code, which he claims makes it “algorithmically more complex than Amazon and on a par with Google”.

Ve is predicting a further surge of growth to more than £190m in sales next year, based on contract wins and newer products. The company says that each minute it monitors $100m of attempted transactions around the world, and is beginning to feed its anonymised data intelligence into advertising platforms and financial institutions.

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Company details
Year2015
Rank1
CompanyVe Interactive
ActivityEcommerce technology developer
LocationCentral London
Average 3 year sales growth305.55%
Latest sales £000s*20,891
Staff840
Founded2009
Websitewww.veinteractive.com

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure