Hike SEO, a Leicestershire-based start-up, has raised £675,000 of funding in an investment round led by DSW Ventures with co-investment from incumbent investor, Jenson Funding Partners.
Hike’s DIY search engine optimisation (SEO) platform is designed to help small businesses improve their visibility on Google in a cost-efficient but highly effective way. The product tells the user what they need to know to build a bespoke SEO strategy – and then guides them through the execution of that strategy. Hike’s customers can optimise their online presence without the significant cost of engaging a specialist consultant.
Hike’s software is also aimed at digital agencies allowing them to deliver SEO services as an additional value-add service to their clients.
The company was founded by CEO Andrew Allen and CTO Kieran Headley, who worked together as SEO experts before starting the business in February 2017. Since then Hike has grown rapidly, and now has over 1,000 customers and annual revenues of over £1 million.
The funds will be used to further invest in developing the platform and to make key commercial and operational hires.
Hike has also strengthened its board with the recruitment of two seasoned operators. Jim Hodgkins has joined the company as Chair – Jim is the former Managing Director of ContentCal which was sold to Adobe at the end of 2021. The founders have also secured Deborah Jones, former Finance Director of MLS, a private equity-backed software business which exited to Capita, as CFO.
Andy Allen said: “We’re thrilled to have the support of DSW Ventures and Jenson Funding Partners in our mission to empower small businesses with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed online. With this investment, we’ll be able to develop the product and grow our team to ensure that even more small businesses can benefit from the Hike platform. This funding round marks an exciting new chapter for us at Hike and is a big step forward in achieving our goals for the business.”
Hike becomes the eleventh company to join the DSW Ventures portfolio. Emma Cassidy of DSW Ventures commented: “We were immediately drawn to the scale and speed of growth that Andy and Kieran had achieved with minimal capital, as well as the potential of their product in an underserved area of the SEO market. We are delighted to support such a talented founder team from another very exciting regional software company.”
Weightmans LLP (legal) and Panamoure Consulting (technical) advised to DSW Ventures on the deal, with Founders Law advising Hike SEO.