The team behind digital money saving venture Redu says their firm is now earning £100,000 of commission by driving £3m worth of business to brands each month.
Fast growth at the Seaham-based newcomer has surpassed the expectations of founders Darren Williams, Sam Morton and Gary Hunter, who now expect to clock £2m turnover in their second financial year.
Since launching in March 2014 the entrepreneurs have established a workforce of 15 who are tasked with rooting out online deals and negotiating with brands to promote their offers via a substantial social media audience.
Redu operates a number of Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and websites known as “channels” including the likes of “Mummy Savers” and “In the Sales” — which promote deals to followers.
The firm is also working with Sunday Sun columnist Ashleigh Swan, who has garnered a reputation as a money saving authority and appeared on the likes of ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
Mr Morton said: “As the three founders we’ve all had businesses before, but none of us have seen growth like this.”
Mr Hunter added: “We’re putting out between about two or three posts every 15 minutes, and we’re averaging about one million visitors a month to our channels.
“It’s grown so much more than we’d ever imagined. We’re now based in two offices spaces at the Novus centre, and we’re looking at taking a bigger space in the near future.
“It looks very much like we’ll have 20 staff by the end of the year.”
Redu launched its “Vouchshare” app late last year and secured investment from Northstar Ventures via the Finance for Business North East Proof of Concept Fund. The app automatically connects shoppers with relevant deals before they reach the checkout of online stores.
Mr Morton said the app is still gaining audience numbers, but Redu’s other activities in disseminating deals to consumers via websites and social media has taken a front seat in the firm’s strategy.
He explained: “Vouchshare has been very positive but the other side of the business has just taken off in such a way that I don’t think any of us had expected.
“We constantly survey our audiences for feedback, and we’ve used that to give the audience exactly what they want, when they want it. That’s driven the growth and that’s where our attention is directed.”
Redu, which picked up Newcomer of the Year at the Durham and Wearside heat of The Journal’s North East Business Awards, have been canny in employing workers that mirror their target customer base — young mothers.
Mr Morton explained: “Young mums are our core audience. They’re keen on value, good at bargain hunting and don’t necessarily have the time to trawl the high street.
“Most of our workforce is made up of young mums. They know the demographic so it means they chose well for our audience — it’s as simple as that.”
Wesley Hartley, investment manager at Northstar Ventures, added: “The team at Redu has done fantastically well over the past year since first approaching us for investment.
“They are a great example for other start-up businesses in the region and illustrate just how effective the Proof of Concept fund has been in creating jobs and wealth throughout the North East.”