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First-of-its-kind online marketplace brings the power of group buying to the North East

08 June 2020 @TeessideUni

 

The Teesside University-led DigitalCity initiative is helping Tees Valley-based SME, Zookabu launch an innovative online marketplace that provides shoppers with access to exclusive retail deals via a group buying approach.

Tan Ellahi, founder, Zookabu
Tan Ellahi, founder, Zookabu

The Teesside University-led DigitalCity initiative is helping Tees Valley-based SME, Zookabu launch an innovative online marketplace that provides shoppers with access to exclusive retail deals via a group buying approach.

From technology and toys to jewellery and watches, a plethora of products are available to purchase on the all new digital marketplace. With the option to buy instantaneously at a competitive price or join a time-limited group with others to obtain a group discount from the vendor - the entire shopping experience is driven by consumer power.

As a multi-vendor platform, Zookabu is looking to support more verified retailers, wholesalers and independent sellers in the North East with trading products in large numbers, while passing on savings to local consumers.

Founder, Tan Ellahi, said: 'Zookabu's business ethos is about giving buying power to consumers, allowing them to buy with family, friends and other individuals to get the best deals. It’s predominantly a consumer-focused platform.'

To help the platform get underway, Tan is partaking in the DigitalCity Accelerator Programme. He added: 'It’s allowing me to tap into useful key resources quickly and certify my technique from a commercial aspect. As well as enabling me to hit the ground running and really validate the Zookabu concept and business model.'

The programme has recently transitioned online to continue its ongoing support to Tees Valley tech start-ups. Over the course of nine weeks, the fully-funded initiative is providing online mentoring, virtual workshops and access to funding to help eight entrepreneurs with their new to market products and services.

Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor, Ammar Mirza CBE of SME Centre of Excellence, one of the lead mentors on the programme, said: 'Lots of people talk about developing platforms that are going to be the next Amazon or Facebook, however seeing Zookabu coming to life I genuinely believe it has the potential. Our ambition is to help create and support fast growing, world-class businesses. With Tan’s drive, commitment and enthusiasm Zookabu is definitely one to watch.'

The DigitalCity project has received up to £1,217,733 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding