LDC Top 50 2019
Eddie Latham and PJ Scott
Eddie Latham and PJ Scott met working at Play.com. Experts in search engine optimisation and e-commerce, they created Velocity Commerce as a side hustle in February 2013, selling clearance products online out of a garage.
“We invested £3,000 of our own money, and woke up at 5am to send parcels,” says Eddie. By the end of that first year, it was turning over £100,000 and the pair took voluntary redundancy to focus on Velocity. It now offers consultancy and half its £20m turnover comes from helping major brands like Sony and Brita get their products to the top of results pages on Amazon and eBay.
How did you get to where you are today?
Eddie: In the past, I’ve had other businesses that haven’t been successful. But I have no fear of failure. You just have to crack on and make mistakes. That’s the only thing you need to overcome when building a business: your own fear.
If operating internationally, what inspired your global vision?
Eddie: Germany is our fastest growing market. We designed a range specifically for the country; we didn’t just roll out something we were already selling in the UK. That’s now become almost 20pc of sales from nothing last year. We plan to move into America next. The penetration of Amazon is much higher in the US, compared to the UK. The size of the prize is immense. It’s a bit more legwork to crack new markets but you have to be brave.
What has been your biggest mistake to date?
PJ: We once purchased some iPhone cases to sell on. It’s not a market we’d looked at before, but we’d agreed with the seller that they would buy them back for small profit if we couldn’t sell. They reneged on the deal. We eventually found someone else to buy them but we lost £7,000.
Eddie: And we’d just been taken redundancy from our day jobs, so that was a huge dent in our cashflow.