Appear Here? Yes please, says venture capital giant

Appear Here, the fast-growing technology start-up, has raised $7.5m in a fundraising led by Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s biggest venture capital firms.

Ross Bailey

Founded by 22-year-old Ross Bailey, the 19-month old online marketplace connects retail landlords with entrepreneurs who want to rent retail space.

Appear Here has enabled more than 500 short-term lets and has signed up eight of the UK’s ten biggest retail landlords, including British Land, Land Securities and Hammerson.

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It has worked with brands including Marc Jacobs, Google, Diageo, Jamie Oliver and Net-a-Porter.

Mr Bailey told The Yorkshire Post that half of the demand is now coming from Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, which “probably get more overshadowed than they should by London” and are home to some “incredible, innovative fashion retailers”.

Balderton has backed fashion retailers such as Yoox and the Hut Group as well as Lovefilm.

Mr Bailey said he needs more landlords in the North. He is already working with Allied London, which owns Leeds Dock, and the Victoria Quarter.

The idea for Appear Here came after he set up a pop-up store in Carnaby Street during the London Olympics and realised how difficult it was for both entrepreneurs and big retail brands to find short-term leases.

He said Appear Here has reduced the time taken from 3-6 months to 24 hours.

Mr Bailey left school at 16. He said: “I’ve always tried to be entrepreneurial and get stuff done. I launched a few shops. I have just turned 22. I’m just at the beginning of the journey.”