Embargo provides a loyalty app and customer relationship management (CRM) platform, used by restaurants, coffee shops and bars. Originally founded in 2017, the company now works with hundreds of hospitality venues across the UK; and has attracted significant investment via a series of successful funding rounds. Barnes & Scott has supplied Embargo with accountancy services since 2017 and has become a source of invaluable support and service.
In 2017 Embargo’s founders Tsewang Wangkang, a former investment banker; and Frederick Szydlowski, former head of marketing and manager at several hospitality venues in London, were simply looking for an accountancy firm “that could take care of all the basics”, according to Tsewang.
But those foundational accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax services were soon complemented by services to complete successful funding rounds, alongside specialist advice on subjects including how to work with overseas investors. Barnes & Scott also runs Embargo’s cap table, helping its founders and their growing team to focus on developing and growing the business.
“They have supported each investment round we have done and provided an excellent service, preparing EIS paperwork and share certificates for investors; and keeping the company registers up to date,” says Tsewang.
The relationship with Barnes & Scott has also helped Embargo through the most challenging phase of its development to date. Following imposition of the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, the firm needed to adjust its strategy. It redirected its focus onto a specific customer base, to promote the fact that its app is contactless, making it an essential solution during the COVID-19 crisis, and the inclusion of click and collect and nationwide shipping capabilities.
Embargo now offers venues a complete plug and play digital loyalty card and CRM system, easy for venues and their customers to use, which feeds rich customer data back to the venue, helping them to identify their most loyal and valuable customers and to nurture those relationships. Since mid-2020 the company has attracted hundreds of new clients and is growing again at a healthy rate.
Barnes & Scott has been able to support Embargo throughout its history, playing an important role in that growth and development. Tsewang says he is very aware of the advantages of working with a smaller accountancy firm that specialises in helping start-ups working with technology and is able to move quickly to respond to changing requirements.