Digital marketplace EzTenda (pronounced easy-tender) brings drinks brands and venues together, enabling agreements to be made on stocking bars and restaurants.

“EzTenda is all about delivering market access for all brands into all venues. We want to make drinks listings accessible to everyone,” says founder Sam Showering (pictured above left).

Traditionally, these ‘listing’ agreements have been secured in person by brand ambassadors physically visiting multiple venues.

With EzTenda, the process that happens in person, happens on the website,” says Sam, 34. “Brands can bid with free stock, branded glassware, all sorts of stuff to make a deal stronger.” The platform holds drinks listings for beers, wines and spirits.

EzTenda is based in London and run by a core team of 3 people, headed up by CEO Douglas Warden (pictured above right). The business chose Starling for its banking.

Growing an online marketplace

One of the challenges for anyone building a marketplace is bringing enough vendors on board to hold the attention of the clients or customers.

“Small drinks brands are economically motivated to use the platform - a general sales rep has to get up in the morning, get into their car, use their mileage allowance to drive around the country visiting pubs to try and get a sale. With Eztenda, all they need to do is to put a bid in online. And it costs nothing - the service is free unless you win the bid,” says Sam.

The venues using the platform include pubs, bars and restaurants. Ross Butler, Managing Director of Gaucho Restaurants, says: “With whole-of-market access, we find it easier to connect with the brands our customers expect to discover at Gaucho. The time, effort and resources we save by using a digital marketplace makes sure we can secure the best drinks listings every time our menu evolves.”

Gaucho was one of the venues that signed up to test the platform before it launched earlier this year. This network of testers was made up of venues and drinks brands Sam has connected with over the years. He started out working at the Brothers Drinks Co., run by his family. The Showerings are known for making cider and inventing Babycham.

“I worked in the factory and then as a travelling sales rep. I was there for several years before moving to FeverTree where I fronted up the sales. Then in 2015, I co-founded Pedrino, which sells a range of spritzes.” Pedrino spritzes are stocked in national restaurant chains and supermarkets.

Sam has been working on EzTenda since 2020 and secured £500k funding in a round in 2021. This enabled him to hire a team and build the platform.

“My advice for others looking to fundraise is to create hype around your idea and then give it some urgency. Without urgency, you could find yourself in a long-term stalemate.”

Digital banking for a digital marketplace

Sam uses Starling to manage both his personal and business finances. “It’s fast, convenient and ahead of the curve,” he says. He’s used Starling to manage EzTenda’s finances since 2020.

“Being able to photograph receipts is a big help. The alerts on spending are useful too,” he says. Starling customers receive a real-time notification every time money moves in or out of their account.

“The Xero integration is also really easy,” he says. Through the Starling Business Marketplace, customers can connect their business account to a range of online accounting services, as well as insurance, pension and HR software.

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