, the AIM-quoted investment firm focused on fast growing and scalable digital and technology enabled businesses, announced on Thursday that its two key investee companies had inked a deal to form an exclusive global partnership.
Two Shields owns 6.7% of the issued share capital in retail platform, WeShop, as well as 11.34% in BrandShield, a global provider of solutions to protect brands.
On top of its share capital, TSI has also invested a further $300,000 in BrandShield by way of a convertible loan.
WeShop and BrandShield announced that they had entered into an exclusive partnership centered around co-developing a global product, a merchant and user verification proposition for social commerce, as a cyber security solution on behalf of its product users.
The two firms will work together to utilise BrandShield’s web-monitoring AI and big-data based technology, analysing over 20 million online items every day to ensure brand protection against a range of possible threats from fraudulent merchants to counterfeiting and trademark infringement.
BrandShield’s technology makes a suitable platform, having been developed by cyber security and brand protection experts with experience in the Israeli military in cyber security, intelligence and information security.
Chief Executive of BrandShield, Yov Keren, described users subject to counterfeits and fraud as “one of the most troubling and fast-growing problems in ecommerce”.
Similarly, James Sowerby, CEO of WeShop, acknowledged brand protection as “increasingly important” consideration alongside the social commerce market which is gaining momentum as a major channel of distribution and becoming a preferred way of shopping for consumers.
He explained, “Users are 4 x more likely to buy something when recommended by a friend. As a result, trust in the merchant and product becomes increasingly important for brands and consumers alike.
At the same time online fraud, phishing and online counterfeit sales are growing, and are expanding to almost every industry and companies of all sizes. Both WeShop and BrandShield are committed to solving this critical issue."
WeShop and BrandShield will initially pilot the technology across 10 global merchants (including brands, retailers, and marketplaces) from the WeShop data feeds with the aim of verifying the merchant and products.
Commenting on the partnership, Chairman of TSI, Andrew Lawley, said:
“This global partnership is a significant development for TSI and demonstrates the new strategy of the Company which sees considerable value opportunity in focusing on the existing high growth investments within the portfolio and, as stated previously, we will seek to increase the Company's exposure in both BrandShield and WeShop."
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