Market research and online consumer intelligence veteran Richard Thornton has been appointed to the board of fast-growing Manchester-based consumer insights business Vypr following a GBP2.5m investment backed by private equity firm YFM Equity Partners (YFM) in January 2021.
Vypr has built a cloud-based data validation platform that enables manufacturers and retailers to save time and costs on new product development by providing insight into what customers want to see on the shelves. Its industry-leading process combines research into behavioural science with its own well-segmented consumer panel, putting the client in full control and enabling them to test every aspect of their product innovation, from packaging, pricing and naming to product claims and ranging.
Richard further strengthens the Vypr board, having worked with customers and partners for over 20 years in consultancy and commercial roles within the data and insights industry at high growth, fast scale SaaS technology businesses. He has spent the last 12 years working for Cint, the global software leader in digital insights gathering, latterly as chief commercial officer, and is now a senior adviser to the company. Prior to that, Richard was managing director of Ciao Surveys, the European arm of Greenfield Online, and one of the early pioneers of online consumer research panels.
Chair of Vypr, Richard Law, says: “I’m very pleased to welcome Richard Thornton to Vypr’s board at such a pivotal point in the business’ development. Richard’s sector experience, contacts and impressive strategic track record in our sector make him a perfect fit for Vypr at a time when the business’ growth, both in terms of revenue and new strategic customers, is accelerating quickly. I believe that Vypr’s prospects are exceptional and having Richard join us at the same time as receiving investment from YFM further enhances our market position and prospects.”
Thornton adds: “Joining the Vypr board, alongside YFM Equity Partners, was too good an opportunity to miss. Vypr has a great value proposition, an extremely capable leadership team and is very well placed to help digitally transform an entire category with its agile and behavioural science-led approach to NPD.
“It is a unique offering in an area that is ripe for innovation and transformation through technology. Vypr addresses a real and material problem, which is the category wide high failure rate of new product development and product launches. With Vypr technology, brands now have an end-to-end SaaS solution, delivering real-time predictive data and analytics throughout the NPD process. As a result, I look forward to bringing my industry experience and SaaS technology background to help the business on its rapid growth journey.”
Dan Freed, investment partner at YFM and board member of Vypr, adds: “Richard is a welcome addition to the board, further boosting a strong management team at an exciting time in the business’ development.”
YFM has a national portfolio of software and tech businesses, including data transformation software company Matillion in Manchester; Springboard in Milton Keynes which provides footfall data to the retail industry; and global e-learning platform Elucidat, based in Brighton.