Turning ‘pub chat into an investable start-up

How do you drive adoption of a new digital product?


funding unlocked


angel investors

product ready for launch

The contribution of Nile can’t be underestimated. It took something that was really little more than pub chat and turned it into something that is a real and investable business with a top-tier team.
Christian Arno, CEO Pawprint

The need

Founding a new company and building a revolutionary digital product isn’t easy. It’s sink or swim.

There is no script, and no ‘sure thing’. Taking an idea from the back-of-a-napkin and turning it into a product that will engage consumers, and secure investment is a challenging mission. 

Seasoned entrepreneur and CEO of Pawprint, Christian Arno, knew this and the importance of a top tier team from day 1. His idea? An eco-companion on your phone, to help measure, understand, and reduce personal carbon footprints. Activating communities of people to care and evolve their choices and behaviours through support and education.

With little more than a mission and this spark of a concept, we joined Christian as a founding partner to help  ‘design the right thing’ and turn Pawprint into an investable business.

What we did

We listened to members of the public, identifying who Pawprint’s target audience would be and who might be early adopters.  

Having found our people, we focused in on their existing behaviours, unmet needs, and appetite for a solution in this space. This enabled the exploration of alternate approaches for an MVP, the strongest of which  was brought to life in an interactive prototype for further testing with customers.

Following several rounds of rapid user feedback, we sat down with Christian and the Pawprint leadership team and gave them clarity: Who the product is for. How to position it. The journeys and experiences that will drive early adoption and retention.

Being a startup entrepreneur is a lonely business, and Nile really took me into their family. I think the culture of this organisation is exceptional.
Christian Arno, CEO Pawprint

The outcome

Feedback has been hugely positive from investors and the public alike. In January 2020 pawprint.eco launched to support, engage and crowdfund the growing Pawprint movement. 

At the time of writing, Pawprint has attracted 50 angel investors and raised over £2m in funding.

Pawprint has since raised additional funds on Crowdcube, smashing the investment amount and attracting 700 new investors. The Pawprint product was released in Autumn 2020. The Pawprint app is due for download Spring 2021.

Nile continues to support Pawprint as an active board member and supporting the hire of new team members in the product, service and experience domain.

The process gave both me and investors confidence. Without some of the insights, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go to these investors, many of whom are friends and say I believe this is going to work.
Christain Arno, CEO Pawprint
Christian talks about working with the Nile Cofoundry to develop Pawprint

Other times we’ve made a difference

Bringing bereavement into the 21st Century

We unpicked the entire UK bereavement process to identity the painpoints and problems worth solving. Co-designing solutions with highly specialised legal professionals we prototyped Exizent’s first digital product.

Transformational customer service

Helping one of the UK’s largest commercial banks to transform their service model across all channels, designed with their customers at the core.

Customer Wednesdays

Co-creating a powerful, repeatable design research playbook that mobilised a culture of customer-centric design across an entire organisation.