Turning ‘pub chat’ into an investable business

Image credit: ‘Bjorn the Bear’ illustration by Tom Ellis

The need

Founding a new company and building a revolutionary digital product isn’t easy.

There’s no script, no ‘sure things’, and getting your idea from back-of-the-napkin to something that will convince investors is your sole mission. It’s sink or swim.

Founder and CEO of Pawprint, Christian Arno, knew this when he approached us with (what he himself described as) ‘little more than pub chat’. His idea? An eco-companion in your phone, to help you measure, understand, and reduce your personal carbon footprint.

With little more than a mission and this spark of a concept, he asked us to turn Pawprint into an investable business.

How we responded

We started by listening to members of the public. Who would be Pawprint’s target audience – who’s going to adopt this first?

After finding our people, we focussed in on their existing behaviours and unmet needs, pin-pointing their appetite for a solution in this space. This allowed us to explore alternate approaches for an MVP, the strongest of which we brought to life in an interactive prototype to further test with customers.

After a number of 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.

With everyone aligned and on board, Pawprint’s build team at Verse could code our interactive prototype with confidence.

The results

At the time of writing, Pawprint has attracted 50 angel investors and raised over £580k in funding.

Feedback from investors and the public alike has been hugely positive, leading to the launch of in January 2020 to support, engage and crowdfund the growing Pawprint movement.

“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

Image credit: Screens developed by Verse

The Pawprint product is due for release in summer 2020.

Nile continues to support Pawprint by being active on their board and support the hiring of new team members.

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