Mark Pearson, found of
Ellen Forster

Member Article

MyVoucherCodes founder Mark Pearson on success, scalability and social enterprise

Liverpool-born entrepreneur Mark Pearson launched MyVoucherCodes in 2006 after moving to London to pursue his dream of becoming a chef; eight years on, MVC was acquired by Monitise in deal worth £55 million.

Mark, who left Liverpool in search of a culinary career at age 18, continues to lead the MyVoucherCodes team and has high hopes for 2015 as the popularity of voucher codes continues to increase.

Mark started his career as a commis chef at Claridges, he told Bdaily: “When I left school at 16 I decided to take an NVQ in catering.

“I grew up in a council flat and no one in my family had ever been to university so it wasn’t on my radar. I just knew I wanted to make something of myself.

“I was never a good student when I was a kid but I worked hard and came top of my class for my NVQ as catering was the first thing I had ever chosen for myself.

“I got hired as a commis chef at Claridges under Gordon Ramsey when I was 18 and left after a year to run my own gastropubs.

“Four years later I realised I needed to leave the food industry to pursue a business that could scale.”

Mark launched MyVoucherCodes after noticing the financial potential of online advertising, he said: “My next business venture sent customised messages on flower petals, but I quickly realised the revenue that came in from Interflora advertising on my site far exceeded my sales!

“And so to maximise on this idea MyVoucherCodes was born in May 2006. I outsourced the website to an Indian web developer for £300.

“The company grew rapidly year over year and expanded internationally before I sold it as part of a larger acquisition in 2014. “

In June 2014, Mark sold Markco Media, MyVoucherCodes’ parent company, to global online banking firm Monitise, which currently employs around 1,000 people in its London, California and Istanbul offices.

Mark said his own determination is the key to his entrepreneurial success, he said: “I have always been motivated to do better.

“I have never had a mentor; I’ve just got an inner drive to succeed.

“My goal was to be able to buy my mum a house and I achieved that goal a few years ago. She raised my sister and me on her own and I will always be grateful to her.”

A recent study showed a massive 41% now feels voucher codes are socially acceptable and four-out-of-five UK adults have used a voucher code in the last year.

A recent comScore report found that 35% of users actually discovered a product they otherwise would not have been aware of because of a voucher code.

Mark said: “Loyalty is key so in addition to keeping vouchers fresh, we are constantly working to stay on top of tech trends.

“The voucher space is now looking to mobile and relevancy for the best ways to add value for our customers. “

Mark has several plans for 2015, both commercially and personally. He said: “I’m focused on getting more exclusive money-and-time-saving offers to UK consumers via the brands Monitise works with, and MyVoucherCodes.

“There is so much innovation in the mobile commerce space and we’re really excited be in the heart of it, using digital channels in new and engaging ways.

“In terms of my personal aspirations, it really is so important to give back to the community as and where you can. I’m working on several projects with homeless and disenfranchised youth. Alongside and beyond that, I’m always thinking of new business ideas and finding ways to address problems through innovation. “

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ellen Forster .

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