Campaign Success: Bazar Ethical Marketplace
BAZAR is an ethical marketplace that allows users to buy and sell sustainable, artisan, ethical, pre-loved and eco-friendly products. The company recently launched their first campaign on Crowdcube raising over £200k from 331 investors. We spoke with Co-founder, Alix Cope to hear their Crowdcube success story.
How has BAZAR been funded to date?
Bazar Ethical Marketplace is a family business that has been funded by 2 key family investors since inception in 2018. This initial investment has been to support product development, organisational setup and to get to the soft launch stage in March 2020 with a Minimal Viable Product. Also, there has been considerable sweat asset given around: Executive level commercial strategy and business planning, Finance, Financial modelling /analysis, Technology/user experience and Market and seller research.
What attracted BAZAR to equity crowdfunding?
Equity crowdfunding was attractive to us as a B2C business; we not only saw the benefits of raising investment but the bonus of raising our brand profile and product awareness with potential consumers. As a lifestyle and shopping marketplace app for the ethical world, this approach really worked for our business and made sense.
What did you do to prepare for your Crowdcube campaign?
We started preparation 3-4 months before going live; this involved all the material preparation, including the video as well as securing investors.
How much investment did you have pre-aligned before going live on Crowdcube?
We had 50% of our investment pre-aligned and I would say this is critical to the success of the campaign and ensuring you have the momentum during the campaign.
Did you use any external support services for your Crowdcube campaign?
We used Drop Studio who helped us understand more about how to run a crowdfunding campaign as well as producing our video – this was a huge help considering this was our first time. I would recommend having external help for the first campaign as it just helps ensure you have considered all elements and are as prepared as possible to maximise your chance of a successful campaign.
What’s been the most challenging part of your Crowdcube campaign?
I think the most challenging part of the process has been understanding upfront how much time this will consume, and the commitment it requires to ensure success. Also, as a first-timer understanding the process so that you can help educate your investors along the way as many of them are also new to crowdfunding.
If you were to relaunch your Crowdcube campaign, what would you do differently?
I think we had a fantastic start due to the agency we used and the commitment of our team and existing shareholders. Still, if I could do anything again, I would allow more time to ensure a bigger raise with pre-aligned investors, but that will be what we need to do for our next raise.
What do you think has been the key to your Crowdcube success?
The key to our crowdfunding success has been commitment and determination from all in the business to the support the raise, as well as being resilient to all that comes your way as a result of starting to go public with your new opportunity. It’s great for further developing your network but ensuring you balance your time and focus on the things that are relevant you to you is key. I would also say that being able to secure SEIS and EIS was really helpful and having advance assurance in place before the raise is significant.
What would be your top tips for equity crowdfunding success?
Planning and preparation are key, and understanding that this will be an immersive experience requiring time commitment to make it succeed. My top tips would be – plan well, keep focused on your goal and enjoy it – it’s been a blast for us!