Campaign Success: Moneybox
Could you tell us more about Moneybox and your role in the company?
Moneybox is an app that helps everyone to save and invest for their future. We offer a range of products including Lifetime ISAs, pensions and a Stocks & Shares ISA which allows customers to invest via simple tracker funds – including socially responsible funds. Customers can save in a way that suits them using round-ups, one-offs or weekly deposits, whilst useful tools such as the time machine help to build good habits.
I’m the VP of growth, so I look after customer acquisition and engagement, and I also headed up our recent Crowdcube campaign.
Why did Moneybox decide to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign?
It’s something we’ve always wanted to do – allowing our customers to be part of and share in our success. We had already raised £30m from our institutional investors, so it was more about getting as many people to participate as possible to build an engaged shareholder community which would also become great Moneybox advocates.
Did you see your Crowdcube campaign as an opportunity to acquire new customers?
For us, the focus was on rewarding existing customers and getting a campaign done as efficiently as possible. As such, we choose not to complicate things with incentive schemes. Of course, there are advantages to the PR generated from the campaign, but we didn’t see it as a massive customer acquisition event. My advice is to keep your crowdfunding campaign simple – be very clear on your objectives; otherwise, it can get very complicated and messy.
We’ve seen other Fintech companies such as Freetrade, launching crowdfunding campaigns much earlier on in their funding journey. Was there a reason why Moneybox waited for its Series C to launch its first crowdfunding campaign?
Not especially, no. We just felt it was the right time, we thought about it at the Series B, but it wasn’t high up on the priority list.
What were your reasons for choosing Crowdcube over Seedrs?
I have to be very honest; I think both platforms would have done a great job. The thing that edged it towards Crowdcube was mainly the team fit – we set out our objectives, and Crowdcube were very clear about what we’d have to do to meet those objectives in our tight time frame. I also think Crowdcube has a slightly stronger brand name when it comes to large Fintechs, which was a factor in our decision making.
What did you do to prepare for your Crowdcube campaign?
The process started about six months out when we decided that we were going to do it, and got board approval. Then, six to three months out, we started the selection process – engaging with both Crowdcube and Seedrs. Once we had selected the platform, we decided to put the whole thing on hold (due to Covid) and had an intense five-week sprint where I was spending 70% of my time with my colleague Annie who was dedicating 100% of her time to the campaign. During this time, we prepared all the materials, including our video and pitch deck and building our PR strategy. Two weeks out, we started communicating to our customers – providing them with more information on the raise. Then a day before our public launch, we gave them early access to invest. Once live, it was all hands on deck tracking the performance, answering queries and, generally managing the whole campaign. We hit our target in the first 20 minutes, and in just a day and a half, we raised over £7m with the vast majority of money coming from our existing customers. With over 16,500 investors we became one of the most popular campaigns in Crowdcube’s history!
If you were to relaunch your campaign, what would you do differently?
I think the campaign went better than we thought. As you know, the maximum you can raise without a perspective is €8m, but we had no idea how long it was going to take us to reach this milestone. Had we been more confident that we were going to hit this amount so quickly, we would have communicated this to customers to avoid any disappointments of people missing out.
Will you be launching another equity crowdfunding campaign in the future?
It was a very positive experience, and we are thrilled to have so many customers as shareholders. We have enough money in the bank so for now, we’re heads-down executing the plan and growing Moneybox. I think if we were to raise further institutional investment, we would certainly look at crowdfunding again.
What would be your top equity crowdfunding tips?
1. Block out time
Launching a crowdfunding campaign can be a significant sink of time, so you need to make sure you or someone in your team can dedicate their time to ensure its success. Crowdcube or Seedrs can help guide you through the process, but they can’t do the work for you.
2. Nail your sales pitch
Why should people invest in you? Decide in advance what your sales pitch is going to be and ensure you incorporate this in all your materials. Our sales pitch was based around the institutional investment we had already raised – providing credibility and allowing people to invest under the same terms and demonstrating significant progress to date.
3. Don’t neglect your campaign video
Your video is the one thing that everyone watches, so it’s worth putting a lot of effort into it. It doesn’t have to be high production – you can get away with doing it on an iPhone, just make sure it’s engaging and covers all the important points about your business. We shot our video in the middle of lockdown with a very small (socially distanced) crew. The format was pretty simple; we shot the two founders and one of our investors with some additional animations.
4. Prepare responses in advance
Throughout your campaign, you’re likely to have a lot of questions from investors and you want to do your best to answer them as quickly as possible to show you’re engaged. We spent a lot of time going through other campaigns before we launched to see the kind of questions that people had asked and made sure we had our own response for each.
5. Decide what you’re willing to disclose
Although you want to be as open as possible, you do need to remember that your campaign is public and your competitors are likely to be keeping tabs. I suggest deciding in advance what information you are and are not willing to share so you can be prompt and transparent with your responses.