Campaign Success: The Cheeky Panda

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The Cheeky Panda produces sustainable tissue products made from 100% bamboo. Founders, Chris Forbes and Julie Chen funded the idea through their rewards-based crowdfunding campaign back in 2016 and have since gone on to establish themselves as a household brand and raise over £5m on Seedrs. We caught up with Chris to hear his equity crowdfunding success story.
 

What attracted you to equity crowdfunding?

Equity crowdfunding is great for brand awareness, it allows our consumers to get equity in the business, it attracts new consumers and it delivers great PR. I also find it very fair as no matter how much an investor is investing they’ll receive ordinary shares in the company.

Tell us more about The Cheeky Panda’s equity crowdfunding journey?

When we launched our first equity crowdfunding campaign the brand was not very well known, since then we have grown to over 20 international markets and listed with major retailers. As such, the appetite for shares has grown and when we launched our second campaign back in May it took just 3 days to hit our overfunded stretch target. I find a lot of people like Crowdfunding because of EIS investments and the awareness of EIS funded opportunities has grown as has the willingness for private investors to back companies that resonate with the consumer trends.

You launched your most recent Seedrs campaign during the Coronavirus pandemic, how did this affect your campaign?

You can read Chris’ response, along with others in our dedicated Coronavirus post here.

You’ve now raised over £5m on Seedrs, what do you think has been the key to your equity crowdfunding success?

Consumer brands tend to do well on equity crowdfunding platforms. The Cheeky Panda has a very easy to understand business model where we bulk buy containers of tissue and sell them for a profit. Some business models are hard to understand and not sure how they can ever make a profit but for us, consumers can see it on the shelves try it, like it and invest in it.

What would be your top equity crowdfunding tips?

My top tip is to try to get 70% of your money before you launch, money follows money and people need a journey before they invest. Getting larger tickets upfront will also make sure you have priced your equity correctly. A lot of people will need a journey before investing, they will look for crowd momentum, sometimes they don’t invest first time preferring to wait and even sometimes waiting for a future round. The key thing for me is having an authentic brand, an easy to understand the business model and a team that are investable.

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