Crowdfunding During Coronavirus: Crowdcube & Seedrs Campaigns Speak Out

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

It’s been a month since both Crowdcube and Seedrs reported a slowdown in activity due to Coronavirus. Not only had investment declined but also, the number of campaigns launching. For many entrepreneurs, priorities had shifted, and with fears of public failure, decided to delay.

Those who pressed ahead faced uncertainty, but campaigns such as Cheeky Panda and Clim8 have shown that despite Coronavirus, investors are willing to invest.

In recent days, we’ve seen encouraging data which suggests activity is returning to normal, so is now the time to launch your crowdfunding campaign?

To understand how the Covid-19 crisis has affected those who have been live, we spoke to several entrepreneurs on both platforms to share their honest thoughts and advice on the situation.

 

LuggageHero

luggagehero teamPlatform: Seedrs
Sector: Travel, Leisure & Sport
Launch date: 29/04/20
Amount raised: €390k+
Investors: 570+
 

LuggageHero is a luggage storage service, operating in 40 cities across North America and Europe. The company launched its first equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs in 2019 and is now back for a follow-up raise. We caught up with Co-founder and CEO, Jannik Lawaetz, to gain his thoughts on the situation.

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Seedrs campaign

 

While one could say, it’s not the perfect time to launch a crowdfunding campaign when you’re a travel-dependent company, our campaign, which hit its target within 48 hours and is now overfunding, shows that investors believe in our product and our team. We started this campaign from our certainty that travel not only will bounce back but that there will be a massive surge from pent-up demand.

 

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 

I think what’s vital for other entrepreneurs wanting to raise capital now to communicate optimism to potential investors. In our case, we believe in our product and future and saw that investors shared our vision. So while it’s essential to take something as grave as a pandemic exceptionally seriously, which we do, we also have faith in the power of travel and exploration – especially without a suitcase by your side!

 


Clim8

clim8 app

Platform: Crowdcube
Sector: Fintech
Launch date: 14/04/20
Amount raised: £1.3m+
Investors: 1,150+

Clim8 is building a sustainable investment app and is currently live on Crowdcube. We caught up with Founder and CEO, Duncan Grierson, to hear his experience. 

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Crowdcube campaign?

 

The Coronavirus outbreak has put the world on hold, including the ecosystem of startups and fundraising. Some companies decided to postpone their pitches. Many investors have new concerns that could affect their investing behaviour. We decided to go ahead, as we want to make a positive impact on climate change and the Covid-19 crisis demonstrates that the world needs to become more resilient to disasters. Overall, we don’t think the Coronavirus has had much impact on our campaign. Our campaign is going really well, with over 750 investors and more than £750k raised so far.

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 

Our advice to other entrepreneurs is to get their act together early and assess whether they are ready to go out and crowdfund.

 

Cura Outdoors

 
crua outdoors tent
Platform: Seedrs
Sector: Travel, Leisure & Sport
Launch date: 23/03/20
Amount raised: £370k+
Investors: 530+
 
 
Crua Outdoors designs and develops advanced and disruptive tents and to date, has successfully launched six campaigns on Seedrs. We spoke to Founder and CEO, Derek O’Sullivan, to find out how his most recent campaign has fared.
 

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Seedrs campaign?

 
This raise has definitely been more difficult. A lot of investors have indicated that they want to wait, to save liquidity. Others have invested smaller amounts than usual. But our investors have been fantastic, as usual. They see the long term value of Crua.
 

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 
Needs must. If you have to raise, then you have to, If you don’t have to, I’d wait. We had started just before we hit crisis mode, so we were committed.
 
 

Common Objective

Common Objective websitePlatform: Crowdcube
Sector: Fashion
Launch date: 02/03/20
Amount raised: £380k+
Investors: 250+

Common Objective (CO) is a B2B sourcing and information platform for the sustainable fashion industry and is currently live on Crowdcube. We caught up with Founder and CEO, Tamsin Lejeune, to hear her experience.

How has the Coronavirus pandemic crisis your Crowdcube campaign?

 

Covid-19 changed everything for us because of the timing of our campaign – which launched just before lockdown. Our pre-reg investors made commitments in a completely different environment. However, now that we are starting to see an end in sight, people are thinking about how they navigate the future and sourcing, and sustainability solutions are at the forefront which has increased interest. We revised our strategy and deck in response to the pandemic, and this went down well.

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 

My advice for entrepreneurs would be to present your business in the context of the crisis and how you can offer solutions as we emerge from it.

 

The Cheeky Panda

 
the cheeky panda toilet paper
Platform: Seedrs
Sector: Home & Personal
Launch date: 24/04/20
Amount raised: £2.1m
Investors: 1,050
 
 
 
The Cheeky Panda produces a range of sustainable bamboo tissue and hygiene products. The company is currently live on Seedrs with its fourth campaign and has now raised a total of £3.9m. We caught up with Co-founder Chris Forbes to get his thoughts on the situation.
 

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Seedrs campaign? 

 
The main thing that affected our raise was we were unable to film a video that showcased all our assets. We had big shows in March, a customised Panda costume that looks like our logo, state of the art offices with an immersive brand feel and the inability to interview staff in person. So we had to use existing footage and get footage via web apps to make it all work, it does give it an authentic feel.
 

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 
I think people have to learn how to work around problems, it would have been very easy for us to pause it and wait, but our culture is to get stuff done.
 
 

Rejuvenation Water

 
rejuvenation water bottles
 
Platform: Crowdcube
Sector: Food & Beverage
Launch date: 07/04/20
Amount raised: £101k
Investors: 270
 

 

Rejuvenation Water is a healthy soft drinks brand, stocked in major UK retailers. The company launched its first equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube in 2017 and is now back for a follow-up raise. We caught up with Founder & CEO, Kris Ingham, to see how this campaign has fared.

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Crowdcube campaign?

 
I think we’ve found that investment amounts are smaller but more frequent reflecting the uncertainty of the current climate.
 

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 

Be realistic. We decided to reduce our target and valuation before we launched in order to give us the best chance of success.

EstateGuru

 
Estateguru appPlatform: Seedrs
Sector: Property
Launch date: xx/xx/xx
Amount raised: €625k+
Investors: 780+
 
EstateGuru is a leading Pan-European property investment platform and is currently live on Seedrs. We spoke with Head of Marketing and Communication, Piret Reinson to hear her experience.
 

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Seedrs campaign? 

 

I personally think that Covid-19 has had a positive impact on our campaign in the end. In these circumstances, people start to value alternative options compared to the mainstream models. Alternative financing is growing rapidly and adding liquidity to the economy during complicated times. The sector will be stronger after the crisis, and the share of alternative financing will increase. Money is still there, and people are more eager to look for alternative business models, alternative ideas which could have a positive impact on our future on this planet. Although, yes, most probably we would have already had several VCs on board and much bigger sums invested without the Covid-19 crisis. But, so far, 780 investors have invested €625,000. This means so much to us and gives us confidence that we are on the right track. Half of them are our own users, and half are Seedrs users. We are definitely on the right track if we have such loyalty from our own customer base.

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 

Our advice would be to carry out your plans if you are 100% sure that you’ve done all the needed preparation work. Nobody knows how the economic situation evolves in different countries, so there is no point in delaying your plans. If you believe in your business model and you have your team behind you 200% – just do it!

 

monva

monva app demo

Platform: Crowdcube
Sector: Fintech
Launch date: 06/04/20
Amount raised: £400k+
Investors: 550+

monva is building an intelligent consumer comparison platform for financial products and is currently live on Crowdcube. We caught up with Co-founder & CEO, Steve Wiley, to hear his experience.
 

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Crowdcube campaign?

 
It’s a really interesting question. We could argue that more people have been at home with perhaps a little more time on their hands to look at opportunities like this, and on the other, some investors may be waiting to see what will happen and are holding on a while before pushing on their investments.
 

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 
I think if you are prepared to work hard, and have conviction in your idea, the investment is available. There are plenty of companies proving this right now.
 

Lister’s Brewery

Lister's Brewery bottles Platform: Crowdcube
Sector: Food & Beverage
Launch date: 20/03/20
Amount raised: £127k+
Investors: 340+

 
 

Lister’s Brewery is a West Sussex based brewer who is currently live on Crowdcube. We caught up with Co-founder, Katie Coakes, to hear her experience.

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Crowdcube campaign?

 

It has had an impact, but strangely, it seems to be a positive one. We have found that perhaps some of the investments may be smaller but are more frequent and consistent. The beauty of being a brewery is that people like the idea of owning a part of something tangible, and we have only really had competition from tech companies. There has also undoubtedly been less competition in general, and this has helped keep us high on the front page of Crowdcube. Crowdcube have also been supportive of changing some of the more stringent rules around crowdfunding, and this has helped us to navigate these unchartered waters.

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 

Our advice would be – if you think you can get close enough to your target with your private raise, despite the virus, then you are in an excellent position to carry on and go public. If this is the bit you’re going to struggle with then perhaps now is not the right time. We were lucky that we had already got to 75% funded by our private network before the Covid-19 became an issue for businesses and this allowed us to then go to the Crowdcube community with a good amount of supporters already behind us. I would also say – consider your product, ours was not ideal given the almost entire shutdown of our industry, but we have managed to make it work. We know breweries are always very popular on Crowdcube, but we are one amongst a lot of tech and healthcare companies, and this had managed to give us some stand out on the site. I would also advise as much sincerity as possible for your updates and discussions, we have been sincere and open in these, and this has been appreciated, we ditched any ‘stunts’ we had planned to boost our profile. Certainly, a more serious approach has been beneficial.

envoPAP

envoPAP paperPlatform: Crowdcube
Sector: Clean Technology
Launch date: 19/03/20 
Amount raised: £320k+
Investors: 500+

 

envoPAP is a sustainable material company and is currently live on Crowdcube. We caught up with Founder and CEO, Kaushal Shah, to hear his experience.

How has the Coronavirus crisis affected your Crowdcube campaign?

 

Covid-19 had an impact on everything in the world, including our campaign. The rate of money going into crowdfunding was very slow; investors did not see these times as an opportunity to invest. This led to several changes to our campaign, such as extending it but also reducing the target.

What would be your advice to entrepreneurs who are thinking of launching?

 

If you have a good story, if there is an opportunity waiting for you in the future, go for it! Every day, new companies are going live on Crowdcube and Seedrs, (even during this pandemic) and are successfully raising. If the vision of your company is appealing, people will buy into it no matter the external environment.

Thank you to all the entrepreneurs who contributed. We will be continuing to update this post with new perspectives of Crowdfunding during Coronavirus. If you’re currently live on either Crowdcube or Seedrs please get in touch.

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