Crowdfunding Expert: TribeFirst
What led you to set up TribeFirst?
I used to be a director of a traditional marketing communications agency, which ran campaigns for mainly corporate and blue-chip clients. I’d always had a passion for supporting startups, but unfortunately, there isn’t the money in startup marketing to run high impact, integrated campaigns. Yet startups need this kind of campaign more than anyone. One day we were approached by a heritage motorsport brand called Brabham, which was looking to bring back a Brabham team in a more inspiring way. We came up with a plan that involved crowdfunding the race team, which ultimately raised over £300k and ended up being the world’s biggest sports crowdfunding campaign. It gave me the bug, but also it made me realise there is a way to run a full-service campaign for a startup if you can successfully help them to raise your fee through a successful crowdfunding campaign. It’s a risky strategy because if you’re not good enough, you’re going to go out of business pretty quickly.
What services does TribeFirst offer?
Our managed service involves us managing a client’s crowdfunding campaign entirely, which we coincide with an integrated PR and marketing campaign (the scope of which depends on the budget). A typical campaign will see our work on a campaign message and strapline, branding and design or all pitch materials, write all pitch materials, write, direct, shoot and edit the pitch video, write and distribute up to three press releases, run a direct marketing campaign targeting high net worth, angel and institutional investors, run a marketing campaign for the company itself to create a buzz, and manage all community communications and marketing. We have even been known to facilitate a full rebrand or website rebuild. We put the majority of our fee at risk, and to our knowledge, we’re the only agency that will risk the majority of our fee. We work with about 1 in 10 companies that apply for this service, with the final decision on who we work with being decided by a committee.
A more accessible way to work with us is through our accelerators, workshops or bootcamps. In these programmes, we provide a similar process to the managed service but with a much lighter touch. Depending on the programme, we’ll either run the campaign in partnership with you or teach you how to run your campaign.
What types of companies does TribeFirst work with?
The sweet spot for our accelerators includes startups doing their Pre-seed or Seed round. They’ll typically be raising £100,000 to £750,000. There’s no specific sector, but it works particularly well for tech companies, food and beverage startups and health and fitness. For our managed service, we’re best suited to a company that’s looking to significantly scale in a short period of time, so either a growth company that’s raising a Series A or above and is looking to get to the next level or a high concept tech or product company that is truly disruptive or game-changing. PR is our secret weapon, so we’re well-matched with ideas that are media-friendly.
Additionally, more growth companies are starting to recognise the benefits of engaging their tribe through equity crowdfunding. Our managed service is well suited to companies that want to crowdfund without putting too much strain on business as usual since our service is the most comprehensive of the campaign support partners in the industry.
What’s been your favourite campaign that you’ve worked on?
What do you think makes a successful equity crowdfunding campaign?
Find out how TribeFirst can support you with your equity crowdfunding campaign.