The Success Stories of Equity Crowdfunding
More small companies than ever before are getting their foot on the ladder to success via equity crowdfunding.
The growing success of crowdfunding websites such as Crowd for Angels shows that far from being a niche method of raising money, crowdfunding is now a popular choice for people looking to invest in new ideas and businesses — here are some of equity funding’s most famous success stories.
Camden Town Brewery
After a successful crowdfunding campaign, Camden Beer Brewery took a major step up when they were bought by global drinks giant AB InBev for an undisclosed amount in 2015. The independent craft beer brand’s own crowdfunding website placed the company’s valueat £50 million a year before the sale, and the nearly 70% returns offered to shareholders suggested a sale price of around £85 million. The deal makes them one of the few successful crowdfunding exits to date.
Despite suspicion that moving under the umbrella of the company behind names such as Budweiser and Stella Artois would tarnish Camden Town Brewery’s independent image, they have managed to maintain their independent brand identity while providing a healthy return for their investors.
Sometimes inventive new ideas require an equally innovative approach in order to find investors. This was certainly the case with start-up BorrowMyDoggy — which connects dog-owners with sitters — when they launched their highly successful 2015 crowdfunding campaign. The online dog sharing community company secured £1.5 million by pitching directly to a room of high net worth and angel investors at the UK’s first Crowdfinders Live event.
Buoyed by their crowdfunding success BorrowMyDoggy have gone from strength to strength — they now have over 300,000 members in the UK and Ireland.
Equity funding is often associated with early-stage businesses, but the salad bar chain Tossed led a successful campaign to celebrate its ten year anniversary. To coincide with the opening of its first store in Dubai, the London based company offered guests, team and suppliers the opportunity to invest in the company — and earn some appealing perks and discounts in the process.
In the end the campaign raised £1,269,830 in a month a half — 169% over their target.
Czapek & Cie
The successful revival of the prestigious Swiss watchmaker Czapek & Pie is an example of how crowdfunding isn’t just reserved for start-ups and new ideas. The luxury Haute Horlogorie brand, which can trace its roots back to 1839 and was a favourite of Napoleon III, was revived in 2013 with a business model allowing watch fans to invest in exchange for privileged access to the company’s catalogue. The first business to crowdfund simultaneously in three different countries, Czapek & Cie raised an impressive £682,011.
As crowdfunding becomes more prevalent, the speed at which companies can raise money can be as impressive — and as important — as the amount raised. Last year the innovative smartphone banking app Monzo broke records by securing £1 million of investment in just 96 seconds via the funding platform Crowdcube. The record was broken as part of a £22 million campaign that saw Monzo’s value shoot to £87 million and placed it among the most successful crowdfunding campaigns of recent years.
As well as allowing users unprecedented control of their banking via their smartphone, founder Tom Blomfield also claimed that Monzo was the first bank to enable customers to become shareholders through a crowdfunding platform.