Category Archives: Startups

London tech investors talk about Future Ad Labs

The Seedrs team recently had the chance to catch up with a few of the investors in Future Ad Labs. They’re an impressive mix of entrepreneurs, investors and advertising professionals. We asked them to tell us a little more about Future Ad Labs, their early investment into the company and why they’ve participated in the recent equity convertible round on Seedrs.

Richard Fearn

Richard is an early stage investor and mentor at Techstars and Seedcamp. He is one of the founders of the Friday Club, which is a popular event that brings together startups with advertising professionals. He gave us a quick insight into why he invested £50,000 in the most recent Future Ad Labs campaign.

Scott Button

Scott is the founder and CEO of Unruly Media. He talked to us about his experience in digital marketing and advertising and how he sees Future Ad Labs fitting into this landscape.

Russell Buckley

Russell Buckley was the VP Global Alliances of advertising technology startup AdMob, which sold to Google in 2010 for $750m. He is an active angel investor and a partner at Ballpark Ventures. Russell was an early investor in Future Ad Labs and has been a great source of industry knowledge and connections. We caught up with him at White Bear Yard to talk about his views on the Future Ad Labs convertible campaign and the impact of technology on advertising, media and marketing.

Advertisements

Nicola Horlick’s Glentham Capital returns to Seedrs

In July 2013, famed fund manager Nicola Horlick made history by crowdfunding her new fund management company, Glentham Capital. She came to Seedrs seeking £150,000 of seed capital so that Glentham could begin work raising its first fund. Less than 24 hours after going live, Nicola had raised the full £150,000 from 135 investors.

Nicola Horlick

In the year since then, Glentham has made great progress. Appetite for its anchor film fund has been so strong that it has raised the target from $100 million to $250 million; it has also started to look at raising additional types of funds and becoming a broadly diversified fund manager.

To finance this expansion, Glentham is now raising its growth capital round, and rather than pursue institutional funding, Nicola has again chosen to invite the crowds to be part of her success.

Details of Seedrs round
Glentham’s new campaign is now live on Seedrs. The firm is seeking £450,000 at a £1.8 million pre-money valuation, representing 20% appreciation over the last round.

Unlike most Seedrs campaigns, Glentham will not accept overfunding. Investments will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and once the £450,000 has been subscribed, further investments will not be accepted. You can see the full details of Gletham’s round by viewing its Gletham Capital Seedrs campaign.

Chance for investors to ask Nicola questions
For investors who would like to learn more about Glentham, the company will be holding an investor conference call at:

Monday, 14 July 2014 at 1.30 pm London time.

Interested prospective investors are welcome to join either by traditional dial-in or through your web browser:

The phone number for the call is:
+44 (20) 7048-4146

Then enter the conference participant pin:
186475#

Or visit the webinar page at:
https://seedrsweb.clickwebinar.com/Glentham

Nicola, who is Glentham’s Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, will be joined on the call by Pandora Edmiston, Glentham’s CEO.

The call will include a brief introduction from Pandora and an update from Nicola Horlick on progress to date with the company and their plans for growth. It will also include a chance for potential investors to ask questions of Nicola and Pandora.

Five steps to a great equity crowdfunding video

A great equity crowdfunding campaign deserves a great video to tell your story. Your video is your best chance to convey your excitement and passion for the business and to get potential investors as excited as you are – it can’t be rushed and deserves at least as much care and attention as the rest of your fundraising efforts.

At Seedrs, we review hundreds of campaigns every month and have a few dozen live at any one time. As an equity crowdfunding platform, we also see the data and analytics behind who is investing in what and how potential investors behave when they look at a campaign page. We’ve learned several things about what does and doesn’t work for crowdfunding videos. Continue reading

SHAREIGHT – A new Seedrs record

Over a 17-hour period from yesterday afternoon until early this morning, mobile shopping startup SHAREIGHT raised £350,000 from 95 investors. This was a remarkable achievement that shows just how powerful a well-executed equity crowdfunding campaign by a highly appealing business can be.

Shareight Seedrs

SHAREIGHT provides mobile curation for people to choose and recommend eight favourite items.

SHAREIGHT were able to galvanise such decisive support because they have spent considerable time building relationships with angel investors and the equity crowdfunding round fits into their overall capital raising journey.

Continue reading

Crowdfunding Europe – Paris startup scene

Our European expansion this year is all about contributing to the European startup ecosystem, building community and using test visits to validate our ideas for global expansion. We’ve just been to Paris to connect with the local startup ecosystem. Our mission was very simple: understand the early-stage funding landscape in France and how equity crowdfunding is currently perceived. We also wanted to investigate the issues and concerns that French founders face when raising seed capital.

Numa Paris Startup Campus

NUMA coworking space

During this trip we based ourselves at  NUMA which has a similar atmosphere to London’s Google Campus. The vibe at the NUMA is very much the same as at Campus and the way it’s organised very much resonates with Campus’ vertically integrated structure.

Continue reading

Seedrs Case Study: SomethingIndie

SOMETHINGINDIE
“Handpicked selection of the best indie and independent brands”

something indie

We sat with Wendy van de Weg, Director of SomethingIndie, to learn more about what she has been up to since successfully raising funding through Seedrs earlier this year.    

Investment Raised: £20,000    Equity: 10%                                Days to Full Investment: 71
Number of Investors: 67         Average Investment: £299       SEIS Eligible: Yes
Location: Greater London        Sectors: Retail, Fashion and Apparel

What is SomethingIndie?
SomethingIndie is a unique online fashion store stocking affordable, on-trend items by independent brands and handmade designers.

For customers, it offers affordable fashion items with a mix of unique finds and on-trend pieces, all hand-picked by the SomethingIndie team. For designers, it provides an opportunity for them to stock their items on a niche website with wide appeal.

Why SomethingIndie Needed Investment
“I decided to raise investment to fund a year-long, more targeted marketing campaign and to extend the website’s functionality.”

Role of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) allows investors to claim up to 78% of the amount of their investment back, up front, through income tax and capital gains tax reliefs.

“(I think) SEIS was extremely influential when raising my round. I’m pretty sure it was a deal-maker for most investors, given the young age and potential risk of the business.”

Why Seedrs?
“I found the funding options to be very, very limited and often ridiculously costly for startups, especially if the business owner falls outside of the ‘young adult’ age group. Seedrs is a rare opportunity for companies looking to grow, to find funding and has a clear way of working, both for investors and entrepreneurs. I was really excited at the prospect of Seedrs as I realised it could be the break my business had been unable to get elsewhere.”

“Since then, my experience with Seedrs has been nothing short of wonderful.”

Experience with Seedrs
“Everyone I’ve dealt with is helpful, friendly and, above-all, encouraging. It’s been quite a learning curve but I’ve felt like any assistance or clarification I needed was just an email away.”

Top Tip to Other Entrepreneurs
“Always remember that in the early stages, YOU are your startup’s greatest asset. Don’t forget to spend time away from your business, whether it’s a weekend visit to your folks or an afternoon at the gym. It’s hard to not devote all your time and energy to working on your business, but if you’re burnt out and exhausted then so is your startup. A happy, healthy entrepreneur is a happy, healthy startup!”

Next Steps
“I’m very busy now that we’ve been successful in our funding! Working on getting the new website ready is my priority, after which I’ll be working on a year-long marketing plan to help grow the brand’s profile and generate more organic PR and traffic.”

To learn more about SomethingIndie or to follow their journey, visit their website at somethingindie.com.

Veeqo on raising startup funds from the crowd

Recently, Veeqo reached its investment target on Seedrs and decided to share their investment journey and crowdfunding advice on their blog. They’ve given us permission to re-post below.

Inventory management startup

Veeqo helps companies manage inventory across multiple channels.

This week, Veeqo founder Matt Warren explains how he funded Veeqo’s start-up costs using the Seedrs crowd-funding platform.

Continue reading

Seedrs Case Study: PlayEnable

PlayEnPLAYENABLE
“The Toptable for sports: An online hub for visitors to search and book gyms and facilities around them”

We met with Abhishek Garodia, CEO and co-founder of PlayEnable, to learn more about what he and his team have been up to since successfully raising investment through Seedrs this Autumn.      

Investment Raised: £25,000      Equity: 5%                                Days to Full Investment: 92
Number of Investors: 68           Average Investment: £368     SEIS Eligible: Yes
Location: Greater London          Sectors: Consumer Internet, Marketplaces & Platforms

What is PlayEnable?
“PlayEnable is best described as a TopTable for sports and fitness classes. It is an online forum/marketplace where sports and fitness enthusiasts can find places to participate in fitness activities around them, and ultimately book and reserve the activity they want to participate in. Activities range from a one-off yoga class to regular kickboxing or dance classes.”

“The ultimate aim of PlayEnable is to help people participate in activities, no matter where they are, and for sports facilities to improve their reach to sports enthusiasts.”

Why PlayEnable Needed Investment
“There are costs associated with developing a quality website platform, mobile app and basic marketing. The investment would essentially be used to build a solid minimum viable product so as to get some traction – hopefully leading to future investment rounds.”

Role of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) allows investors to claim up to 78% of the amount of their investment back, up front, through income tax and capital gains tax reliefs.

“Actually, while I knew PlayEnable would need funding irrespective of SEIS, given the fact that the scheme is extremely favourable for investors, I did make it a point to mention the benefits to every potential investor when I got listed on the website.”

Why Seedrs?
“First, the personal factor was very important. After speaking with their CEO, Jeff, and saw how easy it was to reach them, it was almost a no-brainer for me. I liked that I was able to receive guidance throughout the process and was very happy with the support I was offered.”

“And, the simplicity and the lack of platform “frills”. This suited my business at our early-stage, especially since I was only looking for a small investment to build a minimum viable product. Some of the other equity crowdfunding sites required too much irrelevant information (such as detailed financial projections and elaborate marketing plans) – information which I could have very easily drafted, but were akin to shooting in the dark. Instead, I was able to put relevant, factual information onto the site, quickly, and focus on building my business, instead.”

Experience with Seedrs
“For early-stage startups like mine, I would highly recommend Seedrs. The team works very hard to engage investors, both online and off.”

Top Tip to Other Entrepreneurs
“Keep your business aims simple. Set yourself and team very clear, measurable goals and work out what the journey may look like to achieve them. And don’t get too distracted along the way.”

Next Steps
“Next, we’re going to use our funding to accelerate the product building process and execute an exhaustive online marketing campaign. We should have a mobile app and be ready to test our facility management CRM by early-February 2013. And, are looking to invest in online marketing to build traction and ultimately drive sales.”

To learn more about PlayEnable or to follow their journey, visit their website at playenable.com.

Seedrs Case Study: Storemates

smSTOREMATES
“The ‘eBay of storage’ enabling households to rent their extra space to people needing cheap storage”

We sat with Shaff Prabatani, co-founder of Storemates, to learn more about what he and his team have been up to since successfully raising investment through Seedrs this Autumn.      

Investment Raised: £40,000    Equity: 10%                                Days to Full Investment: 6
Number of Investors: 34         Average Investment: £1,176    SEIS Eligible: Yes
Location: Greater London        Sectors: Consumer Internet; Marketplace, Building & Property

What is Storemates?
Storemates is an online service that aims to match people needing affordable self-storage with people looking to turn their spare household space into extra cash. Users use the website to rent out all or part of a garage, loft, wardrobe or spare room to people searching for cheap storage in their local area.

Storemates hopes to democratise storage – making it more accessible, easier to find and vastly more efficient than traditional self storage.

Why Storemates Needed Investment
“Storemates is a new concept. It’s a disruptive business model that needs to persuade people with storage needs to use our online storage sharing market as an alternative to the very established (and expensive) self-storage business. We need to pilot some marketing campaigns that will get people talking.”

“After we launched our beta version, we found that we needed to further develop our payment process.”

Role of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) allows investors to claim up to 78% of the amount of their investment back, up front, through income tax and capital gains tax reliefs.

“Learning that the Government had incentivised investing in new businesses with SEIS, we thought that Seedrs offered a great opportunity for small time investors to not only benefit from the reliefs, but also learn more about Storemates and be a part of our mission.”

Why Seedrs?
“We knew that our idea had great business potential, but we never seemed to have enough traction and were too early in our development to appeal to many potential investors.”

“Seedrs was recommended to us by an investor who advised us that we were at the seed investment stage and thought our concept was ‘easy to get’ for potential investors.”

“At an insightful and encouraging initial meeting with the Seedrs team, we quickly formed a great working relationship with them.”

Experience with Seedrs
“Very positive. They’re supportive and encouraging of us, their processes are transparent and clear, the customer care is excellent. We always felt confident that Seedrs believed in our concept and our potential and drive to make a return for investors.”

Top Tip to Other Entrepreneurs
“Keep your business aims simple. Set yourself and team very clear, measurable goals and work out what the journey may look like to achieve them. And don’t get too distracted along the way.”

Next Steps
Beyond reaching out to their new network of investors for input and suggestions, Storemates now plans to redevelop their payment process to more effectively monetise the platform, establish strategic alliances with other companies operating in the sharing economy, setup a localised system of community storage brokers to enhance word of mouth promotion and launch a series of three targeted marketing campaigns.

To learn more about Storemates or to follow their journey, visit their website at storemates.co.uk.

Seedrs Case Study: GigDropper

updated_GIG-Dropper-Logo_Color-12-13 (1)GigDropper
“Location-based music discovery service”

We had a chat with Ross Evans, founder of GigDropper, to learn more about what he has been up to since successfully raising investment through Seedrs this Autumn.      

Investment Raised: £30,000    Equity: 35%                                 Days to Full Investment: 79
Number of Investors: 66         Average Investment: £455        SEIS Eligible: Yes
Location: Liverpool                   Sectors: Mobile, Location Based Services, Music, Social Media

What is GigDropper?
GigDropper is a location-based music discovery service that would allow bands or performers to upload songs at specific real-world locations, which would subsequently be available to anyone using the GigDropper app on their phone at that location.

A GigDrop is a song or collection of songs that would be uploaded onto the platform by an artist. These GigDrops would be tied to real-world locations. So, a Beatles cover band could GigDrop some of their tunes to the Cavern Club in Liverpool or a jazz band could release their new single at a local jazz bar.

GigDropper wants to make it more enjoyable for music-lovers to discover new music that will most
likely be of interest to them and wants to make it easier for bands to share their music with a new
audience.

Why GigDropper Needed Investment
“To fund initial platform development – taking GigDropper from the concept stage through to full beta launch, as quickly as possible.”

Role of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) allows investors to claim up to 78% of the amount of their investment back, up front, through income tax and capital gains tax reliefs.

“I figured it would significantly de-risk investment in GigDropper, increasing the appeal of my early-stage company to a broader audience of investors. It made it a much more appealing investment opportunity to more investors.”

Why Seedrs?
“Since my application relies on the web, I thought reaching out and offering a bit of my business to fellow music lovers (who would also use GigDropper) online was a great idea.”

Experience with Seedrs
“So far, so good. Everything has been as straightforward as I had expected. And, anything I’ve been unclear about, we’ve been able to clarify via email within a couple of hours.”

Top Tip to Other Entrepreneurs
“Given the way the funding landscape is changing, giving more people the chance to invest in your venture, funding pitches should be written to appeal to a more mass audience. The marketspeak lexicon cuts little ice in the crowdfunding world. Keep it simple.”

Next Steps
“We’ll be working hard towards a timely launch to capitalise on all of the social media interest in GigDropper that arose from raising capital online with Seedrs. We’ve now built a community of fans who want to use Gigdropper and share it with their networks.”

To learn more about GigDropper or to follow their journey, follow their tweets @GigDropper.

Seedrs Case Study: Swogo

Swogo LogoSWOGO
“Helping consumers make the best purchase decision”

We sat with Anthony Ng Monica, CEO and co-founder of Swogo, to learn more about what he and his team have been up to since successfully raising investment through Seedrs this Summer.      

Investment Raised: £17,500         Equity: 5%                                 Days to Full Investment: 10
Number of Investors: 45              Average Investment: £389      SEIS Eligible: Yes
Location: Greater London             Sectors: Consumer Internet, Review and Recommendations

What is Swogo?
“Swogo is a free and simple way for consumers to make the best purchase decision.”

“Choosing the right product can be difficult. It requires expert knowledge and over 75% of consumers become overwhelmed by technical jargon. It takes a lot of time researching reviews, specifications and prices across several sources; and with new products constantly released, it’s almost impossible to stay up-to-date. On average, a consumer takes three weeks to purchase a
laptop. Swogo aims to bring this down to less than 60 seconds.”

“Swogo’s online service asks consumers a series of simple questions about their desired product, which allows a proprietary algorithm to determine their individual needs. Based on this information, Swogo recommends the best product for that user. What calculators do for maths, Swogo does for purchases.”

Why Swogo Needed Investment
To help expand their technical team so they could develop a marketable, minimum viable product (MVP).

Role of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS)
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) allows investors to claim up to 78% of the amount of their investment back, up front, through income tax and capital gains tax reliefs.

“Initially, SEIS did not play a large role in influencing our desire to seek funding, as we were always planning to do so – we needed capital. However, it made the process considerably smoother, as it further incentivised existing investors, who were now able to securely invest more capital, as well as increasing the appeal to the mass affluent.”

Why Seedrs?
“When I worked as an Intern at Seedrs a few years ago, it was clear to me that they truly wanted to revolutionise the way startups raise investment. I believed in the team.”

“As a predominantly B2C startup looking to raise idea-stage capital, we thought it would be ideal to use an equity crowdfunding platform. Since we try to solve a common consumer problem, we liked the idea of opening up investment to consumers (and potential future users). We wanted to see if our idea would be further validated by ‘the crowd’ as opposed to an institution or a few angel investors.”

“And, because Seedrs is FSA authorised.”

Top Tip to Other Entrepreneurs
“Many entrepreneurs are protective over their idea. Don’t do that. Be prepared to talk about your idea. We’ve received some fantastic input from the general public, experienced entrepreneurs and investors.”

Next Steps
The investment raised through Seedrs has allowed the founders to focus their work full-time on Swogo, contract a UI designer and hire a development team. In November 2012, Swogo beat out 49 other young businesses to win first place at the NACUE Varsity Pitch Final and officially launched their platform in the UK in December 2012.

Learn more about the Swogo team and their new platform at swogo.com.

Startup Sneak Peek – Evolution of Email

Email is the most-widely used communication tool on the web. But, with the growth in use, it’s decreasing in functionality and practicality.

An entrepreneur from Essex is looking to change this by developing a new email-data services and technology company that will provide email and data visualisation services to businesses through a software as a service (SaaS) platform.

Check out this startup’s summary listing. If you’d like to learn more about this startup, the founder or investment terms, register or sign-in to Seedrs.

Startup Sneak Peek – Create Your Own Greeting Cards

Finding that “perfect” greeting card in shops can be fruitless and time consuming. And, shopping for cards online can be a bit impersonal.

But, an Essex-based entrepreneur has created and is looking to market a print-on-demand greeting card and postcard platform that allows users to sign cards in their own handwriting, without compromising efficiency, variety and a personal touch.

Check out this startup’s summary listing. If you’d like to learn more about this startup, the founder or investment terms, register or sign-in to Seedrs.

Startup Sneak Peek – Financial and Charitable Returns

Why can’t you invest in companies for financial return and to give back to the community? One of the newer Seedrs listings, and first FSA authorised listing, is looking to do that!

This startup wants to provide easy access to over 1,500 funds at discounted rates and make it easier to automatically donate portions of, or entire, commissions to charities.

Check out this startup’s summary listing. If you’d like to learn more about this startup, the founder or investment terms, register or sign-in to Seedrs.

Startup Sneak Peek – Calling All Fashionistas

The UK high-streets are filled will the latest designers and can bring a big bang to their online presence. But what about local boutiques?

A London-based entrepreneur wants to increase the audience of local fashion boutiques by giving them an enthusiastic online and mobile presence. He wants to create a social platform that encourages people to talk about trends, share ideas and contact local shops themselves.

Check out this startup’s summary listing. If you’d like to learn more about this startup, the founder or investment terms, register or sign-in to Seedrs.