On Tuesday 1st September our crowdfunding round went live. It’s a 30 day campaign during which we aim to raise £1m.
One week in, it’s been a great success so far with almost 70% of that target reached, with over 140 people investing. We’ve had pledges of anything between £250,000 and £10.00.
But it’s not just about the money.
We’re a tech enabled business, a start-up (albeit a mature one) in growth mode. And that means that we consume cash as we put in place the building blocks that we need to win in our industry. In a nutshell, that’s an all-star team; incredible technology and a meaningful marketing spend as the rocket fuel to power our journey to the top. It all costs a lot to put in place and to maintain.
Our crowdfunding is strategic and part of a wider aspiration to raise a ‘Series A’ amount of circa £5m in the next few months.
And there’s the thing. Our mission to raise £1m of this unconventionally and via multiple investors (the crowd) is a purposeful tactic and, in effect a marketing campaign in itself.
For every person that has supported us whether by investing a tenner or ten thousand pounds or more, is a potential customer. And they automatically become brand ambassadors and our advocates that will wear the emoov T-shirt for ever more, extolling the virtues of our cheekily disruptive alternative to old fashioned estate agency. We have 140 of these new family members already and hope that this exceeds 500 or more by the 30th September when the project concludes.
That was always my plan and it seems to be working. But I hadn’t counted on this…
Our first investment, within one minute of our pitch page going live on CrowdCube.com, was from a good friend of mine. He, let’s call him Mike, invested £10,000. He also happens to be a customer and sold his home with us last year because he knew me and trusted the experience therefore.
Of the next ten investments in that initial hour, six were from members of the emoov team and who invested their own money into the business that they obviously know well. Since then fourteen other staff members have pledged money on the platform, several more than £5000.
Existing investors have stumped up too. And more friends including one of my ‘besties’ who has thrown in £50,000. My brother is in too.
This experience has become so much more than raising money. It has become an exercise in trust and credibility. One where those that are the closest to the business and to me personally as can be, have put their money where my mouth is and have joined up for the long haul have put their utmost faith in the ability and determination of my team and I.
It is a truly gob-smacking, eye-wateringly humble thing this. Then only matched, I suspect, when a big cheque is ultimately returned to each of these wonderful, supportive champions of the emoov cause in the form of their very deserving profit.
Our crowdfunding campaign is live until 30th September at www.crowdcube.com/emoov