Finance · 6 August 2019

24 stellar startups that smashed their crowdfunding targets last month

Despite claims that 29% of SMEs businesses are expected to be negatively affected by Brexit, new and innovative startups are continuing to attract investment in the UK. But how is this the case?

The UK government likes tech

Whilst Brexit uncertainty might have put some investors and institutions off funding UK startups, this may have actually forced the government’s hand into doing more to support the startup economy. In particular, they seem proactive about facilitating the growth of tech firms with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy offering a series of startup loans schemes which include mentoring and support along with a series of funding options.

The funding climate isn’t as bad as we might think

In terms of the funding climate generally, statistics from consumer research firm NimbleFin says the UK is the second-best place in Europe for startups. With the lower costs of doing business, declining corporate tax rates, access to venture capital, and the number of startup support organisations available to help entrepreneurs seeming to balance out uncertainties around Brexit.

Why crowdfunding is a good option

There continues to be a stigma around traditional banks lending money to smaller businesses and startups. Because of this, crowdfunding has surged in popularity as a funding mechanism.

Researchers at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School even says the UK is outperforming all other crowdfunding markets in Europe. This has no doubt helped raise the profile of the UK’s alternative finance market – which is now worth as much as £4.9bn a year.

Statistics also show that UK crowdfunding is generating more money each year. For example, analytics software providers, Statista predicts the value of transactions made during 2019 UK crowdfunding campaigns will reach £66.4 million – a 14.1% increase from 2018.

Facts are all well and good, but how about real flesh-and-blood startups who’ve smashed their funding targets? Here are the top startups that met their Seedrs and Crowdcube funding targets last month…

Seedrs…

1. Paysend

How much raised: £8,729,417
Number of investors: 903

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Funds will be used to add strategic products in line with its vision of money for the future.

  • Specialises in international money transfers to allows customers to pay, hold and send money anywhere in an instant with a minimal fixed fee.
  • Was the initial creator of a world-first system of transferring funds internationally by knowing a recipient’s 16-digit card number.
  • The first Fintech firm to introduce a global card to card transfer to connect 12 billion cards issued by international systems.
  • Launched Paysend Link, a WhatsApp for money transfers where money is sent as a text message with fixed fees.
  • Over 900,000 users in over 70 countries.
  • Facilitated over 2 million transactions every month and processed over $55M per month.
  • GVA capital invested £3.95m into the round.

2. Stashbee

How much raised: £2,503,627
Number of investors: 880

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Funds will be used to launch in other major cities across the UK and expand the team at Stashbee HQ.

  • Stashbee connects individuals and businesses who have spare space with those who need it.
  • Has 1 million square feet of bookable space on the platform – is now the 6th largest storage provider in the UK.
  • Hires out homeowners’ garages, spare rooms or outhouses.
  • The platform automates the entire booking process.
  • Runs ID checks on both parties.
  • Provides Hiscox-backed insurance and Guard Dog insurance.
  • Uses the sharing economy to fix a common problem.

3.  The Commuter Club

How much raised: £2,330,992
Number of investors: 804

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Raised capital to continue to fund growth, acquire customers, develop the tech platform and reach profitability in 2020.

  • Commuter Club is the leading UK provider of season tickets as a subscription service.
  • It’s on a mission to save commuters time, money and hassle.
  • To date has issued over £70m in loans to over 20,000 customers.
  • Generating just under £1.3m in revenue.
  • Goal to become the go-to hub for all commuter needs.

4. Rubies in the Rubble

How much raised: £2,025,703
Number of investors: 234

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site Seedrs.
For what: Proceeds will be used to accelerate sales and marketing reach and fund new product development.

  • Rubies in the Rubble makes award-winning condiments from surplus ingredients, that would have otherwise gone to waste.
  • Turns this left-over produce into delicious jams, relishes, chutneys and ketchup.
  • Has grown from a stall in Borough market to being stocked in Waitrose, Ocado and EAT.
  • Now turning its attention to creating a sustainable alternative to classic ketchup and plant-based mayo.
  • In 5 years of operation, it has saved an estimated 7 million pieces of fruit and veg from going to waste.

5. Assetz capital

How much raised: £1,866,500
Number of investors: 113

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: This will go support the next substantial phase of growth, further strengthen cash levels and their balance sheet.

  • Assetz Capital is the leading property-secured business P2P lender in the UK and Europe, and the second-largest overall general business P2P lender–behind only Funding Circle.
  • Provides loans to SMEs and property developers in the UK.
  • 30,000 lenders have funded over £750. of facilities and earned £70m to date.
  • Ranked 53rd out of the UK’s top 100 fastest-growing technology companies in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
  • Substantially growing the team size over time from the current 100 to over 200 staff.

6. Much Better Adventures 

Muchbetteradventures.com

How much raised: £1,218,068
Number of investors: 932

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Proceeds will go towards organic growth, launching new adventures and expanding internationally.

  • MBA curates proper adventures, for a quick weekend or longer.
  • Making it easier to live a life full of adventure.
  • A curated collection of award-winning, ready-to-go adventures
  • Takes care of all the route-planning and logistics.
  • In the last three years, the community have spent over 50,000 days adventuring.
  • Voted the UK’s Best for Experiences and Young Travel Entrepreneurs of the Year, and One of the Best Ethical Travel Companies by the Guardian.
  • Total adventure sales are up 135% year on year in 2019.
  • Funds will be used to improve organic growth and expanding sales globally.

7. Riversimple

How much raised: £848,008
Number of investors: 643

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Funds raised will be used to support the 20 car production run.

  • Riversimple is pioneering clean, lightweight, hydrogen-electric cars.
  • Have a 2 million euro grant from the EU towards a 12-month test of 20 cars in Monmouthshire.
  • The Rasa car emits nothing but pure water vapour.
  • They have spent over 15 years developing the technology and the business model.
  • The car’s charging only takes 3 minutes and the rage is 300 miles.
  • CEO Hugo Spowers ran a Formula 3 racing team in the mid-1990s.
  • Funds to be used to support the 20 car production run and to forge ahead with the operations and marketing of The Clean Mobility Trial.

8. Crua Outdoors

How much raised: £482,022
Number of investors: 479

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Proceeds will be split between commercial and technical needs, including one new hire and four new product introductions.

  • The world’s first thermally and acoustically insulated tent.
  • Created out of the need for a tent that can stay cool when the weather is hot, warm when cold, and can regulate noise and light, it is also as mobile and light as a normal tent.
  • Trying to address the lack of comfort associated with the outdoors and get people back outside – but in style.
  • Over 10,000 customers in over 50 countries.
  • Revenues of $1.5mThree New Product Introductions – broaden the range and increase up-sell / cross-sell opportunities.
  • On-going development of both websites, including further Augmented Reality additions.

9. Fitu

How much raised: £373,240
Number of investors: 101

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Raised funds will be used to accelerate growth, further penetrate the London market and expand internationally.

  • Fitu allows customers to discover and instantly book great deals on amazing fitness activities near them.
  • Lists 170 London studios, gyms and trainers.
  • Features a total of 460 unique weekly workouts.
  • Averaging over 500 monthly downloads so far in 2019.
  • 40% of its proceeds will be used for growth marketing and 30% on technological development.

10. Felcana

Felcana.com

How much raised: £318,553
Number of investors: 380

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Proceeds will be used to continue scaling up business operations while also investing in new product development.

  • Felcana is the Digital Pet Health platform that provides digital health services to pet owners and vets.
  • Is a pet care business that uses the latest technology to help predict, simplify and treat pet health problems.
  • Users in 35 countries.
  • Received a grant of £445,000 from Innovate UK.
  • Ran a 2016 Kickstarter campaign that pre-sold over £25,000 products.
  • Awarded a Spark Design Award and shortlisted for Innovate UK’s Design Innovation Award.
  • Named as one of the top-10 pet startups to watch in Europe.

11. Ebar

How much raised: £276,800
Number of investors: 556

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Funds raised will be used to undertake more development and build several of their machines with a contract manufacturer.

  • EBar is the machine that pours the perfect pint in seconds – speeding up the time it takes at a typical event bar.
  • Built the first prototype and already trialled at some of the top UK venues, such as Twickenham.
  • Partnered with WorldPay to incorporate their contactless payments platform.
  • A self-serve option to get customers out of the queue and back to the event.

12. AVATR

How much raised: £274,819
Number of investors: 164

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: To introduce AVATR to a limited number of paying patients in Singapore.

  • AVATR is an AI mobile app efficiently delivering personalised quality healthcare to a global market.
  • AVATR enables patients to use their smartphone to create a digital profile of their self, in order to enjoy personalised medical care outside of the hospital.
  • Smart cities demonstrators are running in Singapore and Sao Paulo.
  • Creation of an MVP in collaboration with a team of heart surgeons at the National Heart Center in Singapore.
  • Selected by the UK government at the World Cities Summit in July 2018 in Singapore.
  • Selected by the UK Science and Innovation Network and InnovateUK.

13. MergerLinks

How much raised: £243,499
Number of investors: 196

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Funds raised will be used to build the network of content distribution partners, including the financial press.

  • MergerLinks the platform for M&A professionals to connect with clients and originate new business.
  • Global dealmakers can identify and connect with transaction counterparts based on their credentials and relationships.
  • In just 8 months they have build a global audience of 30,000.
  • Attracted over 30 content partners, including investment banks and law firms.
  • Work with 3 of out the big 4 accounting firms.

14. Evarvest

How much raised: €239,513
Number of investors: 599

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Investment raised will be used to launch its app, continue global expansion and increase its educational library.

  • Evarvest is uniting the world’s stock exchanges, making it simple to invest in the brands consumers love.
  • Making investing as simple as having a smartphone or good wifi.
  • At the same time educating people around how to invest wisely.
  • Has a waitlist of over 20,000.
  • Signed a commercial partnership with CurrencyCloud.
  • Launching in the second half of this year.

15. Primordial Radio

How much raised: £140,527
Number of investors: 846

Who are the investors: Investors on crowdfunding site, Seedrs.
For what: Raised funds will be split between marketing, running costs and technology development.

  • Primordial Radio is a UK Rock and metal radio service offering the freedom of streaming with the intimacy of live radio.
  • A member-led live and interactive digital service with live 24/7 radio programming, podcasts, video, and events.
  • Created a community of over 1700 actively engaged people across the UK. #PRFam.
  • 1150 paying members.
  • 91% revenue growth YoY.
  • 105% listening growth (April 2018 – March 2019).

Crowdcube…

16Cornish Lithium 

How much raised£1,246,08
Number of investors: 955

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: Funds will be used to create a new high-tech UK-based lithium extraction industry.

  • Lithium demand is rapidly rising due to the electric vehicle revolution.
  • Acquired exploration rights over a large area of Cornwall.
  • Exploring for lithium using modern digital exploration techniques.

17.  Revolution race cars

How much raised: £369,670
Number of investors: 81

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: Funds will be used to enter American and Asian markets.

  • Get in on board of Britain’s next race car phenomenon.
  • Production launched 4 weeks ago. 7 confirmed orders (and counting).
  • R&D already in progress for the upcoming models (400+ BHP, Coupe…).

18Bedlam Brewery

How much raised: £603,280
Number of investors: 330

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: Funds will go towards maintaining and expanding the current growth.

  • Led by an experienced and successful industry team.
  • 180% revenue growth since 2016.
  • Secured backing from existing shareholders for this funding round.
  • Strong environmental credentials.
  • Further brand expansion.

19Gazella App 

How much raised: £105,740
Number of investors: 139

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: They will use the funds in part to help expand their coverage in the media.

  • App has been downloaded more than 10,000 times on Google Play.
  • Frost & Sullivan predict Femtech could reach a value of $50bn by 2025.
  • Featured in press such as Cosmopolitan, Glamour & Instyle.
  • Funding to date is c.€200k (mainly from one founder).

20. Candidate.ie 

How much raised: £166,000
Number of investors: 248

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: will use the funds to kick-start AI programmes which will make the product progressively easier to use and continuously increase the addressable market.

  • Existing Fortune 500 customer base.
  • Recruitment tech start-up winners in Amsterdam & San Francisco.
  • New version of product complete in July, increasing revenue opportunities.
  • Monthly recurring revenue up 48% since Jun 18.

21Gusto Organic

Gustoorganic.com

How much raised: £384,860
Number of investors: 305

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: expand the UK and global sales and develop new products and mixer-size variants to meet consumer demand.

  • Premium brand partnerships – Ocado, Whole Foods Market and Chiquitos.
  • Winner of Great Taste Awards 2017 and 2018.
  • Ethical Consumer Dec 2017: Number 1 Ethical Cola and Energy Brand.
  • Co-Founder Craig Sams, founder of Green & Blacks, which had a £20m+ exit.

22. Tribe

investments
wearetribe.com

How much is raised: £1,371,520
Number of investors: 964

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: Investments will help grow an international presence.

  • UK performance nutrition market valued at £700m, growing at 20% YoY.
  • 2x customers & 4x revenue since last crowdfund: May 19 £147k, P+L -£36k.
  • Over 165k products sold in June 2019 alone.
  •  25k event participants & £160k raised for the foundation in the last year.

23. Mammalo

How much is raised: £165,410
Number of investors: 148

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site, Crowd Cube.
For what: investment will help supercharge growth to 3 major urban cities by 2023 and build a mobile app, so we can offer our community an even better customer journey.

  • Rapid bookings growth. Gained +2000 customers in as little as 3 months.
  • 100% of bookings have received 5-star reviews.
  • Won £50k in Web Services credit for Aruba Cloud Startup “Best Startup” Award.
  • Mammalo launched its service 6 months ago and are ready to scale it.

24. Space Store

How much is raised: £136,800
Number of investors: 140

Who are the investors: investors are on crowdfunding site,  Crowd Cube.
For what: Funding will enable to accelerate growth. It will allow hiring staff to invest in new experiences and introduce higher price experiences.

  • Pre-seed of £144k in Q4 2018 through equity and debt & 1st store location to open in Q2 2019.
  • Over 40 pop-ups executed in London and Oxfordshire since Sept 2018.
  • Space industry partnerships including Reaction Engines & OSS. 
  • Our team includes a NASA astronaut and rocket scientist.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.


 
TAGS:

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Laura is the Junior Reporter at Real Business and Business Advice. She's the first point of call for any PR, business owner or industry insider looking to tell a story of entrepreneurial inspiration, retell some key advice, or a ground-breaking news story. She is the core ambassador for the brand(s) and can be found attending high profile events and meeting disruptive business owners across London – and beyond.

From the top