How to run a successful campaign and exceed your target
Michelle Songy and Charlotte Dale are the powerhouse co-founders of The Cake App a mobile payment app for restaurants and bars. On Crowdcube, their Equity Crowdfunding campaign for Cake aimed to raise £800 000 but surpassed this amount by raising £1 054 110 at 9.10% equity.
The Cake App enables you to find and book great places, easily split and pay the bill and also earn credit back. Michelle and Charlotte identified a gap in the market, seized the opportunity and established a loyal consumer base and network. This consumer base and network were fundamental in their successful Equity Crowdfunding campaign.
However, it is important to remember, every campaign is different, and there is no clear cut winning formula. An excellent way to prepare for your campaign is to educate yourself thoroughly on Equity Crowdfunding and familiarise yourself with several case studies of successful campaigns. Below Michelle and Charlotte share their experience and provide advice for entrepreneurs.
Why did you decide to run an Equity Crowdfunding campaign?
Michelle: We did Crowdcube because we already knew we would raise the money from our existing network, so it was more for PR purposes and to reach new people. So even people putting in £50 each was not a huge amount of investment for our company, but those were new consumers that we could target.
How long did it take you to prepare for the campaign and what did it entail?
Michelle:It was a lot, it was definitely two months. We started in March and launched at the very end of May. We were basically given everything from Crowdcube that we needed to do. We prepared on our end by getting our network and investors already on board, participating ..so that when we went live, we could quickly pull in £200 000/300 000 on the first day so that could start building momentum from the get go.
What was the most challenging time?
Michelle: The one month [that it’s live] I’d tell founders is probably the hardest month because the campaign is live you don’t just launch and kick your feet back. You’re busy every single day, answering millions of questions.
What key lesson have you learnt from the experience?
Michelle: So I think that the main thing when people ask me about if you should do a crowdfunding campaign, is you kind of need to have a cornerstone of people you know are going to put in a big amount because that would start the momentum. Fortunately, we had that, but I think that is the biggest challenge that people will have. If you’re going into it expecting to raise the whole amount through the crowd, it ‘s tough unless you’re already a big brand that the public knows about.
Also, I’ve had people ask me they’re about to run out of money for their business in six months, should they do crowdfunding. My answer is you’re not going to get the money in six months. Speak to your platform and be clear when you will receive payment once the campaign ends.
Would you recommend Equity Crowdfunding to other entrepreneurs?
Michelle: I would recommend it. So right before we did ours, Camden Brewery had done one and Just Park, so two brands that were very well known and successful with the crowd. I think the amount of money we needed to raise wasn’t small so we knew we kind of had to face it and raise it ourselves first. I would recommend it to people raising small seed capital, who don’t need that many people or money to get there. You can raise a lot when you have a consumer brand that’s already quite popular. I think where we sat was in the middle of those two things.
Charlotte: If you’re a brand or already have thousands or millions of customers, that all want to take a little piece of your business it’s probably a better model. It’s hard when you’re a business starting out because you don’t have that reach. It’s a lot of your own networking… it is a lot of a push from your side and pushing your network.
How is your business doing now?
Michelle: It’s going well. Since then we raised a small amount of funding and are now in discussion with a large strategic organisation. We’ve focused on tech in the past two years and are now with a strategic partner that already has a network of consumers looking for a tech platform to help us execute our plan a lot quicker than we could do on our own.
In future, Uprise. Africa will host webinars where you can interact with entrepreneurs like Michelle and Charlotte in your preparation for running your own successful campaign.