Sunday, 30 December 2018

The Ultimate Surprise Christmas Present - a five year Founding Member subscription to ECF.Buzz

For the person who thinks they have everything - the ultimate surprise present. 

Our new site will be THE place to go to get information on all matters equity crowdfunding. And it is totally independent of all the investing platforms - so you can trust the information. It will be the only totally independent site. 

What's more you can discuss hot topics and your own experiences with other like minded people on  our forum - without fear that your comments will be rubbed out. Imagine the transfer of collective wisdom we can generate.

If there were not already enough reasons for this new site, the revelations in The Sunday Times (already known here) that in their latest round, Crowdcube gave their senior VC backers highly advantageous terms, add to the argument for an independent information resource. Most CC investors do not understand pref shares, let alone read their terms and conditions.

Along with an extensive library of investor resources and analysis of over 500 companies that have used ECF to fund to date, ECF.Buzz will be a must have. 

Buy now and get a 50% discount.  Give the Gift of Founding Membership to the one you love this Christmas!

Monday, 10 December 2018

Oppo Brothers to be sold - and Crowd investors will see a return this time.

Well at last. Seedrs have some good news for investors. We dont wish to damage the deal so wont be going into detail but shareholders in both rounds of Oppo will see a good if not spectacular return. Prefs not quite so much. 

Seedrs have now put out their own PR claiming this as some massive success  -so the figures are free to go - 

Investors in Round one will get just over 4X return and investors in Round 2 ~2.5X. This is without S/EIS.

The buyer is HP Wild Holdings AG. The UK loses out. 

According to the accompanying letter to SHs from the CEO of Oppo, the company was about to go under and this sales is a deal that no sensible person could refuse. Seedrs fail to mention this. 

As returns go, it's ok but it aint Carling, as Seedrs would have the Press believe. More reasons for an independent platform giving out the real information as opposed to PR. 

We will report back on the numbers once the deal is public (see above). Oppo in our opinion, have taken the sensible option and off loaded at a time when they required large new investment to maximise potential. The CEO's letter makes it clear that borrowing has rocketed just in order to stand still and that the offer for the business presents an excellent life line. I suppose it doesnt matter how SH's get their return so long as they get one. As in the Crowdcube case with Camden Brewery, where they chose to sell because they couldnt make progress alone, so this sale is the best option on offer. In fact the CEO is quite plain, in a May sort of way; it's this deal or curtains. No offence to the late Prime Minister or for that matter the CEO, who may well be very good looking. 

Shareholders can opt to stay with the company which is good to see after all the dragging along that has been going on. 

Noveltea results are in line with Crowdcube expectations

We recently posted that Noveltea had come in off target for year YE Feb18 - only a little off target but off target. This was wrong as we had assumed their 2018 projections referred to YE Feb 2018. Actually 2018 refers to the YE Feb 2019. 

We apologise for this error.

The accounts for YE Feb 2018 are in fact spot on the projections called simply 2017 in the Crowdcube prospectus.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

A Sweeter way to build a successful business.

Looking across the swathe of businesses funded via equity crowdfunding since 2011, it is hard to get excited about the successes. Maybe a lesson can be learnt from the rise of Hyper Recruitment Solutions; a company set up in 2011, which is now making £1m plus net profits.

HRS was the brainchild of Richard Martin or Ricky as he became known in 2012 when he won Lord Sugur's Apprentice TV show. Im not a fan of the show, more comedy than anything else but you cannot deny the numbers. 

Since 2012, when the company launched, it has made steady progress and now reports accounts for YE June18 showing £1m plus NP and dividends to £500k. It has two SHs, Ricky and Sugar. A simple 50/50 deal and very little investment - £250k in equity and no borrowing. It is now a cash generating super charged success. ECF investors would give their right arm to have any such success as part of their portfolio. 

This is real success - it is not based on the last or the next round of desperation funding. It has been built from the base up  - the old way. If you watch the Apprentice you will know that Sugar likes the old ways - he hates BS and wouldnt dream of selling equity based on some mythical future value. 

There is a lesson here. We know the platforms are not interested in learning it but investors should be. Real value is built from the bottom up and it takes time. You cannot simply throw cash at an idea to make it work. Ricky is a highly driven business machine and has built this business up from the boot straps - you cannot buy that or replace it with cash. Sugar knows this.

It is time that investors in ECF thought long and hard about what they doing. ECF needs businesses to succeed in the real world. The latest Monzo cash grab is not a success - the company makes massive losses. It may become one but most of that value is already spent. We need to stop the hype and get back to the basics of what makes a successful company - a bank account filled to the top with cash. 

Friday, 7 December 2018

Surfing without a board as Crowdcube's Skunk Works Surf Co is wiped out

Just months ago, NI's Skunk Works Surf Co persuaded 396 Crowdcube investors to part with over £370k, based on plans to take the world by storm with their new boards. Now they have filed for administration with HNH Partners. 

Their website is down and they have not responded to our phone calls or emails.

This is from their prospectus, on the Crowdcube site -

So if you want to join a young, vibrant and exciting company revolutionising the surfing industry....

Invest as much as you like.

Don't miss out... sign up to our newsletter via the website and be the first to know how we are getting on.

If you are a UK taxpayer, your investment will be eligible for EIS (up to 30% tax relief on your investment).

Help us make this a social enterprise that everyone wants to talk about... tell your friends, tell your family, tell the dog!

The Crowdcube video is here. It is hard to watch this and then comprehend that the company, due to X3 its turnover in 2018, has now sunk. 

This was expansion capital - the company had been trading for 3 years. They had a 16,000 sq ft factory with 14 staff. Well that was the story.

They came second in the 2015 Pitch to Rich Branson fiasco event - which really should have told investors to stay clear. Branson or his Virgin Start Up brand have a lot to answer for. Even entering is a sign of a seriously poor business.

Following closely on the Emoov scandal, the only news on the Crowdcube site is about the £20m raise by Monzo. Says all you need to know. 

Of course most of this could have been avoided if we had had ECFBuzz up and running. Still in over funding on Indiegogo here

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Hallelujah - We have reached our minimum target on Indiegogo in just two weeks

A huge Thank You to all supporters -we have now, after just 2 weeks, reached our minimum target.

It is clear listening to the noise on line over the Emoov fiasco, that many of the 1000+ investors in the second round on Crowdcube, just 3 months ago, had little idea what they were doing. Now they have probably lost the lot but certainly lost most of it. 

Only by giving more power to investors and giving them the right tools to make sensible decisions, can we change what is a race to bottom, led by Crowdcube. That is why we started this Indiegogo campaign and the logic of it is clearly not lost on our supporters. 

You can see and join the campaign here -

What the Keuken is going on with Crowdcube success Keuken?

You might well ask. Their London flagship at 8 Eldon St is now a hairdressers and has been for around a year. Crowdcube are still promoting the new shop opening on their website. Their accounts for YE Feb18 could be the construct of a Judd or Serra. FB is two years cold. Twitter didnt. 

159 Crowdcube punters gladly handed over 150k. The accounts, the few lines there are of them, show no cash or seeming value.

We contacted Dominic Dumont the founder and recipient of the £150k. He said last week that he would explain all of this. An email from him yesterday said he had decided not to explain any of it. It ends that he hopes we understand. Sure Dominic, we understand. When will people wake up to the fact  - illustrated here and with the ongoing fiasco at Emoov, that Crowdcube do not do any due diligence and do not care about all.

Is this what Crowdcube mean by encouraging entrepreneurs to have a go? Surely there must be line over which having a go becomes having a laugh. It is such a dreadful waste of valuable resource.

Keuken's website, once you've wiped the cobwebs off, talks of servicing but the accounts suggest that they dont even do this. The company is literally worthless.

Maybe we missed something, maybe the accounts are wrong. Or maybe it is just another example of the very poor businesses Crowdcube promote. Ones that they themselves do not even know have now left the building. This patient looks blue to us. And so do many many more of Crowdcube's success stories. 

It is why we really do need our new ECF Buzz initiative to enable investors to make better informed decisions. It is clear Crowdcube will keep on presenting poor business ideas for as long as you keep blindly investing. Take a look - - it is there to help you.