Thursday, 21 September 2017

Workabode is idling after taking £270k off Crowdcube


Workabode sums up so many of Crowdcube's flaws. More than 36 months after its initial raise, in a business sense it's still inactive, unproductive and empty.


Workabode is the brainchild of Trevor O'Hare. He was kind enough to respond to our recent invitation to discuss Workabode's progress. His response - we dont want to talk.

He has used Crowdcube twice to pull out almost £300k of investment for the company. Clear intentions made in the first raise in 2014, melted away and the balance sheet in the second raise in 2015, was simply wrong. It had missed out over £200k of accumulated losses(filed in the real accounts) - which is a material omission. It also illustrates an alarming ineptitude for figures and a far too common ineptitude from the CC Broom Cupboard, for DD. They had after all sanctioned the first raise in 2014 with the right figures!

In the second pitch in the summer of 2015, the company claimed it had completed the eCommerce platform  - well you have wonder if you look at the site in 2017.

Trevor has other companies - One City Innovation which does very little and Blueventus Ltd which was dissolved and for which we could find no records and no accounts even though it was listed. He has also written a book which only seems to have been published on Linkedin. A pattern?

The idea is not a bad one - putting people with spare office space together with people who use flexible work space. However it seems this must be a very difficult fit as by his own admission the website and 'operatons' are still in Beta. Beta is now code for nothing's happening. It looks very much like an idea born of the internet which is simply not required or even possible. The website here is smart enough but is entirely hollow; despite those 2015 claims. Another pattern?

To give you some idea of the gap between Trevor's predictions and reality, we can share the company's 2015 Crowdcube projections. For their year 17/18 which is now well underway, they projected a turnover of £10.7m and a NP of £7.4m. Remember this is for a company that is now, still in Beta and pre revenue with no visible eCommerce platform. 

One point he did make in his response is that the company might move operations to Canada because of Brexit. When we asked him to expand on how moving to Canada would alleviate any of the implications of Brexit, he chose not to. Im still trying to figure that one out.

So this particular business had materially inaccurate finances and unfulfilled intentions - both birthmarks on the body Crowdcube. 

We would have liked to put his point of view. You will just have to make up your own minds.

   

Monday, 18 September 2017

A typical Crowdcube story

Are you comfortable, then we will begin, said the bwitch. Once upon a time people told the truth...no really they did.


Then they forgot how to. Now nobody seems to know what the word means anymore.

The Do Nation Enterprise funded via Crowdcube in 2014 - just £167k with SEIS. 

Their projections were not exactly accurate - were they guys?

Claims of large clients may have been exaggerated? Or maybe they were just unlucky. Dont suppose anyone checked.

The upshot is that for 2015 and 2016 the company has sustained substantial losses, when it claimed it would be making substantial profits. As at December 2016, it was technically insolvent. It recently raised £30k. 2017 projections seem somewhat optimistic.

Where in all of this is there any sustainable benefit to anyone in using SEIS. Please tell me or shoot me.

Of course this is not to belittle the voluntary not for profit work the company's NFP wing does. 


The Good the Bad and the downright Ugly


Three companies recent filings and reviews reflect the diverse nature of the Crowdcube portfolio.


First lets start with Clint - AKA Curpis Health and  also Go Henry

Curpis Health - It's a little early to be hanging out the bunting, but these guys appear to be ahead of their financial targets although they still appear to need to raise cash this year. Breaking into the NHS is a very had task, especially with the budgets stertched to breaking point but they seem to be getting there.

Go Henry - progess has been spot on and providing they can refuel their gas guzzling plan, they look set to make some serious impact in the future - when is anyone's guess. But certainly not a lemon. 

Then there is the Bad - well you can really take your pick. One we like Is Water to Go - seemingly gone or Psonar which has been liquidated.

We have reserved the Ugly for the worst set of reviews we have ever seen. This goes to Chupamobile - which took over £500k off Crowdcube punters. Here are some of the reviews - Sites vary on theor average but from the 3 we looked at, it's around 1.5 out of 5. - 

''Seriously folks, if you're reading this... They dont care. And if you doubt me at all, use your favorite search engine to find tons of other complaints just like mine. Don't fall victim to these guys. Avoid at all costs.''

''They are scammers do not use that website, dont buy or sell, if you paid for something that does not work please report here, choose internet fraud:
https://www.usa.gov/online-safety''

''After buying a source code that was far older than stated, they continued to literally patronize me. Theyre customer service is one person, who refuses to offer any real help or refunds. They say they updated code, which they didnt. Made me waste even more time, only for them to tell me politely that I'm screwed. Now I have no product that i can work with, ive wasted two weeks in trying, and I'm insulted. DO NOT DO BUSINESS. I dont care how good it may sound. I wish I would have read the reviews on this company first.''

We are not saying these reviewers are right but as business is hard enough to get going, running into a headlong gale like this makes if pretty well impossible. Accounts due out this month. 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Is Twenty Something London yet another Crowdcube nothing?



Hello again - another serving of poor business for you. Twenty Something London, an online referral business, has Twitter and FB accounts that have been dormant for many months.

They do have a website, but it is diabolical - something from the 2000's. Their twitter account is here - https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=twntysmthngldn and hasnt posted since February. Their accounts are well overdue and they are sitting under a CH strike off notice. We suspect they dont look at that page.

TSL took £150k off Crowdcube punters in 2015 claiming to have a business plan to link small businesses via their portal, providing efficient and effective promotion. The pitch valued the company at around £2m based on a lot of PRing. They projected large losses (accurate) backed up by new investment of over £1m (inaccurate). Of course this new investment never appeared - which professional would invest in this? It is possible they never intended the new investment to come through?

What would be interesting for all to see is where the £150k has gone - but due to the accounting system we run in this country that will not happen. You can make your own guess. We have seen this particular 'problem' often on Crowdcube - raise a smallish amount and project to raise more in the next two years. There are several live pitches making the same promise. Why cant people see this for what it is? 

Of the two key founders, one resigned last year; once the money was getting a little tight. 

It hasnt gone yet but we'd put our money on it.


Friday, 15 September 2017

Crowdcube's Water To Go may have gone


Water to Go pushes on with further heavy losses and reaches out to China for a life line.


WTG raised just shy of £200k on Crowdcube in 2014. Since then you might say its results have been a little disappointing. 

Accounts for YE Dec16, just filed, show further losses of £200k for the year, on a turnover that halved from 2015. The Crowdcube version showed the company making net profits for 2016 of £2.5m. Just by way of an explanation, this £2.5m profit was on the back of sales of over £10m, whereas reality shows sales of just over £300k. The balance sheet is looking a little flushed.

When we looked at the product in a climbing shop in Scotland, firstly it was covered is dust, which is never a good sign, secondly it was very expensive.

They have put together a deal with a Chinese distributor just this month - nothing to do with torture we understand; that's been left for investors It may be their last straw. 

It is really quite pathetic


Crowdcube at it again. Totally blatant misuse of information to big themselves up on the newest pitch for Keen Home Inc.

Firstly I will make clear that this is not a criticism of this business - we have not looked at.

So it's not enough to pile up the dross, now CC are so desperate they have taken to mass manipulation of the figures.

You might be as surprised as we were on reading about the new pitch by USA based firm Keen Home. They had, on day 3 of their CC pitch, completed 493% of their £570k target. The figure on the CC site stated as funded is £2.8m.

But wait this is CC after all so there has to be some trick in there.

Yup there is - only £27k of that money has been raised by Crowdcube. Not £2,800,000 - just £27,000. So less than 1% of the headline claim. The rest comes from a raise (called a joint raise pitch, whatever that is) in the USA by Seedinvest, a US ECF platform.

So why the hell do they have promote what is nothing more than a simple and very misleading lie? Well they just dont seem able to help themselves. The information above is all there if you look at the pitch but it isnt what you see in the headline home page.

Why would they do that? Well they know the FCA never does a thing about any of their nonsense, so they are clear there. It makes the platform look fantastic and helps to bury the rest of the dross they are promoting, all of which are struggling to get to 50%.

It taint right , taint honest, taint proper.  It's Crowdcube.

Soma, So ma, So far or doe ray me far.............


In what has to be one of Crowdcube's worst ever investment shenanigans, ex Ethos Global, ex Ethos London England, soon to be ex Soma(?), have postponed their opening launch party in London. The announcement was made today, the party was tomorrow.


It's no surprise really. The management of Soma are the same two from Ethos, who took lots of money of lots of Crowdcube investors and were then forced into liquidation by the Court. The results have not yet been filed. We flagged this all up here

The funds from Ethos seem to have been used to fund the newco. Its all very messy and must have been planned well before they pitched on Crowdcube. Lets hope the liquidator has a mind to find the facts and not do the usual sweeping under the carpet job. All this phoenix needs is a strong fire extinguisher.

So now what am I going to do this Saturday  - they havent exactly given me much time to re arrange my diary. I think a trip to the beach at Antibes is called for - Jester, get my jet ready!