Thursday, 10 December 2015

How could such a well run business go bust after raising £500,000 on Seedrs?

Upper Street has some serious press - see here 

And recently this in the Times -

 including this  -
  • Backed by leading VC Venrex (NotOnTheHighStreet, JustEat, Smythson), and the British Business Bank.
  • Double-digit annual revenue growth*, thousands of customers acquired; 20% repeat purchase rate.
  • 91% of customers would refer Upper Street to a friend. <5% product return rate.
  • High profile customers include Helena Bonham Carter, Erin O’Connor, Jodie Kidd and Tess Daly.
  • Strong social media following: 51,000 Facebook fans, 4,000 Twitter followers.
  • Acquisition of US competitor Milk & Honey in 2014.
  • Phenomenal press coverage includes Marie Claire, Elle, InStyle, Stylist, Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Evening Standard.
  • An ASTIA company 2012; female-led high growth potential company.
  • Wonga Future 50 Real Business award winner 2012; new entrepreneurial businesses triggering change in their market.
  • Shortlisted for Drapers Footwear & Accessories 2013 award for Growing Business / Brand.
  • Shortlisted for PayPal eTail Awards – Best Small Pureplay Etailer 2013.

so it is hard to understand the comments on the company's Facebook page - 

Hi Pippa, thanks for getting in touch. The team at Upper Street have decided to pursue new endeavours, and as a result the business will be closing its doors. Upper Street customers are now being welcomed into the Shoes of Prey family. You can read more about it here: Do let me know if you have any further questions.
- Chloé, from Shoes of Prey x.


According to the Shoes of Prey, they will honour any replacements etc but have nothing to do with creditors or seemingly shareholders. 

The company appears to have lost all of the £500,000 invested this year via Seedrs, not to mention £1m plus from previous investments by Venrex and the British Business Bank. 

We have asked Seedrs to respond..........

Seedrs have now responded.

They say the company failed to raise another round on Seedrs  this October. Apparently most new start businesses go bust.

We find it hard to believe that this business which had won so many awards, was according to them and the Seedrs pitch, doing so well only months ago, had official government backing as well as VC backing, has now suddenly closed. Something is not right.

What would help investors would be for all ECf platforms to publish their failures with some notes, so that over time it might be possible to build up a better picture of what will work and what wont. Of course the chances of this happening are small but you guys should really be asking the question.

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