Thursday, 18 January 2018

Crowdcube start 2018 as they intend to go on; with yet another sad story of failure

Angelberry have been defrosted. The took £200k off Crowdcube investors in 2014. Now they have for first time since, communicated with those investors to say Goodbye, Cheerio, So Long Suckers.

This is another one we called - see here

Here is the full text of the first and final communication from the Angelberry founders - the opening line is quite brilliant! The rest is quite sad and just shows what an utter load of kack the idea these guys had, was. The sums mentioned are highly doubtful!

Before you get stuck in, we will have some good news in the next few days about a pitch that we have been helping and that we feel is worth taking a look at. So watch this space. One thing for sure is that it doesnt include any fraud.

This a summary of what follows -

Hi Suckers -

We have spent all your money and so will closing down now.

Your money helped us travel around the word for 2 years and have a ball.

None of the plans we mentioned to you on Crowdcube worked. They all came to shit.

So until the next time, so long Suckers. 

Hi All,

Sorry for the delay in this update, it’s been a tough couple of years and we have unfortunately had to take the decision to close AngelBerry ltd due to a lack of growth and profitability.

To give you an overall view of what we have been up to please see below.

What did we use our CrowdCube Raise on?
- Used our CrowdCube raise to buy our trade show stand, which we then shipped to Trade shows in Mumbai, Paris, Johannesburg. These shows were planned to recruit and sign up new Master Developers after our initial success in Dubai
- We had several strong leads, but we could not find anyone to take on the Master Developer licence for anywhere in Europe or India, which was our main avenue for growth as per our business plan
- In Johannesburg we signed up one franchisee for Richards Bay (North of Durban). No one wanted to take on the Development rights for any other African countries. We had hoped to find developers for Mozambique, Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria
- Our new office staff hires that we took on pre-funding were eventually let go once the shows had taken place and we had not secured any MD’s. Without the planned income from the sale of new territories, or cash flow and funding was massively decreased

- When we raised, we had contracts in place for stores across the GCC – 80 stores in the coming years. We were expecting big growth and store numbers from our UAE developers, however they did not stick to the agreed store schedule, nor did the expansion into Saudi Arabia or the rest of the GCC happen as promised and contractually agreed upon
- This lack of growth hit our potential to grow further as development overall was slow and showed a slow return to potential franchisees. Our master developer was not keeping to their agreed schedule because of a poor return on their investment from the first two stores
- Due to their failure to open more stores and deliver on their promises, including payment for stock and royalties, a level of distrust built up between us and our UAE MD’s – they stopped all communication in 2016

South Africa
- Our franchisee signed from the Johannesburg trade show opened her store in Richards Bay in October 2015, and was then closed by our MD’s in March 2016 due to repeated breaches of her agreement, failure to pay royalties, failure to pay for stock, failure to maintain correct and true records and repeated failure in food hygiene standards
- The expected NuMetro cinema expansion did not take off due to low sales volume, they currently have one location open in Pretoria. James met with the directors to discuss continued growth and roll out of the kiosk, but due to low sales and a relatively high build cost per kiosk they did not want to continue the roll out
- We put a lot of effort into trying to secure the Food Lovers Market deal with our SA MD’s, after running 5 trial stores across different demographics and store layouts (Cape Town Food Lovers Eatery / Food Lovers Market Nelspruit / Caltex Cryildene / Caltex Fresh Stop / Caltex Louis Trichardt ) the sales were not strong enough after our 6 month trial and did not return the required level to warrant a roll out across their stores for the footprint we needed. Even running smaller kiosks in the Caltex stores did not get us to the right level. We also tried to increase revenue through diversified products including freakshakes, waffles and donuts
- Because of this, our planned partnership with FLM did not transpire and there was no national roll out. Our plan for an AngelBerry hard pack product on their shelves did not come off either due to the unsuccessful trial stores

- Our MD sold to someone local 2 years or and left the country to focus on the South African development

- We didn’t get the required number of master developer sign up during our initial trade shows which stunted out growth projection, causing us to pivot and look for commercial opportunities instead
- Without MD’s or franchisees signing up, we didn’t have the required cash flow to move forward and as a result we needed to take on more investment, this enabled us to keep the company afloat whilst we tried to secure the FLM deal
- We had to sell our city centre location to help keep the company going, in additional we raised an extra £170,000 internally
- In September 2016 we had to close our Imperial Park store due to the rent review resulting in a rental increase from £17 per sqft up to £35 per sqft making the store unprofitable, and as a result we executed our break clause
- Despite extra funding, new product launches, new menus and new branding, we could not increase the franchised store revenues enough due to the seasonality of the product
- We focused on growth which required funding to keep us going, and as repeated deals did not come off and the funding ran out, we are left with no option but to close AngelBerry Ltd

We put everything into growing the brand and company, expanded into overseas territories, negotiated with supermarkets, cinemas and service stations and gave it our best shot. We are extremely proud of what we achieved, unfortunately the required deals did not materialise and after 5 years of trying the planned development and growth of AngelBerry did not come to fruition.

We apologise to all of our investors but thank you for your support and belief in us.

Kind Regards,
James and Ryan


  1. Hi,
    is it a pitch that is live on Crowdcube?

  2. These really are some of the lamest excuses I've ever seen for a company's failure. Blame everything on everyone except the idiot management team. What a pair of tossers! Real entrepreneurs show backbone and don't give up if they genuinely believe in what they are doing. This pair are nothing more than day dreamers.