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Friday, 28 September 2018

Is this the way to run an Equity Crowdfunding campaign?

Wise Alpha have raised cash on Crowdcube before. Now in their private mode or pre registration for a new Crowdcube round, they are claiming that '£1,799,600' is 'raised so far and counting'.

This pre registration -  https://www.wisealpha.com/crowdcube-pre-register?ccref=0wWhp7 -   being promoted by Wise Alpha is not what it seems. It carries the Crowdcube logo as if this money is pledged via the site. However we now know this is not the case? How? Well very simply we know of people who have pledged £500k via the pre reg button. This button does not take you to Crowdcube but simply asks for an email address and asks how much you might like to invest. This amount is then added to the fictitious 'raised so far' total.

Essentially it's a load of rollocks. Highly misleading and it really is beneath the sort of shenanigans that even Crowdcube get up to.

You can also 'earn' by getting friend or just colleagues to invest in thsi company - you will get 2% of what they invest we are told on the site. This is in clear breach of pretty well all financial promotion rules - Im certainly not qualified to be recommending this investment ......are you and for a fee??

As of 6pm the amount raised has now dropped to £1.5m. Who is making this up?

By using the Crowdcube logo, with we assume Crowdcube's permission, this is all now being carried on under FCA regulation, which as we all know, states that financial promotions in this sector can be about anything so long as they are not misleading. 

Well this isnt just misleading  - it is the whole blinking Leading family, all their cousins and Diaspora added together.

Do we really want this sort of thing going on? 

Landbay Partners slips on it most recent Seedrs plans

Landbay Partners raised £50k on Crowdcube many moons ago and then raised £1.6m on Seedrs in March of this year. Their accounts for YE Dec17 show some slippage on their Seedrs numbers.

Revenues for the year were supposed to be £1.194m but came in at £994k. The GPM took a bit of a hammering falling from the projected 37% to 25%. The projected loss for the year was £2.3m but came in at £2m due to reduced costs. Given that these numbers were, in March 2018, historic the variations are a surprise. 

When you are pushing for market share in an increasingly bloated space and have to reduce spending, that is not a great plan. Time will tell.  

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Brewdog PR misfires big time

If you are going to shovel so much PR, maybe you should expect some of it to be shite. I have to tell you, No really, it's great  - its the greatest, really great. 

Brewdog's latest escapades have aligned the brand with the greatest .............. US President, Donald Trump. Now the brand wishes it to be known that they are not a supporter of The Donald - but it's a little late now.

It all centres around their promotion of Scofflaws beers. That company is an ardent Trump supporter and all the things the man stands for. Now BD are claiming the fact that Scofflaws beers were for sale at BD is Fake News. But their Twitter account certainly had the message up earlier. When in a hole hatman, stop digging. 

To make up for this cock up, they are offering all punters one free pint just for today - so someone is feeling a little guilty - eh?

Its all here is you have a few spare moments to have a laugh  - 

Thanks to a friend for the tip off. 

What has happened at Crowdcube high flier Grafter?

As Crowdcube hit the waves again with more BS about their 100th £1m raise, real questions remain unanswered. Grafter raised £233k from 329 investors last year on Crowdcube. That money is all gone.

Grafter recently filed accounts for 4 months to YE Apr18. These showed a deficit of £40k. So the £233k from Crowdcube has gone - even though the plans showed they only needed £150k.

Why they have issued accounts for 4 months is anyone's guess. The loss for that period is £80k - so extrapolated that's another loss for the year, of around £240k. 

With a 213 Twitter following and 265 on FB,  it seems the message is being sold a little short 

More funding please.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

This is what a Crowdcube Zombie looks like.......................Not for the squeamish.

Ever wonder what happened to that company you invested in on Crowdcube? Well here is the answer. 

We wont reveal the name as that would be too cruel. But here are some staggering figures - 

This company raised £125k on Crowdcube in 2014 and talked about profits by YE 2016 of £154k on a turnover of £793k. All quite small scale, their product was in a very now and niche sector. A good bet for steady sensible growth. What could go wrong?

We dont know but the investment has been spent and the turnover for YE 2017, so a whole year after those projections, was £80k. No this isnt a Japanese war joke; there are no missing zeros. Of that £80k revenue, £50k was COS and then they spent £4k on 'staff' and 'other charges' of £16k. These zero hours contracts really have gone bonkers. No notes. A LT £40k liability (created in 2014) has vanished. The turnover in 2014, the year they raised on Crowdcube, was published as £191k. Surely some mistake?

From all of this they have generated a 'profit' for 2017 of £10k. But the BS makes that a 'profit' of over £40k. Clearly the BS is wrong or last year's was. There was no new investment in the year. 

It is what we have classed a Crowdcube Zombie - going nowhere but not closed. Moving slowly and inextricably towards death but never getting there. Making a small living for the founder - Ms Other- Charges maybe.

So when Crowdcube produce their inevitable table of numbers to PRing their 'success' many companies like this one make up the bulk of that success. 

Crowdcube investors, 4 years out, have no way to claim loss relief and no way to exit. They too are tied to the Zombie as it helplessly stumbles the deserted streets.

Oh and of course this was all backed by Crowdcube and their FCA licence and no doubt heralded in their PR as part of their UKplc building exercise. Along with the inevitable use of EIS and or SEIS tax reliefs. A good job all round. Are we seriously going to put up with this? 

Monday, 24 September 2018

Kokoon - a labour of love as Crowdcube backed company still hasnt delivered KS backers goods.

Thought people might be amused by this - dare say the company will eventually get its shit together.

Someone on KS compiled the list of promises that Kokoon have made to backers to date - 

Kickstarter May-June 2015 – Product shipping February 2016 (7 months)
September update 2015 – Product shipping September 2016 (12 months)
January update 2016 – Product still shipping September 2016 (9 months)
April update 2016 – SDK release pre-launch after August 2016 (5 months)
May update 2016 – Tooling left before mass-market (4 months)
June update 2016 – Factory will give realistic shipping update (3 months)
July update 2016 – All units shipped 27th of February 2017 (7 months)
End of September 2016 – All units shipped 31st of March 2017 (6 months)
November update 2016 – Will need updated shipping estimates, when tooling starts, this will be more reliable and straightforward (4 months)
End of December 2016 – Shipping starts 16th of June 2017, very confident (6 months)
Beginning of April 2017 – Shipping starts 26th of June 2017 (3 months)
June 2017 – Golden Sample made, no problems – Shipping starts 15th of September 2017 (3 months)
End of July 2017 – On track – Shipping starts mid September 2017 (1,5 months)
September 2017 – Shipping starts November 2017 (2 months)
Early October 2017 – On track – Shipping starts November 2017 (1-2 months)
Mid October 2017 – On track – Shipping starts November 2017 (0,5 – 1,5 months)
Mid November 2017 – On track (-ish) – Shipping testing units end of November, Mass market within December 2017 (0,5 – 1,5 months)
December 2017 – Shipping testing units end of December, mass market January 2018 (1-2 months)
January 2018 – Tests will be passed, Mass manufacture April 2018 (4 months)
Mid February 2018 – On track – April 2018 (2,5-3,5 months)
End of March 2018 – Start slow mass manufacturing in May 2018 (2-3 months)
Early May 2018 – On track, slow mass manufacturing start end of May 2018 (1 month) [If ordering on website, to get in the first batch, june shipment]
Early June 2018 – Shipping to backers starts July (1-2 months) [If ordering on website, to get in the first batch, july shipment]
Late July 2018 – First mass production will start beginning of August (1 month)
August update - shipping starts in December/January 2019 (4-5 months)

Beware the numbers being used by Daily Dose on their current Crowdcube pitch.

Equity Crowdfunding only has one FCA rule to obey - do not mislead investors.

Well you should check carefully the numbers being used by Daily Dose in their second CC raise. You might be surprised by the real ones when you compare them to the claims and the original CC financials. What exactly does 'Since 2016, monthly turnover has increased by 1400%' mean? It certainly cant mean that the monthly average turnover is up by 1400% as the figures show this isnt so. Since 2016 the revenue figure is up around 650%. Now this is good viewed in isolation but it aint 1400% or even close. 

So does it mean that for the month of July 2018 ONLY, revenues were 1400% higher than they were in July 2016? Well yes that seems to be true. But really so what? And why dont they state that instead of making it sound as though turnover since 2016 has gone up 1400%. 

Well that may have something to do with the fact that the revenues for 2018 are around half what they said they would be. What about the numbers used to sell the equity 2 years ago? Well according to the figures they have used, the turnover has gone up from £90k to £573k, when it was projected to go to ~£1.2m by Aug 2018. (YE dates differ). A healthy profit of ~£200k is now a loss. 

How misleading do you have to be to be misleading? 

Are we surprised  - certainly not. This has been commonplace on Crowdcube since 2011 but we did think they were trying to do better. Clearly we were misled.  

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Revolut losses up at £15m - 7 times the number they used to get investors on board on Crowdcube.

Revolut, the challenger bank, lost £14.8m last year. As it raised £55m at the same time, and $250m this year, they are not in any immediate danger.

Revolut investors have had the chance to realise some of their gain - with a 19X ROI (Crowdcube's figure). This was part of the $250m raise in 2018.  Revolut switched to Seedrs after the first £1m raise on Crowdcube.

These losses come against a confusing picture over Brexit, where Revolut is now applying for a second EU licence and a large uplift in revenues to over £12m. The Crowdcube pitch showed £10m for the year, so the expenses and margins have taken a battering.

Revolut also PRinged that they were breakeven in 2018. The comment now is that this position is changing month on month. IE they are not in reality even close to BE. Who would have guessed it. 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Making bespoke office furniture has proved easier for Crowdcube funded Openesk , than making money.

Opendesk raised over £300k in 2014 on Crowdcube and then another £1.5m off platform. It has a long way to go to deliver what it said it would. 

In its 2014 Crowdcube pitch, OpenDesk boldly predicted a profit for YE Dec17 of £2.5m, on sales of £171m. Well the accounts filed for this period show a loss of £1m. We guess the turnover isn't £171m. Mind the Gap. 

In fact had they not chosen an accounting ploy, whereby corporation tax rebates on previous losses are included in current debtors, their balance sheet would be hanging by a thread. Whilst Im sure this accounting is perfectly legal, it makes absolutely no sense to me. This £166k in tax rebates will never materialise as cash; it will merely go against future profits - if they ever get there. Having it in current (ie due in the next 12 months) debtors is a nonsense given its current trading record. At the moment the graph shows the PBIT line heading in the wrong direction with increasingly large losses.

IAS 39 criteria must have been consulted here - in line with legal accounting requirements. What is the likelihood of this company making profits in the foreseeable future? Good question. If low then this £166k tax rebate should not be on their BS. 

Recent filings, showing various new Resolutions, one of which removes pre emption rights, suggests a new round is afoot. They will certainly be needing more cash.  

City Unscripted illustrates problem with Crowdcube model

Tour Guide specialists City Unscripted raised £145k on Crowdcube in 2016. It was listed as £200k. Hopes were expressed that they would be operating in over 100 cities by the end of 2017. Their current destination list is for 30.

New money raised has come in well below the projected figure and the company made a ~£100k loss for YE Dec17. Although this was against a projected £200k loss, with the extra investment encouraging the missing 70 city expansion.

This is now a common problem with Crowdcube funded companies. They fail to attract follow on funding, this thwarts growth and they just sit there. New investment for 2018 has not yet materialised and the spoken of revenues of over £3m for the year seem unlikely with just 30 cities.

The CC valuation of £1.7m post money has remained constant over the two years - on paper.

For your own safety please follow the Guide at all times.

Lingerie maker Blue Bella proves that stretching the lycra is easier than making money.

Blue Bella encouraged 664 Crowdcube investors to hand over almost £1m, just 20 months ago. In their lycra filled PD on Crowdcube, they showed flesh and profits for the YE Dec17 of £457k. 

Well the elastic has for now given way and the all pants are on the ground. The real loss for the year was £170k - a very long way from any profit. Is this a mere slip?

We wrote about then before here

There is no immediate reason to panic apart from the obvious one of standing there naked. The company has cash and seemingly a good brand. Like so many pitches on Crowdcube, they seem fantastic on paper but fail to deliver. What some might call pants.

Profits for YE Dec18, so just around the corner, will be £1.4m according to Crowdube. A major slip from this might also be called pants. Enough already. 

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Mr and Mrs Smith offering massive rewards to achieve funding on Crowdcube - is that good business?

The Mr and Mrs Crowdcube campaign is massive success - £4m raised on day one - most of it in private mode. So what about these rewards?

This campaign is offering all serious investors a 4% discount on spending as a minimum. But if you choose to invest £25k you get a load more. You get your £1000 off the next holiday (the 4%) but in addition you get a permanent discount of £400 pa forever. So lets assume you are a healthy 30 yo and you live to be 85 and go on hols each year (well at least one), then you might expect to get £400 X 55 years as a discount - or £22000. Plus the £1000 that makes £23000 of the £25k you invested. Lost opportunity costs and lack of ROI aside, that is some deal. And of course its not cash - its a discount against expenditure with Smith. But it's still a great deal.

It begs the Q, how is the company going to make a real ROI when it is handing back so much cash - are margins that great and if they are, it would suggest room for undercutting by competitors. And of course there is always the consideration that if the company were to fold, this would disappear.

And then on top of all of this - you get 30% of your investment back via EIS. So in effect a £25k investment now will give you a one off £1000 rebate against your next Smith outing, £7500 off your income tax bill, and £400 pa forever against future Smith outings. The usual vague warning about rewards valued over £1000 and EIS relief is issued. Beware.

So if the total number of £25k investments reaches say 100, it will cost Smith £100k initially and then £40k a year to service. Over 3 years that's £220k. At 8% you could borrow ~£1m for that, retain equity and lose the £40k pa liability. Isnt that a little crazy as a business proposition?

It is little wonder that their 1.5m million members have backed them - well some of them have. 1200 investors on board for £4m suggesting nearly all have taken up the £2500 or better. Or maybe the 1.5m is inclusive of a chunk of not so active members?

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Bidstack delivers 5X return for 66 Crowdcube investors.

We are not entirely sure what this means for the 66 Crowdcube investors who put in £130k in 2015 at a valuation of over £1m.

Addendum - We got this horribly wrong! Apologies, my stockbroking career was short and ended when I went to watch the Grateful Dead in Buffalo without permission. So it now appears that the CC shareholders exchanged their shares for new Bidstack plc shares at a ratio  - see comments for details. 66 CC shareholders who invested £130k in 2015 have seen a ~return of 5X if they trade their shars out at 6p - current price is under 6p. Which is good  - its not quite carling but it is good. 

We wrote about them before here - not in very glowing terms. Maybe some hat eating to do but the figures will only make sense after tomorrow. 

More to come. Anon if you want to post a polite comment on Bidstack this is the place to do it - not on a post about something completely different. Thanks.

PS - doing a little bit of casual digging - it appears that the smallest SHs in Bidstack Ltd - who came on board around the time of the CC completion, own 122 shares each. The minimum amount that you buy on CC is £10. But the newco IPO share price is 6p. So 122 shares would now cost £7.32 - which suggests that CC shareholders are now considerably worse off than they were in 2015. It's not scientific but I think the theory is correct. Anon would you like to comment?

PS - Ann Gloag - one of Scotland's richest women, has purchased over 3% of the new Bidstack plc today - a transaction involving almost 6m shares. We assume this part of the £3m plus IPO.  Is she a good judge? Price currently struggling at around 6p.

Two Crowdcube brewers struggle to deliver a full pint.

Seven Brothers Brewery and Bellfeild Brewery are both raising new funds - having come nowhere near to their Crowdcube projections. But they dont tell you that bit.

We have been here before  - in fact I think we have been stuck here for several years. When will platforms be forced to declare the full facts about previous raises? Im reminded of a mate's joke when he was served a short pint - he'd say to the barman - '' Do you think you could fit a double whisky in there?' To which the barmen would smile and say ''yes of course' as he reached for the Walkers. 'Well then' my friend would say 'stop passing that off as a pint and fill it to the top with beer'. We wouldnt put up with short pints so why do we put up with short information?

Im fine with companies missing projections - it happens. Although when it happens all the time it suggests something is wrong with the way they are creating the numbers. But then to pass off the actuals as progress, when they are only half of those recent projections - something is not right. You cant tell investors that your company is in good health when your revenue if £1m as opposed to the £2m you wanted. That is simply crazy. 

Both of these brewers know that have come in well short of the lines they set to gain investment previously. But in both cases that is ignored. Existing SHs will know the facts (well some will) but new guys who missed round one, will not. And they are being duped - with the help of the platform. They are being asked to believe the new pitch and the PD that goes with it. Yet they are not armed with the important information that these companies have failed to deliver on their original plans. In fact the picture painted is the exact opposite. 

And what of the valuations. Well Seven Brothers has now put itself out at £8m pre money (they are raising £500k). Back in 2016 it was valued at under a million when raising just £170k. Since then they have delivered around a half of the revenue they set themselves  - according to their own numbers for 2018. Projected profits for 2018 of £500k have now been invested in this progress - so that means losses. They also talk of a new trading platform so investors can sell their shares. Come on guys - who is going to take that seriously? 

We have the real figures and you would be surprised just how far away these two are from them. So be aware of that before you invest. It is entirely possible that teething problems have now been ironed out and they they will go on to be successful. But it helps to know the facts. 

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Brewdog struggle to complete their £22m on Crowdcube despite much fudging of figures.

We all like a nice fudge cake. But there really isnt any room for one in financial reporting. 

The current Brewdog raise now live on Crowdcube is highly misleading when it comes to the money that is actually being raised by the platform; as opposed to Brewdog's own pitch platform.

With only 15 days to go, the target has not yet been reached and by our calculations, using, it has to be said, the dodgy information supplied by Crowdcube, they have only raised ~£392k on the platform. There is another ~ £150k to go.  For Brewdog on Crowdcube that is astonishing. Maybe the lights have finally been switched on and people can see that this is a rich valuation at £1.8bn, from which its hard to see a good return.

It would have been so much more honest and upfront if the brewer had opted for a simple £500k or £1m raise on Crowdcube - no fudging just a straight number. Instead they have stated a target of £22m of which the company has on its own, raised a figure that changes each day as the brewer has kept its own raise running. So it is almost impossible to see what they are doing on Crowdcube.

The forum is full of queries about how this is laid out and how that valuation is justified. It just smacks of dishonesty and if this fails to reach £22m (which is unlikely as this is BD) it will serve them right. Whatever happened to the real punks of brewing?

Monetaflex calls it a day and is dissolved

In what is becoming the norm for Crowdcube funded companies, Monetaflex raised £165k on Crowdcube did very little and has now been dissolved.

We have written about them before here  . It has taken well over a year for the final closure - a year in which investors have not been able to claim their loss relief. The CEO has moved on to create a similar business without those burdensome SHs.

Plenty more in the queue.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Crowdrating and Businessagent join up.

We will be honest - we dont rate either of these outfits. So maybe teaming up is a good idea. Both fail to get to the real information about companies using ECF as they both use quasi AI, which has been poorly created and skates over important information.

We wrote about this over a year ago - here

BA is now rebranding - or tinkering at the edges. It makes large losses. Its information is pitiful. It claims that Crowdcube for example has had 50 failures and 6 successful exits. Well that simply is wrong - it is in the right ball park and that pretty well sums them up. If you want information in the right ball park - a very large ball park - then they are for you. If you want accurate information on what is really happening, then forget it.

By putting two poor business together, I suppose you will end up with one larger poorer business. Time will tell. It is unfortunately exactly the opposite of what ECF requires right now. We need more clarity and more information, that is precise and accurate. We will be delivering this here over the next few months.

Watch this space. 

Directors of Escape the City take their advice and jump off the loss making Crowdcube funded platform

Following yet more disappointing results for what used to be a Crowdcube gold plated success story, 3 out of the 4 board directors of Escape the City have left this month. 

Escape has never made any money  - just losses. Now much of the cash is gone. Whats next? Well from the recent departures one might guess either closure or rebirth. 

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Crowdcube success Wrap it Up look to raise another £500k on falling sales and closed restaurants

Wrap it Up have raised £760k on Crowdcube. Now they are looking for more cash as their business struggles to get even close to the projections used to sell that equity. Another typical day at Crowdcube, you might say. 

We have written about these guys before here

January to June 2018 sales fell back from the same period in 2017 - annualised, the revenue for 2018 looks likely to be around £5m. Projected revenues for the company back in 2015, showed £6m for 2017 and at a growth rate of 50% pa would have brought £9m for 2018. So someway off reality. 

We wait to see what valuation they come up with for this new raise but it has to be lower than 2015 - unless of course they use Crowdcube. 

Without the money, it looks like a bumpy ride for the company and its investors. Debt is at over £500k. As they cant really provide much in the way of hope for 2019 and beyond, why would anyone put more into this outfit unless the valuation is sensible? The company made a £230k loss in 2017 and with turnover down in 2018, the best bet is for a similar loss or a greater loss for 2018. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Gohenry limp back to Crowdcube for more cash please

Gohenry raised over £3m on Crowdcube 2 years ago  - now they are back for more. So how is this kiddies bank control done in the meantime?

Im with investors here - this idea seemed good to me, as many of your showed in 2016. But they promised a lot when they sold you over £3m in shares. Have they delivered?

If you read this typical nonsense from Samantha at Crowdfund Insider, then you would think they have blown their targets to pieces - https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2018/09/138874-digital-banking-solution-gohenry-set-to-return-to-crowdcube/

But as you should know by now, anything written by Sam is nonsense or certainly poorly researched. Maybe she really works for Crowdcube Insider?

Gohenry said they would be turning over in excess of £15m by 2018 and £37m by YE March 2019. Well according to Sam they reached £8m this year. Whoops. 

So can you expect a downround on Crowdcube? Well common sense says yes, but it is unlikely. Crowdcube doesnt do common sense.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Chilango cut losses to £1.4m

Chilangos may have turned a corner. Losses for YE March 18 are half last years and some of the dead wood has been removed as part of that loss. New ideas have been launched. The next 12 months will be critical.

Of course you can kiss goodbye to all the Crowdcube projections and promises of large profits by now. This has been a company on life support. The 50 restaurants by 2021, as per Crowdcube's 2015 pitch when they had 7, looks a little far fetched with the current number on 11. The £20m turnover for the last year is in fact £10m. This is what an immature Luke Lang had to say about it in 2015 when it raised over £3m against a target of just £1m. The proposal actually turned out to be nonsense.

“As before, Chilango has excited investors with the passion and high quality of its proposal and Eric Partaker’s video pitch particularly grabbed people’s attention as it was so vibrant. Also, the company is backed by a lot of top execs from high profile brands in the hospitality sector and that’s always reassuring for our subscribers.”

Recent funding suggests that the valuation is around £42m whereas in 2015 investors were persuaded to buy at a valuation of £43m post money. There has been some dilution since 2015. 

The company reports that the £2m Bond it issued via Crowdcube in 2014, is coming due for repayment but that a large percentage of holders have agreed to extend the date on for a few months by which time the company has plans to issue a new bond - good luck with that. 

Still the patient is alive and showing some signs of life. 

Who knows what to believe when it comes to Cauli Rice

The latest news from Cauli Rice, now Fullgreen, is fantastic. Literally, considering the atrcocious reviews the product is still getting.

Cauli is about to be all over Australia, it is all over the USA and the UK factory cant cope with the order volumes. That is fantastic news. It raised various amounts on Crowdcube over the years.

So we thought we would take a look at reviews - which in the past have been poor to put it politely. Well the last review on Ocado is 'Horrid' from a week ago. This accompanies various other descriptions in the same vein with the occasional 5 star. Overall rating under 3/5.

Another of their products on Amazon and in $, so assume its reviewed by US customers, gets lower marks.

Sainsburys last two reviews are both one star and make amusing reading.

Waitrose - 5 reviews 2 five star and 3 one star. Not great.

So how is it possible to be going Fullgreen ahead with capacity management problems when people appear to hate the product. We have no idea.

Crowdcube acquire a software package, Supdate, to mend a cultural breakdown.

When you have a problem that needs fixing, the first thing to do is to identify the source of the issue. Sticking a plaster on an open wound may hide it from plain sight, but it wont heal it. 

Crowdcube have a reputation for appalling shareholder comms - that is not us speaking but the shareholders who contact us to find out what has happened to their companies. Being given, we have no details on the deal, a software package that sends out automatic comms will not help them. They have to want to send real information on the companies they help fund - and they really dont give a fig after they have received their commission. 

We have also been told about a recent instance where Crowdcube actively slagged off another major rival, with what appears to us to be dubious facts, in order to take away a potential client. That is highly unprofessional as Im sure most readers would agree but is much more in line with the Crowdcube ethos than reporting to shareholders. 

Of course PRinging this news of their recent 'purchase' to the world may well ease the pressure the FCA must now be putting on them for their failure to keep shareholders informed and the atrocious ongoing record for failed businesses.  

Monday, 10 September 2018

Righteous - one of Crowdcube's shining stars - hands the reins on.

Righteous has been handed over to new management. The Harris's, who founded the company and then founded Cauli Rice, both funded via Crowdcube, have eventually given up on the salad dressing brand and resigned from the company. New directors have been appointed. 

Crowdcube shareholders were, last year, given shares in Cauli as an alternative and in the run up to the virtual collapse of the Righteous brand. Listings that were the powerhouse of the initial sales proved only temporary as the big supermarkets squeezed the salad dressings off their shelves or created their own brands. We said this would happen way back in 2014. 

What the Harris's failed to grasp was that initial listings in these massive chains are of no use - they slaughter margins, put massive strains on logistics and eventually wither and die. Pull through sales are what you need and without then the supermarkets will delist you in the flick of a button. That is exactly what happened with Righteous. What was promoted on Crowdcube as the Holy Grail turned out to be the worst move they made. 

We really hope they dont make the same mistake with Cauli, although they have gone down that track again, so only time will tell. 

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Dreams are made of this - Lakes Distillery launches PR IPO management

The Lakes Distillery Co raised £1.6m on Crowdcube at the end if 2017. They will be an English Whisky producer - given time. Now the rumour mill is in overdrive as they release both PR barrels - an IPO before the end of 2018.

The previous PR batch - the investment by the Finnish giant Eera with the issue of 2.5m new shares seems to have evaporated - which can happen with distilling. Recent investments are on the very small side although the valuation from a year ago appears to gone up 10X . It is difficult to tell.

One thing is for sure, the company has a habit of slightly exaggerating its progress - listings with Tesco for example turn to be a local listing in only 19 stores - although of course this may expand. YoY revenue growth of 80%, as stated on Crowdcube, is now reported in the FT as 43% and if you do the math the total revenue of £9m for 2015/16 and 17 as declared in the Crowdcube pitch, doesnt really compute with the 2017 revenue figure of £4.3m on 43% growth from 2016 if you believe their 80% figure. 

They also claim to have sold the most expensive bottle of new whisky. So what?

So an IPO raising just £15m before the end of 2018 - given the current UK climate and all. Likely - na. Just more PR to promote their brand whilst they wait for the whisky to do its thing. And do they think that a whisky with zero heritage, distilled in England of all places, is going to compete with the real thing. Pull the other one. Tourism maybe, - whisky, no chance.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Tiosk put their flagship unit up for sale. Another Crowdcube success story.

Is this the end of Tiosk and Crowdcube investors' cash? Has anyone told these investors? Does anyone care?

We wrote about Tiosk recently - essentially they have gone bust already unless they can find new cash. This would seem to confirm that. They never got back to us when we asked for a comment. Id imagine the two girls who set this sup have moved on leaving that is behind. 

you can read out last posts here. It sums why Crowdcube is such a farce. As to the rewards - we just hope you have had your fill before the final bell tolls. 

Monday, 3 September 2018

Busy month for Crowdcube funded companies - will they show any improvement on their dismal performances?

September is a busy month for company filings. We have a whole host of Crowdcube funded companies lined up to reveal their accounts for YE Nov and Dec 17. 

UPDATE - we notice that recent lack of progress in completions has pushed Crowdcube into sheer madness with the new launch of an old Brewdog campaign - just to make things even less/more 'misleading'. Ridiculous boys.  Doesn't mention the disaster with your bottles anywhere does it? 

Of course not all of them are in yet and some will no doubt not get round to it until the New Year but here are some of them - there isn't any good news.

Lovespace                    -    Projected £7m profit is in fact a loss of £1.5m - another one.

London Doctors Clinic -   Projected loss of £620k is in fact a loss of £1.1m

Gripit                            -    Projected loss of £240k is in fact a loss of £1.78m

Gamesgrb                     -    Projected profit of £2.57m is in fact a loss of £100k

Emoneyhub (Justus)    -    Projected profit of £2.3m is in fact a loss £280k

Cupris                          -    Projected loss of £464k is in fact a loss of £323k failed to raise extra £1m

Cornerstone Brands     -    Projected profit of £650k is in fact a loss of £3.5m

Clear Water Revival    -    Projected profit of £550k is in fact a profit of £46k

Chargebox                   -    Projected profit of ~£1m is in fact profit of £100k

Cake Tech -------------------Sold out with no money for CC shareholders------------

1854 Media                 -   Projected profit of £210k is in fact loss of £113k

Big Sofa ---------------------Sold out with little or no money for CC shareholders-----------

Bellfield Brewery       -   Projected profit od £550k is in fact loss of £209k



Workabode-----------------Due £7.5m profit 2018 and no idea how they will get to this------

Vakay-----------------------Site down and didnt raise £500k extra funding. 

Estatesdirect.com----------Sold to Pels Family Office. CC Shareholders get 70p/£100.

Earwig                        -    Projected profit of £429k is in fact a loss of £100k

7 Bros Brewery          -    Projected profit of £267k is in fact a loss of £70k

Righteous                   -    Projected profit of £300k is in fact a loss of £60k

And so it goes on and on and will keep doing so, unless Crowdcube make a better attempt at promoting serious businesses run by people with some hope of getting there. EIS and SEIS could be used to help with this - but then the FCA and UK Gov have no real interest in promoting meaningful SME growth long term. Short term numbers are key and they show a rise in SME start ups. Yipee. 

More to follow as they file but Im not expecting any of them to get even close to their ridiculous Crowdcube figures.