What made the success of your campaign?
Several things: first, my company and my product had already been launched. Second, I had already achieved some revenue. Investors were also reassured by the presentation of my project, which I had optimised for meeting Business Angels. Third, the communication strategy elaborated with SparkUp was great.
What would you tell entrepreneurs who are still hesitating to use SparkUp?
SparkUp is a very good way to find investors and there is no risk using it. It can even be very useful since your company will grow much faster if the fundraising is successful. That’s what happened for me. I entered the large retailers’ market thanks to social funding. But it was not only about the money I raised: I’ve been given very good advice to optimize my company’s performance, and it made me much more confident to face the challenges of that particular market. Plus, I received great feedback. And the Sparkup team was there for me during the whole thing, there was always someone keen to support me and help me with my campaign. I really think every entrepreneur should give it a try, they have everything to gain!
Why did you decide to trust SparkUp?
I had already made a funding attempt via crowdfunding. I realized that it was meaningful to raise funds this way and since I possess a large network, it was an interesting and useful way to mobilize it. So, yes, my network’s size helped in my decision. In addition, my bank advisor advised me to call on SparkUp, which also convinced me.
At what stage of your company’s development did you decide to raise funds?
I created my own company, pure&simple by ACE in September 2010. The company has today 5 years of existence and enters large retail. To enter in this market, I needed funds for the development in France and in Europe: especially for the promotion on sales places, a press campaign and the creation of a digital B to C multilingual website. This is why I decided to raise funds.
How much did you raise this way?
I raised around €38,000 thanks to the equity crowdfunding campaign.
Did you have any concern before stepping into the equity crowdfunding campaign?
Even if my network is important I wasn’t sure that it might fund my campaign. However, I knew I had nothing to lose and it was worth trying. In addition, some friends thought the initiative was interesting and it was probable that people from this field also would want to invest.
How many people did you contact? How did you do that?
I contacted almost 2,000 people thanks to the SparkUp personalized communication tools: the e-mailing and the behavioural follow-up. After that, I had the most interested ones on the phone. I also even met them in person. Among these people, there were friends, customers, partners, Business Angels and institutional investors.
What was the average ticket invested? Were there large disparities in the investment?
The average ticket was around €4,000. There were important gaps between the amounts invested. While some invested €500, others invested €10,000.
What could have caused the fundraising to fail?
Some people were not interested in my project, which is part of the game. What was problematic however, is that it took a lot of time to receive the checks from the investors. Several believed I had abandoned the project and thus backed out. Some others changed their mind because the 15th of June had passed and they couldn’t benefit from the fiscal advantages on the ISF declaration anymore. I lost more than €10,000 because of it. I could have raised more thanks to the campaign. But this unfortunate event taught me a good lesson. I know that if I start a new campaign with SparkUp, I would collect the investors' checks immediately to avoid making the same mistake.
What made your campaign successful?
Several elements worked in my favor. The company and the product already existing, it was easier to convince investors. The fact of having a turnover also had a positive effect on my crowdfunding campaign. Moreover, the investors have been reassured by the project presentation that I had structured for my meetings with Business Angels. Finally, the communication strategy led by SparkUp was very good.
What kind or relations (family, friends, professional contacts) were the most important during your crowdfunding campaign?
Whether it is my family, my friends or my professional contacts, everyone went for the pure&simple by ACE adventure. But those who brought more funds were people from my professional network. There are also Business Angels who helped me start my fundraising. Aside from financial contributions, some investors also allowed me to benefit from their network, which was a huge help.
["Professional Investors","Professional Network","Friends","Contacts of Contacts","Family"]