What made your campaign successful?
I would say what made our campaign successful was our regular communication with our networks. It enabled us to reinforce our links with them, to grow the visibility of our product and to attract more investors. I also think that the media coverage of our concept over the last 6 years contributed to increasing the visibility of our product with the general public. In fact, we have collected over 300 press articles, TV and radio interviews about us!
Would you recommend crowdfunding with SparkUp?
Yes, SparkUp is absolutely worth looking into. They are different to other methods of financing as they allow the use of a resource we all have: our network. Without this communication with our contacts, it would have taken us much longer to find the funding that we needed now to develop our business and we would have probably found less. In fact what is surprising is to discover that the people who were most interested in our business, were the ones we expected the least.
Why did you decide to try crowdfunding with SparkUp?
After having tried different ways of financing, my associate and I came to the conclusion that the best method was via our network. SparkUp has also understood this and that whilst equity crowdfunding platforms are happy to bring a community of investors together who have no link with the project or their founders, they are not relevant for a small number of overall projects. SparkUp’s strength lies in their ability to communicate in a personalised and professional way with the different entities of a company. At what stage of your company’s development did you decide to try crowdfunding? We needed finance, before our second fundraising. It’s necessary to know that in robotics the cycles are long, more than 5 years to build a relevant offer. So we needed to develop our business model to our prospects and customers. Today, we don’t just sell the robot but hectares of vineyards maintained with herds of robots.
How much did you raise with this method? What were the conditions?
Thanks to our campaign with SparkUp, we raised 200k€ on our own terms.
What amounts were invested and how many investors took part?
14 people invested in our product for an average amount of 13k€. Half of our investors were already shareholders in Vitirover and we now have a new round of investors who come from the personal network of our investors, our own professional and personal network, as well as that of Vitirover.
Who did you contact?
The people we contacted come mainly from our social media networks and that of Vitirover: 2450 people from LinkedIn, 400 from Twitter, 400 from Facebook, my associate’s network, our clients, prospects, shareholders etc. We also contacted professionals from the wine industry in order to identify investors with an interest in the sector.
Did your investors provide more than financial support?
No, not necessarily, except for one of our oldest shareholders who had already put us in contact with an important industrialist in our sector who has farms of solar panels. This meeting could result in a partnership to generate new business.
What would you say to entrepreneurs who hesitate to call on SparkUp?
I would say what I’ve already said : the network is what makes a campaign successful! For that SparkUp is the most relevant solution that I’ve found and tested. I also appreciated working with SparkUp as their team provided real support, they made suggestions, were dynamic and did everything they could to make our campaign a success.
["Network of partners","Historical Investors","Professional Network of partners"]