Raising Finance

Crowdfunding to fuel Welsh business growth as Seedrs commits to Wales

3 min read

11 June 2015

Former deputy editor

Aided by Cardiff Chinese restaurant Hokkei, which was founded by two MasterChef finalists, Welsh businesses are on the verge of raising over £1m through Seedrs. The equity crowdfunding service has now revealed a commitment to companies in Wales and declared the milestone will only be the beginning.

Seedrs secured a new recruit on 8 June, arriving in the form of Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. It was announced the Scottish tennis star would invest regularly and back firms in health, sport and wearable tech sectors.

Murray, said: “I’ve always been interested in investment, and being able to get involved in an innovative way to help support British startups really appealed to me.”

Now Seedrs is out to support the Welsh business community, as Cardiff-based restaurant Hokkei is looking to raise £275,000 through its platform.

Interestingly, the Chinese takeaway was created by MasterChef finalists Dale Williams and Larkin Cen. They’ll likely be hoping their venture is more successful than a fellow contestant whose shed-based eatery is under threat of closure – although other MasterChef contenders have had a significant amount of business success.

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While there is no shortage of Chinese restaurants, Williams and Cen hope to forge a niche by removing the common opinion that takeaways are bad for you and are offering 25 per cent of the company.

Go Compare co-founder Hayley Parsons is among over 180 Hokkei investors and has contributed £50,000 for a 4.5 per cent share of the business. The company plans to expand with three new venues, opening in Canton, Cardiff Bay and Whitchurch.

With Hokkei already beyond a £225,000 raise, it puts Seedrs on track to top the £1m milestone for Welsh crowdfunding after six successful rounds to date.

“We’re proud to be on the cusp of raising £1 million for Wales based businesses. Wales has become a hotbed for innovative start-ups and these businesses have selected Seedrs to raise investment because of our ‘equity crowdfunding done properly’ approach,” said Jeff Lynn, CEO at Seedrs.

“We’re hoping to use this milestone, and our new relationship with Impact Innovations, as a launch pad to raise more capital for Welsh businesses and believe that equity crowdfunding can help these companies to fulfil their growth ambitions.”

While Go Compare’s Parsons has taken a liking to Hokkei, Swansea tech startup Veeqo secured £700,000 via Seedrs and had the backing of New Look founder Tom Singh. Elsewhere, image sharing network for animal fans Fuzmo, which is based in Pontypridd, snubbed a Dragons’ Den offer for Seedrs.

The crowdfunding firm supported 110 deals in 2014 and will likely look to increase that in 2015, especially with the new focus on Wales.