The company raised the cash with equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube’s new mini bond option, which is aimed at more established businesses and was launched two weeks ago. It allows companies to raise £1m+ by selling non-transferable, unsecured mini bonds.
The River Cottage Bond, which allowed private investors to make an initial investment of £500 or more, and pays out 7% fixed interest per annum, will allow the company to expand its award-winning chain of restaurants.
Bond-holders also get 10% off at River Cottage’s three Canteens in Axminster, Bristol and Plymouth and free River Cottage membership.
Fearnley-Whittingstall, now River Cottage’s creative director, said: “We’re committed to helping people eat amazing food and this investment opportunity means we can continue to do that to more people in more places. We’re passionate about our business and we want our investors to be as well.”
Rob Love, the firm’s co-MD, said: “We’re thrilled that the River Cottage Bond was so well received by investors.
“I am a huge advocate of crowdfunding and this new innovation from Crowdcube helps reduce the cost and complexity of raising finance and provides an effective way for more established brands, like River Cottage, to raise growth funding without the banks.”
The mini bond option was launched by Crowdcube two weeks ago with London Mexican restaurant chain Chilango’s “Burrito Bond”, which has so far raised £600,000.
Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang told Real Business that the bonds were aimed at established growing businesses who may have been less inclined towards equity crowdfunding.
Today he said: “It’s been an exciting time for disrupting the mini-bond market – Chilango’s Burrito Bond was the first to launch and now the River Cottage Bond.
“We’re determined to make investing more accessible, affordable and rewarding, whilst giving established brands an effective way to source expansion capital and engage with their customers in a more meaningful manner. “
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