Smith initially set out to raise £250,000 through equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube but doubled this in just two days.Estates Direct is an estate agency firm which charges a fixed fee to sell or let a property – regardless of value. Smith said: “We decided on crowdfunding via Crowdcube because it would allow us to open it up to public investors for a small stake in the business for the first time. We clearly underestimated the interest, but delighted we doubled our original target.” He plans to use the money to expand Estates Direct’s national reach through franchising.
The news will add veracity to claims that crowdfunding is increasingly regarded as a legitimate alternative to traditional forms of finance. Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang said: “When the founder of Poundland, the Chairman of Gieves & Hawkes and Michel Roux Jr come to us to secure funding, you realise just how much the crowdfunding market has matured.” “It’s now a serious source of investment and we’re proud to attract such high calibre interest.” Related: Ten tips for a successful crowdfunding round
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