Raising Finance

The top 15 most oversubscribed equity crowdfunding projects

9 min read

21 November 2014

We took a look at the 15 most popular equity-based crowdfunded projects by looking at the percentage funded.

Since arriving on the scene three or four years ago, equity crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular way to not only raise crucial growth finance but also market a product and develop a core user community.

To reach targets in a competitive space, pitches must be informative, inspirational and realistic. A combination of background information, interactive content and core financials must be successfully blended.

Real Business has done research into some of the runaway pitches, identifying the ones which went above and beyond what was initially identified as a target.

(1) Giftgaming

Target: £10,000, 2.00 per cent equity

Result: £37,400, 7.09 per cent equity (374 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: October 2014

The pitch

Cambridge-based GiftGaming is an in-game advertising platform for brands. Its technology provides a way for these brands to provide in-game incentives to players in the hope that it will foster loyalty, engagement and retention.

Set up in 2013, the business is supported by Accelerate Cambridge, Cambridge Judge Business School.

With 50 per cent of games free-to-play, but only 1.5 per cent of players making in-app purchases, GiftGaming is linking brands and players so that adverts get air time and games access in-game purchases.

(2) Seedrs

Target: £750,000, 12.66 per cent equity offered

Result: £2,583,420, 33.30 per cent equity offered (345 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: January 2014

The pitch

Using its own platform to raise growth capital, Seedrs utilised equity crowdfunding as both an endorsement of what it was doing and so the business could fund a pan-European expansion.

Founded by Jeff Lynn and Carlos Silva in 2010 to help start-ups access early-stage capital, Seedrs works by entering a subscription agreement with every investee company. It then holds and administers the shares of the company as a nominee for the underlying investors.

Seedrs recently announced that it had acquired Junction Investments, a California-based online investment platform, to use as part of its expansion in the US.

(3) Frame Again

Target: £20,000, 3.17 per cent equity

Result: £61,950, 9.21 per cent equity (310 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: July 2014

The pitch

After an unsuccessful visit to Dragons’ Den, where the founding duo were actually offered jobs by Peter Jones, Frame Again turned to crowdunding.

The business, which was set up by Londoners Jake Hayman and Joe Kenyon, allows customers to print and frame a photo before having it delivered to their door the next day. 

Aimed at a generation of Instagram and smartphone users, Frame Again quickly moved past its failed attempt to secure investment on TV and, like many others on crowdfunding platforms, used the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to entice backers.

(4) Compare and Share

Target: £50,000, 6.25 per cent equity

Result: £151,570, 18.95 per cent equity (303 per cent over funded)

Platform: Crowdcube

When: December 2013

The pitch

As a comparison marketplace for peer-to-peer and asset sharing platforms, Compare and Share become the first company listed on Crowdcube to triple its first investment target.

Backers including Oliver Rothschild chipped into the round (with a £25,000 contribution), and Compare and Share is now on a growth curve using the finance.

Fort its asset sharing platform offering, Compare and Share aggregates services such as Airbnb and Zipcar.

(5) Bike HUD

Target: £9,980, 1.64 per cent equity

Result: £29,560, 4.71 per cent equity (296 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: February 2014

The pitch

Bike HUD is a heads- up display (HUD) system that shows motorcycle riders information such as speed, engine revs and gear selection.

Finance was being sought so that Bike HUD could produce a comsumer-ready product. It has been esigned to be fitted to any motorcycle, and alert the rider to special conditions using numbers and graphics visible on the in-built screen.

Read more on equity crowdfunding:

(6) Cell Guidance Systems

Target: £100,000, 5.00 per cent equity

Result: £290,910, 14.55 per cent equity (290 per cent over funded)

Platform: Crowdcube

When: October 2014

The pitch

Cambridge Guidance Systems (CGS) has been around for four years and has developed a set of tools that help with developing stem cell treatments and medical research.

The crowdfunding pitch was launched so that the Cambridge-based business could invest in new research and development staff, and the business now has 139 individual backers.

On the back of its successful and oversubscribed fundraising, CGS was named the Crowdcube Tech business of the year at the beginning of 2014.

(7) Property Moose

Target: £60,000, 6.00 per cent equity

Results: £169,010, 16.90 per cent equity (281 per cent over funded)

Platform: Crowdcube

When: February 2014

The pitch

As one of many businesses attempting to simplify the process of buying, selling and renting property, Property Moose has developed an offering that allows users to invest in a range of properties from £500 and upwards.

Using the same equity crowdfunding model, Property Moose raised its own funds on Crowdcube and saw huge interest in its offering.

The service is aimed at investors who are unable to fund their own buy-to-let investment as well as existing landlords who are looking to diversify portfolios.

(8) Landbay

Target: £41,456, 2.96 per cent equity

Result: £114,403, 7.76 per cent equity (276 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: June 2014

The pitch

For borrowers trying to find a buy-to-let mortgage, Landbay claims to provide competitive rates and a faster application process than banks and building societies would provide.

The company can be classified as a peer-to-peer finance platform and allows users to make investments as small as £100 from those looking to make better returns.

Landbay was founded by John Goodall and Gray Stern, who have experience in recruitment and property finance.

(9) Curiosity Kills

Target: £20,000, 7.41 per cent equity

Result: £54,870, 18.00 per cent equity (274 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: October 2014

The pitch

As a reflection of where crowdfunding was first directed at, Curiosity Kills is a special purchase vehicle which needed funds to finance the production of a film called “Welcome to Curiosity”.

Whereas other projects used the rewards-based crowdfunding system on sites such as Kickstarter, Curiosity Kills became the UK’s first fully equity crowdfunded feature.

Actors from the likes of Game of Thrones and The Inbetweeners were secured, and the project showed what can be secured without the backing of a production house.

(10) Enistic

Target: £125,000, 5.55 per cent equity

Result: £340,860, 13.63 per cent equity (272 per cent over funded)

Platform: Crowdcube

When: May 2014

The pitch

Enistic provides a platform for technologies and services in the world’s energy markets, with a combination of hardware and software coming together.

Built on the assumption that organisations should be able to save up to 20 per cent off of energy bills by improving the way in which energy is managed through investment in new measures, its tools aid this process.

A total of 205 people backed the Oxford-based business, which interestingly enough only offered A Shares through the process.

Read more on equity crowdfunding:

(11) Lovespace

Target: £600,000, 13.00 per cent equity

Result: £1,562,960, 28.02 per cent equity (260 per cent over funded)

Platform: Crowdcube

When: May 2014

The pitch

(12) The Sleeping Room

Target: £10,000, 4.17 per cent equity

Result: £25,680, 10.05 per cent equity (257 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: May 2014

The pitch

(13) Chapel Down Group

Target: £1,667,506, 6.48 per cent equity

Result: £3,953,819, 14.11 per cent equity (237 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: October 2014

The pitch

(14) East End Manufacturing

Target: £108,000, 10.71 per cent equity

Result: £249,270, 24.72 per cent equity (230 per cent over funded)

Platform: Crowdcube

When: February 2014

The pitch

(15) Torch

Target: £50,000, 10.00 per cent equity

Result: £112,500, 20.00 per cent equity (225 per cent over funded)

Platform: Seedrs

When: November 2014

The pitch

Read more on equity crowdfunding: