How crowdfunding is disrupting the banks


Traditionally, to raise capital, companies would turn to banks or investors but this is changing and the new kid on the block is making massive waves and disrupting the very foundations of the banking system.

Crowd funding for those who are not familiar with the term, is when a company turns to multiple small investors to raise capital – normal everyday people with money to invest. Investment can be as small as ten pounds up to tens of thousands.

This method is becoming popular as it allows the company to get multiple smaller investors, often in their thousands, who then become brand evangelists and actively promote the brand that they have just bought into. The benefit is also both ways as on some platforms, the investors are getting equity in the company, so when the company grows, their investment grows and the overall return can be massively higher than with traditional savings accounts.

It’s easy to see how this is an excellent model for both businesses and investors, the more investors, the more brand campaigners and the more they influence their friends and family, leading to a better return; this is not something you would get from a bank and it’s an amalgamation of investment and marketing, ideal for developing businesses.

One platform that offers equity in return for investment is Seedrs, a UK based investment platform. It is a platform that TanOrganic, the world’s first eco-certified self-tan has turned to as a means of raising capital to continue its global expansion.

In fact, TanOrganic is the first beauty company ever to appear on Seedrs, and one of only a handful of Irish companies that have passed the stringent application process to appear on Seedrs, another being Thermo Tents, the world’s first thermally and acoustically insulated tent.

In terms of Irish companies TanOrganic and Thermo Tents, crowd funding has transformed the startup world by giving entrepreneurs a platform to leverage their friends, family and existing base of supporters to raise investment.

It also gives ordinary people the opportunity to invest in the startup they choose and to enjoy the excitement of being part of dynamic, high-growth businesses; and with the help of friends, family and community get their chosen businesses growing and in turn growing their investment.

Commenting on the benefits of crowd funding for high potential start-ups, CEO and TanOrganic founder, Noelle O’Connor, said: “The past year has been a monumental year for TanOrganic, the world’s first eco-certified self-tan. The demand for the premium quality organic product has been unprecedented and it has already sold out twice in 2015.” “We have some extremely innovative projects in progress including the world’s first completely natural SPF. To facilitate this growth, TanOrganic turned to equity crowd funding platform Seedrs to raise capital for this expansion and the campaign officially kicked off last month.

O’Connor continued: “With the sun care market being the fastest-growing sector in the personal care cosmetic market growing at 6.5 per cent per annum with a global value of €7bn+ in 2013, the opportunity for a new patented natural ingredient that can be used in all sunscreens is clear to be seen.

“The potential for a totally natural sunscreen is enormous and it will completely revolutionise the sunscreen market, not to mention the massive benefits to marine life and the environment. This R&D project coupled with the ever increasing expansion has led us at TanOrganic to source funds through crowd funding with Seedrs. This is a very exciting time for TanOrganic and I would like nothing better than to share this journey with our customers and fans.”

TanOrganic is the first ever cosmetic brand featured on Seedrs and this in itself is a massive achievement, as over 85% of applicants are rejected. TanOrganic has already generated a tremendous buzz on the platform, and within less that 12 hours of its public launch, it has been funded by over 31 per cent of the investment sought. O’Connor added: “TanOrganic has such loyal and engaged customers that we knew giving them the opportunity to realise and become a part of TanOrganic’s vision was the ideal way to go.” Once funded, TanOrganic plans to implement a three-pronged growth strategy, focusing on business development, marketing and public relations.

Speaking on his company’s success, Thermo Tents CEO Derek O’Sullivan said crowd funding was of huge importance to his now global business. “Crowdfunding was perfect for our Thermo Tents business. It built marketing momentum, we gained market validation and exposure from a successful campaign. It ticked all the boxes”.

”Over the course of the Thermo Tents Seedrs campaign in the UK, the Irish company raised £70,000 sterling and is using this investment to scale up the company worldwide.

“It was a huge success for us and in addition the crowd-funding ethos is hugely admirable as it is built around helping new business get a foothold, so I would recommend it to every businessperson and every start-up”