Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Look to the future with Crowdcube's newest campaign from Chocolate enthusiasts in York

A new chocolate facility is to open in York. The final £250k for the project will be raised on Crowdcube starting next week. We did some digging.

The outline plans seems ok and the girl behind them has done some good things with her PR. But the press so far have failed to mention the simple fact that the business she has run since 2011, York Cocoa House  Ltd, is loss making and has a large negative balance on its 2015 accounts. The 2016 ones are due in September 17 so I would certainly want to see those. The company did raise a small sum at the start of 2017 and has gathered various bits of funding from local sources. Up until this, they had had no equity investment. 

It would be typical of CC to ignore this fact as irrelevant. And I dont doubt she will raise the money based on her rewards, who can resist good chocolate, and friends. But is it a good idea? It certainly is not scalable and to date, all she has proven is how to lose cash. You would expect her business after 6 years trading, to at least be at BE.

As you would expect the valuation for the new factory business, yet to be commissioned, is typical Crowdcube fantasy. Expect this come to come down if you dont all do your usual impersonation of a lemming. 

This one is a very good example for why all ECF campaigning companies should be required to produce full accounts for 2 years prior and at least 2 years afterwards. 

Anyway, off for week or so and will look forward to the full pitch when it goes live.   

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Why cant Crowdcube and Beerbods be honest in the new campaign?

Beerbods raised £150k on Crowdcube in 2014. Their projections were burnt in 2015. Now they are back. But all of the previous promises have been forgotten; by them at any rate.

We have been waiting for the Beerbods campaign to go live in the hope that the misleading information in their pitch deck, which we saw last week, would not be repeated in the Crowdcube pitch. Well now it has gone live and it's very disappointing. We wrote them before here

The 2014 projections showed revenues of £1.1m for 2016 with EBITDA of £250k. According to the new business plan which we have seen, revenues for 2016 were only £517k(inc vat!). In the new plan the founders tell everyone that the losses for 2014/15 and 15/16 were 'planned'. Well not according to the documents you produced on Crowdcube last time.

This what the leading paragraph on the Crowdcube site states -

After securing £150,000 of investment via Crowdcube in June 2014 (our only funding to date), we made a small (planned) loss over the next two years as we invested that money in people, processes and product development. 

Projected revenue for 2015 was £1,079,172 and actual revenues for year 2015/16 according to their own new pitch document is only £431k (ex vat!). They even put this figure in the pitch doc with vat included. Why? OK so revenue is not the key figure, profit -

Profit projected for 2014 was £28k and 2015 was £124k and real losses for the financial year 2014/16 (which has different dates and should be a better figure than the projection) were £42k and for 2015/16, £41k. That gap isnt too bad - although not planned as they claim; as the new CC pitch deck clearly shows.

Projected profits for 2016 were £252k with the actual profits being declared by the company for 2016/17 of £2k. So they have grown slower than they predicted - that's fine but why lie about it. The losses they claim they predicted were in fact predicted as profits. Revenues for 2017/18 are now projected as £800k odd(ex vat!) whereas in the lst round they were at £1.7m for 2016. At least something is growing but it's the gap in credibility. You should ignore all future projections.

Why cant we have a direct, open and honest comparison of what Beerbods said would happen and now what they have managed to deliver with some explanation of why. Nothing wrong with missing projections but trying to hide the fact is a problem. This might even be a good business given a chance.

How can Crowdcube be allowed to get away with it? Time and time again. And after some very vigorous denials and claims by CC's chief spin honcho LL, that any such goings on are very much in the past.

Now you know, you can invest reassured.

Dark clouds Gathering - Square Pie cant round its numbers

Square Pie, a restaurant 'chain', took out a Crowdcube bond for £655k in 2015. The bonds are the safe investments on this platform - aren't they?

In the documents presented to investors, which are declared verified by Crowdcube, the company said it would have 20 units operational by end 2017. Today at the back end of July 2017, they have 5 only - which is the same number they had when they promoted the bond in 2015. We warned you all about this company here 

Instead of small profits the company is still making good losses - over £200k for YE Dec 2016. It's well backed by equity capital but the cash looks a little shy.

It also appears the bond, which was issued at 8% pa over 4 years, has an administration and interest charge for the YE Dec 2016 of £120,559. It's not clear who is paid this as the interest for the year to investors would be only ~ £52k.

Reviews reveal the potential problem - the pies are not very good. Their restaurants range from 2.5 to 4 out of 5.

It appears that the new frozen pies in Sainsburys, placed in April 2016 - 

have gone down a storm and been delisted on the back of 3.1 ratings.
The company declare in the accounts that they will be back in 2017 for more gravy from the Crowdfunding train. Watch this space.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Where has Crowdcube's Monetaflex gone?

Monetaflex raised over £160k on Crowdcube in 2015. Now the company seems to have disappeared. No website no app, no nothing. Two founders, one just resigned.

This one was backed by a self described investment and SME/start up guru - Peter Gardner. Would love to hear from you Peter if you have any news on this company you promoted - see video here

The clouds on the horizon are slightly darker than this one. Dam is giving way.

So where are they?? Let us know if you do.

And so it begins. The Q is where will it end?

Yet another Crowdcube success closes. My Mate Your Date files for VWU.

I think it's fair to say we are having a bit of a crisis. The gathering of zombie and almost failed companies that have found funding via Crowdcube, is about to to break the dam. Time to runaway Luke before you get wet.

My Mate Your Date  raised £145k in 2014 and then incredibly £85k in 2015. By now their Crowdcube projections showed revenues of £3.5m and net profits of over £600k. 2017 had revenues of £10m and blah blah blah.....Time to wake up.... now! As far as we can tell the company never really did anything. To be honest it has to have been one of Crowdcube's worst ever pitches. Why did 132 investors sign up? Claims made by the founders were gargantuan  and equally as hard to check given they took place down under.

The 2015/16 funding round of £2m, given such a confident presentation by the mates; never happened. Well at least someone saw sense.

We warned you all about this earlier here when they set up a new app, Quinn. Just as hopeless as the first one. Despite trying to make Quinn and MMYD look like two different companies, CH confirm they are both run by MMYD Ltd and so both will close - or...........

It was clear from the last accounts to YE Nov 2016, that the end was here. All the money burnt and nothing to show for it. Their TW page has had no tweets since summer 2016 despite claiming over 8k followers. One of the founders was a 'chairman' of some important Entrepreneurs Organsation based near Washington DC. Etc Etc............... all verified by the CC Cupboard Dept.

What an incredible waste of time, effort, cash and tax payers rebates. All facilitated by Crowdcube, who took their commission and added the funding to their PR. Well done Darren and Luke - another award for your bulging cabinet. Funders of the UK's most facile business ever.

Plenty more to come. Staff required!!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Crowdcube's stupidity is coming home to roost as Angel Alerts is liquidated.

The Fallen Angel or company no 08288031, Angel Alerts, is liquidated on another sad day for Crowdcube investors

We wrote about their absurd plans here

The Crowdcube projections show this company was making a multi million pound net profit by the end of December 2015. A recent filing of solvency shows tiny debts and zero activity - all shareholders shovelled into the waste bin.  

This is what happens when you let a platform run by people who have no clue what they are doing, present business ideas and plans to Joe Public with the incentive of being the backers of the next FB.

We have plenty more ready to follow. 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Running on empty - what happened to Crowdcube's Franks Staks?

Franks Staks raised £83k on Crowdcube in 2015. It is closing under a VA. So what really happened?

The Crowdcube pitch was very upbeat and the company's products did have a placing in HN Knightsbridge - as far as we can tell. They made health supplements.

It has been treading water or drowning, ever since it raised the money, which considering what they told investors on CC's FCA licensed site, is a surprise.

Josh and David Franks, son and father, ran the show. They are described in the pitch headline as -

Josh & David Franks are a father-son combo. Josh is a qualified lawyer & David specialises in helping ambitious businesses achieve rapid & sustainable growth

Sounds good.

The pitch goes on - 

We are in discussion with or will approach Selfridges, John Lewis, Planet Organic, Ocado, NutriCentre, Wholefoods, Holland and Barrett, GNC, Equinox gym, KX gym, as well as franchise gyms e.g. Virgin, David Lloyd, Fitness First. Our connections at Virgin Startup are also looking to introduce us directly to Virgin Active, Ocado and John Lewis. We are also in advanced discussions with a leading chain of high-end London gyms. We also plan to partner with online retailers.
Seems none of this happened. This clip is taken from the 'Achievements to date' section of the pitch!

The unusual thing about this company is that whilst the shares were issued in October 2015 for the £83k, the YE June 2016 accounts show no record of any equity in the business except the standard £1. Losses for that year of £53k take the total losses to £75k or near enough the money raised on CC less the commission. CH here

It seems a little odd that a lawyer would not be able to issue an accurate BS for filing at CH - the one filed by Josh is clearly wrong.

As to the father's claim, well the evidence is there for us to see. If he cant run his own company, how can he advise others?

Of course none of the founders had put any money into the company. Well that is how it appears but as they didnt manage to record the CC investors, who the hell knows. You have to ask why the 101 CC investors didnt query the last accounts.