Thursday, 19 January 2017

Glass half empty as Crowdcube's Quantock Brewery closes down


Quantock Brewery raised £120k on Crowdcube in 2013 - so they have lasted well by Crowdcube standards. Now they have been forced to close by HMRC - or so they claim.


Recently they had talked about expansion.

The company hopes to be able to sell itself once HMRC have seen the lights are off. 

Most of the directors had already left the building.

We wrote about them here

Crowdcube's Savvy Foods past its sell by date but has a cunning plan


Savvy Foods raised £85k on Crowdcube in 2015. Just a year or so on, they have collapsed leaving debts of around £189k. Well done Crowdcube.

We wrote about them last year here

But - here is the really interesting bit - in a letter to shareholders the founders of Savvy have rebirthed their company and called it Carobco Ltd. Easy as peasy. Off load the boring old debts of £189k and make hay.

Whats even better is that they are crowdfunding again. - on their own account using some accountancy firm.

The founders report on the failure of Savvys is wholly ubelievable. It should also be noted that in this letter to shareholders the founders claim the company has been liquidated. Not according to CH it hasnt; so there is still a chance that claimants may take action. Of course as we know CH may be behind the times.

Whats almost unbelievable (this is equity crowdfunding after all) is that they are approaching all Savvy's shattered shareholders for more cash. And wait for it, they are using the valuation they agreed with Crowdcube in 2015 of £0.5m, to offer new shareholders a 50% discount! Its a bargain for sure - 10% of the newco for just £25k.

In a previous email just before Christmas16, the founders had offered to pay back shareholders or offer them like for like investment in the new version. They now say they cant do this as a lead investor in Caroco wont allow it. Oh well, it was a lovely thought.

Is it just us or is there something very wrong with this?

Takers should form an orderly queue and await further incarceration.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Ineed calls it a day and reveals its all down to Facebook!



INeed has raised money on Crowdcube FOUR times. Now, with its story wearing a little thin to raise more, it is closing its doors.

INeed was one of Crowdcube's early successes - although it never got close to its fantasy projections for any of its 4 pitches. Since 2012 it has raised over £400k on the platform. In the last and final round in 2015 it showed profits for YE 2016 of over £1m. Hmmm.

What is more alarming is the fact that during this raise the company knew that Facebook were going to be reviewing their Facebook Friends API  - which they in fact shutdown support for in April 2015. So just at the time that this company was selling more of its equity on Crowdcube, it was also aware that its main means of operation were being removed. 

In the letter sent out recently by the company, they declare that this move by Facebook was the main reason for their failure.

You have to ask if this final Crowdcube raise, given the developments behind the scenes, can be justified? It seems to show very little regard for the shareholders and be totally contrary to Crowdcube's much repeated mantra that they are open about the information that is shared. The filing for these new shares was not completed until October 2015 so they had plenty of time to cancel the finance. But then that would have lost Crowdcube their commission.

Whatever your conclusion, the result fits in very neatly with our research into over 400 companies that have funded via Crowdcube since 2011 - research that we hope will be available at the end of March once a whole load of results have been filed. Register with us if you would like a copy - info@ecfsolutions.co.uk
  

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Angelberry aims high and shoots low - like most Crowdcube successes



This is now the new norm - fantastical projections met head on by sober realities for Crowdcube investors.


This company raised £200k on Crowdcube in 2014. Its still functioning but has failed to get anywhere near to the revenues and profits its fantasy projections sold to the Crowdcube investors. 

Accounts for 2014 and just over half of 2015 (the date was changed for some reason) show heavy accumulated losses of £350k against projected profits estimated at £300k plus. Promised deals with units in Africa and the ME (in the pitch there were over 50 contractual commitments quoted) have come to nout.

We wrote to them to ask politely why they were so far off their targets. We had no response.

In one of the more ludicrous Crowdcube moments, their pitch talks about a possible exit in Q1 of 2017 at 8.5 times earnings ie according to the fantasy projections that would bring in £14.5m anytime now. 

More Trumponics. No really these guys are great - Im telling you. Really really great. Dont believe the fake figures at CH. 

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Faction Collective yet another Crowdcube company that has off piste accounts


Faction Collective SA - designers and makers of snow skis, raised £775k on Crowdcube in 2015.

In their pitch for this money the company showed 'historic' financial data for YE June 2015 - the accounts for this period were not available during the pitch period.

In these figures - vetted closely by an intern in the Out to Lunch Crowdcube DD Dept - there were various figures given like turnover and losses for the year. The Crowdcube pitch completed in December 2015; so 6 months after the YE.

The figures given by Crowdcube are listed below on the left and put beside the real figures on the right, that were posted by the company with CH - all are in Euros. 

Revenue              2,124,574             1,455,327

Net Profit (loss) (2,821,272)          (2,396,384)

So the loss was considerably smaller than 'projected' (remember these figures were already historic when the pitch launched) due to a much reduced spend on marketing and personnel. But how do you explain a reduction in turnover of a third? It means that the leap to the 2016 revenue figures is one that not even Jon Olsson would attempt.

Dont Crowdcube investors deserve a more professional service? 

The solution is very simple and is one we have calling for for 2 years - make all companies using this funding channel produce full accounts up to the date before their pitch goes live - and make them and the platforms liable for any trickery they might choose to try out. 

My Mate your Date gone walkabout and returns as Quinn the App.



My Mate Your Date, an Australian duos idea (where else would come up with such a crass name) has gone dark but shareholders via Crowdcube now have a new App version named 'Quinn'.

In one of Crowdcube;s more amusing disasters, MMYD funded not once but twice through the FCA regulated platform - the second time just over a year ago. Total raised was £240k.

Searches for the company's website have drawn a total blank and as this is very much (or was ) an internet dating site, that doesnt look too good.

However the Aussie boys behind this company seem to have come up with a new idea - an App called Quinn which apparently uses AI (Australian Intuition?) to evaluate your love life and find you the perfect partner. The Apple Store has had so few reviews since May 2016 that they dont register a rating.

There is one review there which is revealing -


Customer Reviews

Complete rubbish, app is a waste of time. 

If I could give this no stars I would. Terrible matches, drip fed at a rate of 5 a day. Quinn chat pretends to talk to you to ask you questions that will improve your matches, then after about 5 it just crashes and goes to a blank screen. Support don't even bother to answer your emails. Do yourself a favour and skip this one.

Activity on Quinn's TW and FB sites has been nil since early Summer 2016 - so not looking too promising. Their website has no press reviews under the media icon.  We sent them a message but had no reply. Does that go down as a small overseas heist?

Justpark continues to get appalling customer service reviews



We have mentioned this several times - Justpark's customer service stinks.

Take the month of December and up to now on Trust Pilot.

18 reviews.

6 of these are 1 star and 1 is 3 star. The rest are 5 star. You cant go lower than 1 star but all of these sound like they would if they could.

That's over a third that think the service they received is rubbish. Surely that's not how to build a profitable company?

And the complaints are consistent - parking fines, lack of help when space not available etc etc.