Monday, 15 May 2017

Crowdcube's Lost Tribe of Customers

Tribe launched this weekend on Crowdcube and have already cracked their £1m raise. Backed by some heavy hitters willing to go on video to endorse the company, it looks like a a breeze.

As you would expect we have checked out a few of the claims. Nothing wrong with this company but we cant agree with their figures.

No doubt these guys have run a very, very long way. No doubt they are selling their nutrition bars. But do they really have 25,000 current active members as they claim - 'buying' being the now tense -  

  • Over 25k customers buying TRIBE nutrition online

A point that seems to have been missed off the Crowdcube pitch is that Tribe are offering a 5 bar pack (worth RRP £6.95) for just £1 on Thrivo - the Groupon of the nutritional world. This is backed by a whole raft of reviewers offering discount codes. As we have seen so many times before on Crowdcube, most of these guys are not loyal customers....they are bargain hunters. They buy once, consume and are never seen again. There is no mention on the pitch about repeat purchasers which is a bit of giveaway - excuse the pun. 

Companies like Earlybird, Flavourly and now Tribe, use them to bolster their following just around the time they are looking for funding. Funny that. If I opened a pub and offered everyone beer for 50p a pint then I would be thrilled with the response - massive queues, massive customer numbers. But a month later when I put the price up to the normal level, would I expect to see that level of repeat business continue. Of course not. It takes time for the head to settle - then you can get a true picture of where you are. 

On the back of the Vulpine fiasco, do we really need another over hyped load of tosh. Figures for revenues are entirely fictional - the company has a 16 month trading record with the first 12 months exacting a reasonable but tiny £263,000 in revenues. How does that translate into £6m in 24 months time? Of course it's the exponential increase in members, illustrated by the 25k given figure above. What if most of these do not repeat purchase?

Tribe's current revenue run rate according to their pitch is at half the expected revenue for the year - so they have will need those customers and not just shadows. Of course the healthy rewards on offer make this a good bet for the small time purchaser keen on the product - so maybe this is how this should be viewed. It isnt the first health food/subscription model business to raise on Crowdcube but lets hope it doesnt go the way of the others.

A final word - check out the big hitters to see what they have really achieved outside off Corporate Office No 1 - you might be surprised. 


  1. I'm always most skeptical of raises that happen in such a short time. How did the hivemind managed to perform their due diligence in weekend enough to part with £1m? I have no idea

    1. Because most of the money raised is already raised and committed, the startups use that money to generate PR and make it look like they've raised it on the platform in 24 hours, but it's usually already been raised.

  2. Weirdly it now says they only raised 680,000 odd not the £1.5 million previously advised?