Why did you decide to trust SparkUp?
A friend of mine suggested I should use SparkUp for my fundraising. We had already thought of using our network to raise money, but we didn’t know any way to do it professionally before we heard of SparkUp. I immediately liked the way SparkUp works: it’s targeted, quick and efficient. What I enjoyed most is that the whole process is so easy to go through, it allows you to reach efficiently a targeted group of people, it’s full of effective tools and the project page is a modern way to communicate which is less intrusive than attached documents.
What made the success of you campaign?
Contacting people from my network who are interested in my company’s issues, I think. People who’ve been most receptive to my campaign were indeed people who follow my company, people who appreciate old cars and cars aficionados. The person who answered within 20 minutes and decided to invest €75,000 - which is the total amount of money that I was looking for - is actually a client of mine.
At what stage of your company’s development did you decide to raise funds?
I decided to raise funds in May 2015, one year and a half after the creation of my company. I had a very weak capital and I decided to call on crowdfunding to accelerate and finance more vehicles.
Why did you decide to call on crowdfunding?
A friend recommended me to call on SparkUp for my funding research. We had already thought about addressing to our network to raise funds, but we didn’t know any solution before finding out about SparkUp. After looking more into it, I found the concept appealing and ideal to solicit efficiently my network. I figured that this way I would find the necessary funds thanks to my circle of acquaintances and the Eleven Cars regulars.
Why didn’t you contact Business Angels?
I didn’t contact BA because I knew my project would not really interest them. They would not have reached their profitability objectives by financing Eleven Cars. My project addressed mainly to people passionate about ancient cars and ready to go in an adventure.
How much did you raise this way?
As I didn’t want the company capital to be too diluted, I limited myself to €75,000 to achieve a banking leverage. This was extremely fast. I raised this in 20 minutes thanks to one investor! In addition, almost 20 persons called to be part of the investments.
Did you think your network had the necessary resources to finance your project?
I was not really worried about that. I knew that I would find my funding considering the number of people who contacted and the nature of my company, which addresses passionate people.
What was your approach to contact them?
Before the beginning of the campaign, I had spoken briefly of my approach to my family and friends. SparkUp then led a personalized communication campaign addressed to my entire contact list.
Who did you contact?
I mainly contacted close friends or people being part of my professional network, in addition to my prospects and clients. Thanks to the company communication, I managed to find the person who financed the entire project. He was a client of Eleven Cars who I already knew but never thought of contacting. He knew the challenges with the sector of ancient cars and didn’t hesitate to join the adventure.
What challenges did you face?
I didn’t see any scepticism in people for the fundraising concept with SparkUp. To be honest, I was even surprised by the number of answers and the rapidity. The campaign had barely started before it finished.
If you had to, would you do it again?
Yes, I would do it again because the approach we lead with SparkUp is very simple. It is not too intrusive at all and raising funds this way to develop your company is very fast.
What would you say to entrepreneurs who hesitate to use SparkUp?
They don’t have to hesitate since leading a campaign with SparkUp can really accelerate their company’s development and without real constraints. Having worked in Finance and experienced SparkUp, I am convinced that calling on this solution for amounts inferior to €200k is much more relevant than going through Funds, Business Angels or others. Indeed, there are way less constraints (lower costs, faster approach, etc.) and this enables many companies to fund themselves quickly.
My advice to entrepreneurs is not to hesitate for too long! The use of SparkUp is very simple and you have nothing to lose since you pay only when you raise. It is an efficient solution to finance rapidly by getting in touch with people you would never have thought about.