Australian coffee and food group Beany Green has closed its crowdfunding bond over a month earlier than planned, after smashing its £800k target in under a week.
The bond, which was hosted on crowdfunding website Crowdcube, was aiming to raise from between £300,000-£800,000 in a bid to drive forward the group's expansion plans to open two more permanent central London sites in 2016.
In the end, the bond attracted 220 investors online, each investing an average of £3,500, managing to hit its top target in less than seven days, and its initial target in just 24 hours.
Investors were promised an 11% interest rate per year, with interest paid semi-annually. Investor rewards varied depending on the amount pledged, including 10 free coffees and a lunchtime detox box for investments of £1,000, plus an invitation to a celebration party. Those investing at least £5,000 will receive a free coffee every Monday for the lifetime of the bond, and investors of £25,000 are entitled to free coffee or banana bread every day for the life of the bond, plus a private cocktail party for up to 40 guests.
The group was founded as a street food operation in a Ford Transit van by Prue Freeman and Tom Onions in 2012, and had been funded entirely privately, travelling around central London, becoming well known for its hand-roasted "Aussie style" coffee and banana bread. The CrowdCube push was the first chance investors had to get on board with the project.
Commenting on the bond's success, Freeman said: "The speed and size of investment from our loyal customers and the crowd has been very overwhelming and extremely humbling. It's so exciting to now have more than 200 enthusiastic supporters on board with us for the next stage of the journey."
Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, added: "Beany is testament to the eagerness of the crowd to step up and support unique and profitable businesses with attractively priced interest rates."
Beany Green is not the only group to have used crowdfunding as a means to raise finance recently. Burrito brand Chilango raised £1m, offering investors a return of 8%; London-based Italian pizza-by-the-slice group Pizza Rossa raised over £150,000 from 105 investors, also via Crowdcube; and salad chain Tossed launched a bid for £750,000 via equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs in July this year.
Similarly, independent Cheshire restaurant Sticky Walnut achieved its target of £100,000 from the less formal investment funding site Kickstarter, in October 2014.
Unlike a bond, which is open to investors with a considerable amount to spend, and offers a formal return, Kickstarter allows people to donate any sum of money, big or small, in return for any given reward, such as a free meal, a branded apron, or your name displayed on the restaurant wall.
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