Fair Value

The Seedrs secondary market opened for the third time today and with it a listing for Blue Crow Media. I have nothing particularly interesting to say about Blue Crow as a company, only that it publishes maps and turned a modest profit for the y/e 31st July 2016. No, what makes the Blue Crow lot interesting is Seedrs’ valuation.

Blue Crow completed their one and only raise on 29th May 2014 or 3 years, 2 months and 3 days ago. With this, as the opaque Seedrs ‘fair’ valuation model goes, because they haven’t raised for more than three years they are subject to “substantive valuation analysis”. I’m not too sure how substantive this analysis is, the lots available are offered at the same price as at the last raise.

If we then compare Blue Crow’s current ‘fair’ value with that of Bird Cycleworks which currently stands at zero (yes I’m moaning about that again) then it calls into question what exactly Seedrs are doing to keep their valuations fair and current? Both companies made a small profit last year (£17k for Bird and £6k for Blue Crow), they have similarly sized balance sheets with positive net current assets (£35k for Bird and £7k for Blue Crow) and have both filed accounts recently. The pre-money valuations at raise weren’t even that different with £450k for Bird and £950k for Blue Crow with Bird giving 10% away for £45k and Blue Crow £58k for 5%. With that information alone, in my opinion, Bird is arguably worth more than Blue Crow.

I think it’s about time Seedrs start publicising their valuation strategy for companies that fall into the ‘3 years since raise’ category. In theory, the number of companies falling into this category is going to increase, are Seedrs just going to leave the values alone so that lots can continue to be listed on the secondary market? If so, what’s to happen to companies who were valued before the launch? I’ve been asking Seedrs to clarify via email and Twitter to no avail, I will keep pressing.

Limited information is being provided at this time

Last updated: August 14, 2017 at 21:15 pm

We actually got some real news from Houseology today, initially I noticed a response from Stuart McGhie on the discussion board apologising for the delay in providing an update and also stating that they have “raised a further £400k from existing investors” apparently to allow them to go from a loss making company with lots of stock to a profit making company, I presume with less stock? Further to this, the post states that we investors should have received an email from the chairman detailing progress, I didn’t get an email from the chairman – but I did get an email from Kirsty Grant (of Seedrs) announcing a new round in Houseology for existing investors.

The (£400k) round is now live and there are a few things worth noting.

Perhaps most interestingly, it’s a down round i.e. the supposed value of the company has been reduced, in this instance from just over £9.5m to just over £5.15m – a significant drop! I’m not sure if this is a first for Seedrs, if not it’s certainly a rare occurrence. For a company that provides zero updates for 9 months and has a juicy loss of over £5.6m sitting on their balance sheet at the end of June 2016 having lost over £2.1m over the course of the preceding year, I’m not sure the new valuation is overly enticing. Other investors seem to agree as they’ve managed to raise just £156 between lunchtime and this evening.

The next thing to mention is that the pitch is almost completely void of any detail, we have literally one paragraph about the company, a brief mention of the decreased valuation and a mention of the attached letter (which I haven’t read yet) – the pitch ends with the (I’m sure unintentionally) ironic words “limited information is being provided at this time.”

One final thing to mention is that the post on the discussion board seems to contradict the pitch. To quote Stuart McGhie “We have raised a further £400k from existing investors”, so if they have raised £400k why are they asking us? I can only assume that these funds will materialise if when the pitch fails, perhaps the chairman’s letter sheds some light on this, I certainly hope so.

Update: Since writing this article I’ve had an update from Stuart McGhie that clears up a few things:

  • They’ve already raised £400k cash and it is in their account.
  • There is a total of £400k of shares available to shareholders.
  • The down round reflects the losses incurred.

I’ve been keeping track of the pitch since its launch – so far just over £650 has been committed from 11 investors and the discussion board has just one lonely (unanswered) post.

Artificial Money

PSD2 (EU) and the Open Banking Standard (UK) are regulations that will require banks and other payment servicing providers to provide APIs that allow third-party solutions to access their customers’ data (with consent). The exact timeline for the enforcement of the regulations is unclear, however, they should be in place by the end of 2018

In short, this means a company will be able to develop an application that combines a user’s financial data from a range of sources (e.g. current account, savings account, loans, credit cards etc.) in order to provide a consolidated view. Applications will be able to take this data a stage further and perform analysis in order to provide insights and suggestions about how to manage their money – That’s the theory anyway.

The reason I mention all this is because I’ve seen a spate of pitches recently that will be heavily dependent on these regulations as their solutions roll out. Right now there are live pitches for Plum Fintech and zuper on Seedrs as well as Folio on CrowdCube. We’ve also had a failed pitch from Ernest. Whilst obviously not identical, they are all very similar, they aim to access your account information in order to help you manage your money better, of course, the buzzword of the moment ‘A.I.’ is mentioned in every pitch but how to differentiate and pick the winner, if there’s to be one?

As I’ve already said, Ernest is out – they’ve already failed to raise. Folio and zuper are struggling, they’re both over the halfway mark but traction appears to be slow with tumbleweed currently rolling across both discussion boards. Plum Fintech on the other hand, is seeing a lot of attention, three pages of discussions and over the 100% mark. Does their product justify the marked difference in the success of their pitch? When I read it when it initially went live I didn’t see anything that particularly stood out, it’s savings focussed and their revenue is expected to come from savings interest (split with savers), fees on investment returns and commission earned from getting customers to switch things like their electricity or gas suppliers. I should also mention that the pitch is a convertible with a 20% discount on valuation at a trigger event (another raise, change of control etc.) or after 12 months (at which time a £4.25m valuation will apply).

Plum Fintech on the other hand, is seeing a lot of attention, three pages of discussions and over the 100% mark. Does their product justify the marked difference in the success of their pitch? When I read it when it initially went live I didn’t see anything that particularly stood out, it’s savings focussed and their revenue is expected to come from savings interest (split with savers), fees on investment returns and commission earned from getting customers to switch things like their electricity or gas suppliers. I should also mention that the pitch is a convertible with a 20% discount on valuation at a trigger event (another raise, change of control etc.) or after 12 months (at which time a £4.25m valuation will apply). Finally, I’ll also mention that Plum features heavily in Seedrs’ current advertising campaign on the London Underground. If I recall, WeSwap and VPAR have also recently featured in Seedrs’ LU advertising and they ended up over funding with 2,961 and 346 investors respectively.

I should also mention that the pitch is a convertible with a 20% discount on the ‘valuation’ at a trigger event (another raise, change of control etc.) or after 12 months (at which time a £4.25m valuation will apply).

Finally, I’ll also mention that Plum features heavily in Seedrs’ current advertising campaign on the London Underground. If I recall, WeSwap and VPAR have also recently featured in Seedrs’ LU advertising and they ended up over funding with 2,961 and 346 investors respectively.

The fact that this is a convertible is enough to put me off, I’m still bitter over the Den convertible. Also, despite the regulations, there’s nothing to say that the APIs offered by banks and payment providers have to follow a specific standard – Whilst they will undoubtedly make things easier for third parties things are unlikely to be simple. At least we’ll get to see what’s going on in 12 months time when they come back for more money.

Go Bananas

A couple of weeks back I asked Go Banana a few questions about their website – They’re currently pitching their ‘online building supplies’ business on Seedrs.

I asked them to explain why one of their listings (a can of paint) was much cheaper in Homebase and why the listing neglected key details like the size of the can. I did this purely as an example of one product, there were more that exhibited the same attributes – high price, missing details.

I also pointed out my reservations with the model, pointing out that builders often use a variety of local merchants where delivery is often quick and free. In my experience builders also tend to know where things are cheapest and/or offer the best quality in the local area, so if a site like this doesn’t immediately show them known products at a cheaper price why would they bother?

The response I got was interesting. Immediately Rami Naori jumped on my single example and said “To take one of 105k products and say we are expensive was not real research” – No comment on why details were missing and the instant assumption that I had looked at just one. Apparently, the fact that buyers and sellers are brought together by Go Banana and if buyers are not happy with prices it may lead to sellers to reduce their prices – I’m sure builders are going to have plenty of free time to moan about prices on the site, even if they are allowed to do so. Further to this, he mentioned that a one stop shop will add convenience, citing the fact that they had 3,500 boilers listed. I’m not sure plumbers want to pick from 3,500 boilers.

He topped off the email with a complaint about my anonymity and the fact that my blog was nothing but negative – poor research on his part, there are at least two positive stories on this blog.

The reason I mention all this is because the campaign looks to be struggling with just over £89k raised of a £250k target and 43 days to go. I can’t say I am particularly surprised, the discussion board raises points similar to the above and the responses from Rami are somewhat defensive, dismissive or just plain secretive, he has no interest in releasing any meaningful information unless potential investors are prepared to sign an NDA!

Pick a number

Someone made the excellent point today that Bird Cycleworks is currently valued at £0 by Seedrs if their ‘fair-value’ model is to be believed. Yep, that’s the same Bird Cycleworks who posted their company accounts a week or two ago highlighting a modest profit.

“We calculate fair value by looking at two share prices: the share price at which the investor invested; and the most up-to-date fair value of the shares (which we calculate when we obtain relevant information about the company in question).”

Bird Cycleworks fail to receive any value because they didn’t do their initial raise in the last three years, they haven’t had subsequent raises in the last three years. They have presumably produced a zero valuation because they “have conducted a substantive valuation analysis with a presumption of decline in value” . I’m not sure what this substantive analysis is based on or when it was performed – I presume it was around September 2016 when Seedrs produced their extensive valuation report and started publishing these valuations alongside the IRR.

This issue highlights a few more important points about the Seedrs valuation model.

How is ‘relevant’ information being used to determine a valuation when a company doesn’t meet the 3-year criteria? With the 3-year rules, at least the valuation method is transparent, regardless of whether it is accurate.

Are Seedrs actively seeking information from companies who’ve raised money on the site, particularly from those who fall outside the 3-year rules?

If Seedrs are using CH filings to determine valuations, this raises yet more points. How can accounts that are up to 9 months out of date when published possibly indicate the value of a company particularly when they are more than likely in the form of micro accounts that contain only a simple balance sheet?

If all companies who fall outside the 3-year rules received zero valuations I don’t think I’d mind so much, but there are other companies with positive valuations whose only raise(s) took place more than three years ago, here’re the first two I could find, there are many more:

  • Daredevil Project – Raised in Feb 2014, nothing on their Twitter feed since March 2016, nothing on Facebook since 2015, a website under ‘re-design’, recently filed accounts showing mounting losses. Shares currently available on the secondary market @ £0.61 per share.
  • Times Place Brasserie – Raised in Jan 2014, (still) unclear ownership, mounting losses. Shares currently available on secondary market @ £10 per share.

A couple of final points.

Does a successful trade on the secondary market constitute validation of the valuation and effectively override the 3-year rules?

Are the rules of valuation helping or hampering the ECF arena? At the moment you can sell a company you bought last week, but you can’t sell one that you bought more than three years ago if Seedrs’ opaque valuation model says it’s worthless… Go figure.

Second Secondary

The Seedrs secondary market trading window is open again. As predicted, there are more listing this time with 292 lots listed (vs. 111 last month). Because there are more lots, I haven’t had the chance to do any real analysis yet – a quick skim through the various listings suggests there are companies on offer that weren’t available last month but I can’t say much more than this about what’s happening.

From a technical point of view, there look to have been a few tweaks to the way the listings are displayed with new sort order functionality (which doesn’t quite work correctly) and a drop-down but no changes with regard to the way the market actually functions – you can still only by lots in companies you already hold and you can ‘register interest’ (whatever that actually means) in the rest.

Strategically Closed

A pitch from Action Petz popped up on Seedrs yesterday, they run indoor dog parks – think along the lines of a children’s soft-play centre but for dogs.

Their model is franchise based, they currently own and run a site in Newport and have a site running under franchise in Bridgend having ‘strategically closed’ a site they previously ran in Cardiff – They’re yet to branch outside South Wales.

I’m not sure what ‘strategically closed’ actually means, maybe it’s  a phrase  Idea Squares came up with when they helped with their pitch. In my cynical mind it doesn’t sound good, but it is perhaps a better than saying it didn’t do too well. They do go on to say that they are going to re-open the site at some point in the future, so maybe things aren’t so bad?

Putting the ‘Cardiff’ question to one side, I remain unconvinced by the proposition. As I mentioned, the model is Franchise based, in order to start a franchise you have to have a proven product and business, it feels to me like they are jumping on the franchise model far too early. I’m also not sure why anyone wanting to run a dog park would feel the need to go down the franchise route and give away 8% of their turnover. The closest thing I can compare this to is an indoor soft-play centre, the majority of which are run independently, if I wanted to setup a dog park I think I’d do the same.

A Good Storii

Today I’ve been accused of only writing negative blog posts, whilst I’ll admit the majority of my posts aren’t filled with positivity, I do occasionally find something to be positive about and today is one of those days.

StoriiCare pitches itself as “a care management system with life stories at its core”. In short, probably the best way to think of it is as a social media platform for people in residential and care homes. It allows residents to (with help from their care workers) connect with their families and loved ones who then share pictures, memories and such like. When put like that, it seems ridiculously simple, they do a much better job of explaining things in their pitch on Seedrs, which when I read it for the first time I found compelling.

Whilst I don’t personally know anyone in residential care, I can see how this platform could be useful for those in care, their friends and family as well as care home staff. I feel their list of benefits speaks for itself:

– Improved family interaction with those in care.

– Improve staff recognition for their care.

– Reduce paper, ink and stationary costs for providers.

– Reduce staff time spent filling in outdated paper forms.

– Improved care ratings.

I’m not sure about reduced ink and stationary costs being a key driver, the other four are probably more than enough in terms of justification. Given this is one of a few small niggles I have about the pitch, I’m inclined to let them off.

On the subject of niggles, as Seedrs investors we’re used to seeing pitch decks and projections attached to most pitches – these are notably absent in the case of this pitch. I mentioned this to them in an email yesterday, they’ve assured me that a deck is in due to be attached very soon but it’s just undergoing review – A good sign in itself. I also mentioned the fact that their accounts were due two days after the pitch closes, again they were forthcoming and have offered to share their accounts on request – another good sign.

In my opinion, the good far outweighs the bad on this one, it’s refreshing to see a compelling idea combined with a decent pitch. I’m not even going to mention the valuation (£3.3m) other than to say it seems a little high, I’m just going to invest a modest amount.

Pitching for Dummies – Lesson 1

I’ve been away again so haven’t had a chance to keep on top of what’s going on in the ECF world. One thing that I did notice whilst I was away were a number of emails from Seedrs notifying me of responses to document requests.

As you probably know, Seedrs allows companies who are pitching on the platform to upload a number of documents – usually there’s a pitch deck and possibly some financial projections. Instead giving potential investors automatic access to these documents, each potential investor has to request access, it’s then up to the ‘lead entrepreneur’ whether you get access. The precise reason for this hoop-jumping exercise is unclear – Seedrs do point out that these documents are not vetted by themselves so perhaps this has something to do with it.

Anyway, I like to request access to the documents for most pitches as part of my due diligence. Most companies respond within a couple of hours and at worst a couple of days. However, recently I have noticed a number of responses coming back weeks after initially requesting access. Companies who can’t be bothered to answer in a timely fashion don’t deserve my investment – other investors must be thinking along similar lines as the very same pitches seem to have a tendency to struggle – One I could mention is currently begging investors to invest just a little bit more on the discussion boards so they can limp over the line.

So, for anyone thinking about pitching:

Lesson 1: Respond to all document requests within 24 hours for the duration of the pitch.


A Final Flourish

Tonight sees the close of the first secondary market trading window on Seedrs – I presume the absolute deadline is midnight but given Seedrs reputation for removing pages that show them in anything but a positive light and my lack of interest in staying up that late I thought I’d do a quick round-up now before anything disappears (10pm Monday 12th June).

If you read my last update you’ll know things stagnated after the opening day with only a handful of new transactions. Things look to have picked up a little over the closing weekend, with another £4k worth of transactions between 8th and 12th bringing the total to approximately £14,700 representing an overall take-up of 37% in monetary terms.

The main takeaways from the final figures suggest both Glentham Capital and Torch should be avoided at all cost, they had the highest value of shares on offer (£3,804 and £3,600 respectively) with the lowest take-up in percentage terms (0% for both).

At the other end of the scale we have seen some movement over the course of the 7 day window. At the end of the first day, just £154.20 of the £3,153 available Wriggle shares (split over 6 lots of varying sizes) had been snapped up, take-up increased as the week progressed, with an additional lots being reserved on both 7th and 8th. As of this evening, all lots in Wriggle have sold making them the biggest seller in value terms. Wriggle have raised three times on Seedrs between February 2014 and April 2016, I’m guessing with an ever-increasing valuation – I suspect this is a case of early investors cashing out and later investors seeing a degree of potential in the underlying company. I’ll have to do some more in-depth research on this one!

As mentioned in my first article, bother Swogo and Adludio F.KA Future Ad Labs proved popular. Perhaps a little more surprisingly a single lot valued at £1,000 in Times Place Brasserie went through in the final days – As a (very small) holder I can’t really see the attraction, my recent article called into question the makeup of the shareholders and whether Nicola Horlick was still involved, the company provides naff all in terms of updates and I see little in the way of opportunity for positive returns – I feel only Seedrs are going to make any money on this one.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next month… There’ll almost certainly be more lots available now that people have had a chance to test the water. Hopefully, Seedrs will do something about the platform to improve things for buyers and sellers – in its current form, it’s little more than a minimum viable product. As a minimum, we need:

  • The ability to bid on partial lots.
  • The ability set bid/offer prices.
  • The ability to buy/sell outside our current holdings.
  • The ability to see full prior campaign details, forum posts and communications for all lots on offer.

I feel the last two are wishful thinking at the moment, the issue transparency still remains. I very much doubt Seedrs will offer us a chance to buy outside existing holdings without some very big caveats.

A Second (and Third) Look

The Seedrs seven day secondary market trading window has now been open for three days. I gave a round-up of the first day of activity on Tuesday. Since the initial flurry of activity, the tumbleweed has started rolling with just four more lots being snapped up since my initial analysis.

There’s been some take-up on two lots in Wriggle and one lot for both Stamplay and Moteefe taking the total value of all trades to approximately £10,890 (up from £9,060 on Tuesday evening).

It seems all the perceived bargains are now gone, I don’t think we’re going to see much movement over the remaining four days except for maybe a few toe-dippers wanting to get involved for no other reason than to be involved.

Secondary Thoughts

I’ve been thinking a lot about this secondary market thing Seedrs announced the other day. As described in its ‘beta’ model, Seedrs are dictating prices based on their own valuation model, effectively valuing shares at the price of their most recent raise, assuming the raise took place in the last three years.

In my opinion, this model is wrong on several levels. We’ve seen businesses raise significant funds, blow the lot and wind up in well under 3 years, I’ve been burnt by Hokkei, Delivery Club and Read Bug myself – all raised on Seedrs less than three years ago and are either winding up or have already been dissolved. These are the companies who’ve been relatively honest about their shortcomings or have just completely run out of money very quickly. There are plenty more companies still burning through their money, missing their targets and going nowhere.

By limiting buyers to companies they already hold, I think Seedrs are trying to say that existing investors should have a better view of the company, by having access to the original pitch and the subsequent updates and discussions. For some companies, this might be true, but if you read this blog you’ll know that getting updates from some of the companies I’ve invested in takes a degree of public shaming and even when they do materialise they are often vague. It’s worth noting that these updates are completely unvetted, Seedrs have a big box saying as much at the top of every ‘updates’ page, there is nothing to stop a company adding a shiny gloss to these updates or worse still just plain lying. The only thing any of these crowdfunded companies are obliged to do is file accounts 9 months after their year-end, and we all know a lot can happen in the space of 9 months.

This is simply not enough to form a view on price. If there are questions about the state of the company through a lack of updates or disappointing accounts have been filed then the price should arguably be lower than the Seedrs ‘fair value’ but we won’t get the option to sell at that lower price.

We also have the issue of transparency and privileged information – I was thinking about this issue a few days ago and have asked Seedrs directly to respond to a few questions, since then a similar question has been asked on the Seedrs discussion board. Jeff’s response:

“we can’t (and wouldn’t want to) regulate the communications between investors, but as you say, we can make very clear that it is not regulated, and there will be other things in the relevant documentation to make clear that, if the seller misleads the buyer, the buyer could potentially have a right of action against the seller.”

So they admit that communications between different investors in the companies can vary and they immediately cover themselves by citing the fact that these communications are unregulated. They also state that anyone who might have been misled may have the ability to take action, whilst that may be true I’m not sure it’s the sort of action the average small-scale investor might want to take given the potential cost, complexity and uncertainty around the outcome. There seems to be a disregard for the damage this sort of thing might do to their reputation if and when questionable trades hit the platform, there’s certainly no suggestion that Seedrs would even help out in such a case.

Whilst we’re on the subject of the discussion boards, it’s worth noting that Seedrs’ discussion board is only available to Seedrs investors – There have already been a lot of useful discussions that I think all Seedrs members would benefit from – Let’s see what they think of publishing to a wider audience.

More thoughts soon.

Seedrs Go Secondary

This morning Seedrs officially announced their intention to open a secondary market on their platform. Whilst this will hopefully stop the increasing number of discussion posts from investors looking to off-load their positions, the announcement does raise some interesting questions.

Seedrs look to be treating the roll-out as a ‘work-in-progress’ starting “this summer”, in its initial form (labelled the beta phase) the market will be ‘open’ for one week, starting the first Tuesday of each month – At the moment we’re not sure if that’s going to be 6th June, 4th July (get ready for a predictable marketing campaign) or 1st August (hopefully their definition of summer doesn’t stretch further than that). On that Tuesday, sellers will be able to offer their shares up for sale for the duration of the week. Potential buyers will have to already hold shares (presumably via Seedrs) if they wish to buy, in other words, they can only increase an existing position. As far as valuation is concerned, shares will be offered at Seedrs’ definition of fair value – Effectively, this is the value of the company at their most recent fund raise. The release goes on to note that some companies will be ineligible for listing at some times to deal with significant corporate actions.

With these constraints I feel this initial launch has limited appeal, I can only think of a handful of scenarios that would result in someone putting their shares up for sale:

Investors wanting to liquidate because they need the money. Despite the warnings, we’ve already seen this on the forums. If you need the money, you have to question why you are investing on the platform in the first place. I’d have to be in serious trouble for me to even contemplate listing for this reason and even if I did, I don’t think I’d admit to it.

Investors who have the foresight (or think they do) to know that the 7.5% hit they’ll take (yes, Seedrs are charging their fee to the seller any sale) is the best they can hope for as far as any return is concerned. Having thought about this, I’m going to go through my portfolio to see if there are any I think fit this category, even if I do find some – I’m still going to need to find a buyer.

Investors in companies who’ve raised multiple times with increasing valuations and bought in early rounds. This is the only way that a seller can make a positive return through the mechanism at launch. Whilst multiple raises seem to be on the up they are far from the norm so the number of companies falling in the ‘viable for positive return’ category is immediately limited. The percentage return on total investment is dictated by a combination of the level of dilution and the investment decisions taken on subsequent rounds. I did some quick sums on my Seedrs investment; if I’d stuck with my original investment I’d be up 85%, however with my investment in the later round I’d be up 35% if I sold my entire holding. There is actually scope here for me to leave myself with a small completely risk free position, even taking Seedrs’ fees into account. I’ll review my portfolio tomorrow to see if any of my other investments give me this option.

Whilst we’re on the subject of subsequent raises and Seedrs’ valuation policy, I believe the valuation policy would allow a company who have subsequently raised on competing platform CrowdCube to have their valuation set at the level at which the funds were raised on the CrowdCube platform. CrowdCube are getting a bit of a name for themselves for their high valuations and we’re seeing more companies turning to them for follow-on raises. So we’re now in a slightly dubious position where the biggest returns could come from companies that have switched platforms.

Finally we come to investors who want to balance their portfolio, nothing much to say here other than the fact that portfolios should (if Seedrs’ advice is being followed) be pretty well balanced anyway. As already mentioned, sellers will need to pay 7.5% for the privilege.

I have much more to say on the subject, but it’s getting late. This is certainly an interesting development and it’ll be interesting to see what happens as the secondary platform matures. With its ‘beta’ model, the only winner I can see is Seedrs themselves, they’re effectively automating a presently disjointed and clunky revenue stream. There will be a few wins for those who invested in multiple rounds but the majority of sales will mean losses for the sellers and we haven’t even talked about the buyers yet. Needless to say, I’ll be looking long and hard at anything listed on the secondary platform and making sure I’m confident in the current state of any company I’m considering. As to whether I’m going to be listing anything to sell, I’ll be reviewing my portfolio over the next few days – It’ll certainly be interesting to see the platform working first hand but I need to work out what the tax implications are before I do anything – A subject for a later post methinks.


I’m Struck

Take a team of four who’ve known each other for more than five years, a ‘Duke of Edinburgh Young Entrepreneurs’ award, a website that shows you precisely where to steal find high-value items and a company that’s about to be struck off and what do you get? Apparently you get a company worthy of pitching on Seedrs

Daylui (however you are supposed to pronounce that?) are running a pithy pitch on Seedrs, yet another spin on the AirBnB model – This time for everyday items like cameras and power tools. There are plenty of sites and companies already on this bandwagon and I can’t see that this one offers anything new. That hasn’t stopped them slapping a £1m valuation on themselves, that’s an expensive website if you ask me.

More worryingly, on April 18th they had a compulsory strike-off notice posted on their filing page on CH, very embarassing – They have two months to get this sorted, the fact that they’ve let this happen in the first place makes me question their experience and professionalism, much like their pitch. Still, the power of the crowd never ceases to amaze, somehow they’ve raised £24k so far, good luck to them, but I’m out.


Another flip-flop from Seedrs to CrowdCube, this time it’s Charbrew, recent holders of the ‘No News is Good News?’ title. Reading the post-investment discussion board I got the feeling the crowd were losing their patience with them after their recent pivot from teabags to ice tea and surprising move into the Australian market.

I briefly read the CrowdCube pitch on the train earlier (no up-front mention of the previous Seedrs raise, obviously, although it has been mentioned in the discussion board) – I’ll admit, I found myself thinking I might invest in this if I had been finding them for the first time. Perhaps this is their angle, however I feel the investor base on CrowdCube has plenty of overlap with that of Seedrs so if targeting new investors was the reason for the switch, I’m not sure it’s a good one.

I’m still waiting for a good reason (from the view of the investor) for switching platforms to emerge from one of these flip-floppers, I’ve been trying to think of a theoretical one for months and I’m stumped.

Us Seedrs investors haven’t been given our pre-emption notice yet, I’m 95% certain I’m going to let it slide when it does arrive.