Straightening things out

I’ve been thinking about buying and properly reviewing some of the physical products I’ve invested in or seen pitched for a while. A couple of days ago I finally got around to it – I bought some Sugru moldable glue – £7.99 from Rymans!  I haven’t yet worked out what I’m going to use it on.When I do I’ll let you know. I should also mention that I didn’t invest in Sugru when they pitched recently, although I did talk about them extensively.

On the walk back from Rymans, I decided to pop into Whole Foods Market in Picadilly in the knowledge (as an investor) that they stock Oppo (Healthy) Ice Cream, that, and I wanted some lunch. After finding the freezer cabinets and their wide selection of ice cream I found Oppo tucked towards the bottom. All four flavours were available in variously styled 500ml tubs priced at £5.99, sadly nothing in 100ml (I’m yet to find the mythical 100ml tub anywhere!). Oppo was jointly the most expensive ice cream on offer and as you’d expect from Whole Foods, everything else in the freezer looked to be from relatively independent producers with some products filling various ‘free from’ niches – nothing here was your mainstream Walls or Rossi.

Given it was raining and despite the fact that a whole 500ml tub would have been under 400 calories I still didn’t feel I could get through all that ice cream – If I can’t find any 100ml tubs close by, the next time I walk that way I might have a crack at the whole 500ml.

As a crowdfunded company Oppo are great at providing updates and interacting with us investors. It would be nice if their product was stocked a bit more widely, especially the 100ml tubs. I’m not sure who’s buying 500ml tubs of ice cream smack bang in the middle of the tourist-heavy west-end of London, but I would have thought the smaller 100ml tubs would fare much, especially if they come with a spoon. I will endeavour to try some sooner or later, in the meantime, I thought I’d straighten up their tubs for them.

And They’re Gone

So Sugru has apparently gone from a company who almost failed to fund were it not for CrowdCube’s generous pitch extension to a company who exceeded their target to raise £2m (33% more than their initial target).

I personally never thought Sugru was a good value proposition and didn’t invest, I think others initially held off for the same reason. I’m not clever enough to answer the question of why this pitch closed at £2m – Maybe I’ve missed out… I’m going to be following them closely over the next few years.

Look At Them Go!

Sugru’s still open for investment and they’re 12% over their target with three days to go – The very same Sugru who struggled for weeks to hit their 100%. I’m not sure what (other than hitting 100%) has made Sugru a more compelling investment today than it was a few weeks ago?

Unstuck

Sugru have done it, they’ve hit their target and are now in over-funding thanks in large to a generous extension provided by CrowdCube. They’ve posted an update to say that over 50% of investors are already shareholders and that they’re limited to £2m, get in while you can, that funded boost has already seen them break their £1.5m target by more than £80k (5th May).

I remain unconvinced, the valuation just doesn’t add up to me and I won’t be adding to their boost.

Dragging it out

Last week I gave a run-down of a few Crowdcube campaigns struggling to hit their targets, one of which was Sugru… They didn’t get their last minute spurt, so CrowdCube have generously let them extend their campaign so they can grind out the full 100%. Yesterday they were up to 96%, today they’re very close at 99%. With no active discussions for over a week, the reason for extension seems perfectly reasonable.

It’d be interesting to know the mix between new and existing investors increasing their pledges since they were granted their extension. It’ll also be interesting to see if they get their ‘fully-funded’ boost as seems to happen with most other companies who hit 100%.

Missing the Target

I’ve not really paid much attention to CrowdCube in the last few weeks, I’m still catching up with things. I managed to take a quick look on the train this evening and it seems I haven’t missed much.

It looks like Hydro+, Meame, Millenia and even Sugru are going to miss their targets in the coming days – All of these were listed before I took my two weeks out, the only one I’m a little surprised at is Sugru, but only because of the sheep-mentality momentum of the crowd they appear to have behind them. I was going to buy some and do a little review with a view to potentially investing, but I didn’t get round to finding a stockist and I don’t think my investment would help them over the line anyway – That said, they’re close enough to the line for one of those last-minute spurts CrowdCube are becoming famous for.

Millennia is a shop I’ve visited in Westfield, based on my experience of the shop I wouldn’t invest, it’s only ever been empty when I’ve visited – It might do OK for the owner, but I can’t see a return or even anything about it that might be interesting and that’s not because I don’t like comics or Sci-Fi.

As I’ve said before, I like cycling and spending silly money on cycling related items but even I’m struggling to see the point of a cycling jacket that doesn’t look like a cycling jacket – especially when it costs the best part of £300, has been out for several years and is made by a brand I’ve never heard of (Meame). The rest of the range doesn’t inspire confidence, it consists of just 6 unique products, some gloves, a cap, two women’s jackets and two men’s jackets, none of which are new, have they run out of ideas?

Finally we come to Hydro+, A vending system for gyms, providing calorie free electrolyte rich sports drinks dispensed directly to the users’ own receptacle. Users are expected to signup (not sure how, couldn’t be bothered to work it out) in order to get access to these drinks. I see a lot of responses from the company in the discussion board around around saving the planet because they are cutting out disposable plastic bottles, I find these ludicrous.

The last time I went to a gym, I and almost everyone else already used reusable sports bottles, filling them with a free product called water, I (and I imagine others do the same) sometimes used to add my own sachet/tablets of electrolytes to this magical fluid without harming any dolphins in the process. It’s no surprise that they’ve raised just over £60k of a £325k target with just one day to go.