No more Readbug

After recently trying (and failing) to raise more funds to pivot their ‘Netflix for magazines’ product into a reading material platform for universities dubbed ‘Readbug Academy’ they have today (26th April 2017) updated their Seedrs status to ‘Winding Up’.

Their security flaws certainly didn’t help, nor did their very niche range of magazines and with the likes of Readly heavily investing in advertising and partnerships with the like of McDonalds I’m afraid I could see this one coming.

Over the course of three funding rounds they took £344,621 from Seedrs investors, Matthew Hammett’s final update tells us “with no assets or liquidity it is the boards view that we will now look to have the company voluntarily struck off” – I’m sure in a day or two the discussion board will be full frustrated comments and the same old questions about claiming tax relief.

Some Quotes

An email from SA Insolvency revealed a few details about the imminent winding up of Purple Harry, time for some quotes…

“I am advised that there is very little stock remaining, which the Directors suggest has a cost price of around £1,000.  I have no further details, but will be instructing agents upon my appointment.”

“Unless the trademarks and “IP” realise significant sums, there is absolutely no chance of there being a return to the Crowd Cube investors.”

So as I suspected, there isn’t much left.

Another Puncture

I told you these things came in threes, I got an email from CrowdCube yesterday to say Purple Harry are commencing liquidation proceedings. They raised just over £80k at the end of 2013 for a 25% stake in their bike cleaning product business. So all I have to show for my £100 investment are the freebie products they dished out to us initial investors, my favourite of which was their bike floss product.

I emailed them last week as I had my concerns after checking out their CH filings – Perhaps this prompted them to start liquidating. I was going to post something about them in the coming days voicing my concerns, it looks like they beat me to it. Their accounts indicated losses of £43k, £61k and £22k for the years 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 respectively – The falling loss in 2015/16 suggesting to me that sales had fallen off significantly. Further to this, it looked like they had pretty much no cash to continue trading.

Richard Hargreaves (director) is listed as a logistics manager/consultant on LinkedIn and this is the most prominent information about him, his role as director of Purple Harry looks very much a secondary concern. Dean Perry (the second director) has had a full time job working for Vigo Software ltd. since September 2016. Again, his involvement in Purple Harry seems very secondary.

As I mentioned, their bike floss product was my favourite and also their best, it makes me wonder what will happen to it after the liquidation – I will endeavor to find out and see if I can glean anything useful from the liquidators. If they’re like other companies I’ve emailed recently they probably won’t respond.

Another Goodbye

So, just after finishing writing about Bowery Bagels demise I take a quick look at Rob Murray Browns’s blog only to find I’ve lost another one. The frozen yoghurt company Lick are apparently about to go under, so that’s another £100 lost for me and much more for some unlucky folk after raising over £292k around a year ago. Looking back at their pitch, I was supposed to get a limited edition screen print, now I’ve see that, I’m more disappointed about missing out on the perk than the company going under. At least this picture from their last newsletter (July 16) showed how forward thinking they are/were.

I did buy a tub from my local Co-Op when I first invested, I think it was honey flavour – To be honest, it wasn’t great. I don’t think the other tubs ever moved judging by the build-up of ice crystals.

These things come in threes, so I’m sure there’ll be another one along in the not-to-distant future.

Cheerio

Another one bites the dust it seems, Bowery Bagels (formerly known as Tower 47) posted an update on Friday – The company has been dissolved but continues to trade – A questionable situation; already pointed out on the discussion board. The dissolution happened back in November, it was noticed on the discussion board, but it’s taken this long to get an official response.

To be fair, I had little hope for this one since Tower 47 went wrong and our money ended up in this business instead. One of the directors already has another company setup, and I’m sure the subtle name difference was an honest mistake.