Front Up Rugby, a rugby inspired fashion label for men, has grown into one of the United Kingdom’s leading and most respected clothing brands. The company was started in 2008 by entrepreneur Jon Allen who saw a gap in the market for a youthful and fashionable rugby line of clothing. He started the company in his back bedroom and the company has been growing steadily ever since. Jon was acknowledged as the Crowdcube entrepreneur of the year for 2012. Having captured extensive press and exposure in the UK, the brand is now looking to expand – and they have chosen Crowdcube to raise the capital necessary to pursue their growth. It certainly must help that English Rugby star James Haskell is a current shareholder in the business.
This is the second time Front Up Rugby has gone to Crowdcube to raise equity. Last time around they raised £100,000 from 64 investors representing a 20% stake in the company. This time around the company set a goal of raising £100,000 for 13.33% equity in the business. The offering recently closed having toppped the mark ending at £121,480 representing 16.19% equity garnering investments from 115 individuals.
Allen was quoted following the successful raise as stating;
“We’re delighted our pitch was so well received. The money raised will be used to develop our online platform and expand our product range ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup which will provide an excellent springboard for the business.”
Notably Front Up Rugby encouraged investors to participate in the Crowdcube offering on their own web site. The company adroitly promoted the benefits to participating in their equity offering. Investors could own a piece of the growing company for as little as £100 but investors also had the opportunity to benefit from a “reward”. The combination of ownership plus perks and the fact the offering could benefit from the EIS Tax Relief program was pretty compelling.
Two individuals who invested a minimum of £500 were entered into the possibility of receiving a prize (including lunch with Haskell). Anyone who shared their pitch via social media was also entered into a separate drawing.
Combining perks with ownership is nothing new in luring investors.There have been other high profile crowdfunded equity offerings in the UK which have bundled various perks with ownership. In the end it comes down to the creativity of the company raising capital and the compelling nature of the investment.
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