I had the immense pleasure to work with Cocoro in their recent Equity Crowdfunding round. The campaign was a resounding success, and I wanted to share my key learnings from it. but first…
…a bit of background
Cocoro designs and sells pants that absorb menstruation, vaginal flux and small urine losses. With an amazing range of highly technological products, they’re able to help women reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste (the current feminine solutions end up in landfill at the moment) while empowering them with tasty and feminine designs.
From the word ‘go’, I knew this would be a really good project for equity crowdfunding. There are plenty of elements that make them highly investable:
- They’re addressing a big market
- It’s a problem that it’s not solved optimally by the current solutions
- They have a very credible team and a good track record
- They had a large, very loyal and engaged customer base, that they started to build with a rewards-based crowdfunding round in 2016
- They started as a cooperative. With the equity crowdfunding campaign, they wanted their loyal fans to be part of the company.
The founding team approached me and my partner Valentí Acconcia to help them with their campaign back in February 2019. Fast forward to August 2019 and we had closed a campaign on Crowdcube with the following results:
- £371,250 invested
- That is 137% of our original objective
- 401 investors
The things I learned from the equity crowdfunding for Cocoro
So here are, in my opinion, the key things I learned during this exciting time working with Cocoro:
- The importance of a good pre-campaign: we were surprised by how (relatively) stress-free was the actual time live on the platform. That was because we had executed a really good pre-campaign, aligning over 80% of our objective from our community and new Business Angels that we had engaged with during this period. That allowed us to go ‘public live’ really close to the overall objective.
- Launching during the summer doesn’t need to have a big impact (if you’ve done the homework). We launched in, what we thought, was the worst possible time of the year – the summer holidays! But we did it anyway because we were confident that we had hit our main pre-campaigns KPIs (see above). Could we have had a better result by launching after the summer? Possibly. And possibly not… it’s also true that with fewer campaigns live on the platform, our share of voice was also a bit higher. In any case, we exceeded significantly our objective which proves that doing your homework pays off.
- The power of an engaged community: both points above wouldn’t have been possible without the support of a really engaged customer community. This highlights that doing a good job on social media and after-sales for months (or even years) before the launch of an equity crowdfunding campaign can facilitate the process enormously.
- Don’t get caught in the Due Diligence: due to the fact that Crowdcube is regulated by the FCA, the pitch had to be ‘fair, clear and not misleading’. That meant that the regulatory team would review any claim and would ask for proof in anything we claim on the public side of the pitch (and that includes the video). From academic achievements and work career to IP to the size of the market. This process can take two weeks (possibly more if you’re not ready!), so you better factor that in your timeline!
- The importance of a great team. Cocoro has an impressive founding team that is not afraid of surrounding themselves of the best professionals. From the best finance managers, technology developers, to videographers and crowdfunding consultants (wink!). But also, a big call out to Ashley Petrons from Crowdcube, that provided stellar service, solving any issues really promptly.
Wrapping it up
As always, there’s a lot to learn from each crowdfunding campaign you run. And the equity crowdfunding for Cocoro wasn’t an exception. In this case, amongst other things, who knew that launching in the middle of the summer holidays wouldn’t have a massive impact (?!).
If you’re thinking of running a campaign for your start-up or scale-up, don’t hesitate to comment or contact me and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.