Synopsis: Learn from what has worked for other startups! This article presents one crowdfunding case study of how one startup generated incredible interest pre-offer, and another crowdfunding case study drove amazing momentum in it’s offer. You will learn lessons from each. Follow this advice, and you can get investors literally counting down to your fundraising launch!
Crowdfunding Case Study 1: Monzo
Monzo Bank raised £1 million through Crowdcube – in 96 seconds. Yes, you read correctly; their offer was finished in less than two minutes after it opened. This crowdfunding case study is instructive in what you should be doing long before the offer opens.
How did they do it?
If we are being honest, they didn’t raise that money in 96 seconds. It is a nice headline, but Monzo’s campaign started a whole year earlier when they made the conscious decision to deeply involve their potential customers in building Monzo from the ground up.
“We asked our potential customers very, very early on to help us build the bank of the future – the kind of bank that they would be proud to call their own. We very intentionally created a ‘movement’ of people who wanted to be involved with creating something. When we created our prepaid debit cards, for example, we invited people into our offices to pick them up. That way, they could come and see our white boards, meet the design team and product team and actually give their input into what we were building,” explains Monzo CEO Tom Blomfield.
“Then, when crowdfunding came along, it was a very natural progression for these people. They were around us so much, and felt so much a part of what they’d help us build, that they were the ones asking us: ‘When are you raising money?’”
The reason Monzo’s offer was completed in 96 seconds was that they had done such a great job of building their crowd that people were waiting to be asked for their money, and when that opportunity finally came, no one wanted to miss out.
You can’t suddenly activate an engaged community for a crowdfunding raise unless you have spent the months and years building it. But if, like Monzo, you have such fiercely loyal customers in great enough numbers, your success is virtually assured. Make sure you take notes from Monzo’s crowdfunding case study.
Crowdfunding Case Study 2: goHenry
Momentum is critical to crowdfunding success. goHenry provides an excellent crowdfunding case study of how powerful it is.
Says goHenry CEO Alex Zivoder: “The dozens of entrepreneurs and fundraisers we spoke to for advice stressed the importance of getting some initial investors on board to show momentum. After all, nobody wants to be the first. Those who had previously raised funds using crowdfunding platforms told us that if we could launch to the public with 25%, or 30% of the raise already done, then we would be in very good shape. We took that advice to heart.”
“What we did was break it into three stages: in the first stage, we went out to our existing investors to generate that initial momentum. That got us to 43% of our target. Next, we opened it up to our existing users for 48 hours before showing it to the public. We got great uptake from that – by the time we opened it to the public, we were already above our target – so when people had told us 25% or 30% would be good enough to see momentum kick in – well, let’s just say we knocked that out of the park! On day 1, the public could already see we had achieved our target.”
The goHenry offer was wildly successful because of momentum, and the steps they took to generate it.
By accessing their initial investors first, their existing customers could see they had already raised some of the money. By going out to their existing customers next, the rest of the public could see they were already overfunded. In the end, without doing any traditional media “outreach,” they were able to collect nearly £4 million.