“What attracted us to crowdfunding was not just the financial support, we thought it would be a great way to test the desirability of our newest product.” says Kellie Forbes Co-Founder of YUU World

Kellie Forbes and Gill Hayward, Co-Founders of YUU World, know what it takes to raise investment. They survived “Dragon’s Den” (TV programme) receiving offers from all five dragons and going on to raise investment from Peter Jones and Deborah Meadon. Then, in 2016, they raised £210,000 from a number of business angels. In 2017, with the business doing well and a new product to launch, Kellie and Gill turned to crowdfunding to raise investment to launch the product but, more importantly, to test demand for their latest creation, YUUGo a GPS tracker backpack which provides parents with everything they need to keep their kids both entertained & safe on-the-go.

Mid-way through their crowdfunding campaign, Hatty Fawcett caught up with Kellie asking her what appealed about crowdfunding, how the campaign was progressing and what they’d learnt in the process.


Hatty: What attracted you to crowdfunding for this investment raise?

Kellie: We were attracted to crowdfunding to launch our new product not just because of the financial support, but because we thought it would be a great way to test the desirability of our newest product. We also wanted to gain some valuable insight on how to improve our product along the way.

Hatty: What influenced your decision to do reward-based crowdfunding (rather than equity)?

Kellie: YUUGo is a tech product (it uses GPS/Wi-fi tracker to allow children to track their journeys whilst giving parents the ability to see where their kids are). We noticed that “wearable tech” performs particular well on reward-based crowdfunding platforms. It seemed a good way to reach out to new customers beyond those who already love our core product. Nothing is certain in crowdfunding – and we had some concerns – but we wanted to give it a try.

Hatty: How did you decide at what level to set your crowdfunding target?

“I would urge anyone considering crowdfunding to think very carefully about their crowdfunding target…setting this at the right level is more complex than you might think.”

Kellie: I would urge anyone considering crowdfunding to think very carefully about their crowdfunding target (the amount of money you want to raise).

We reviewed a lot of crowdfunding projects before launching our own and, in many cases we saw the percentage reached outshining the actual target. When this happens “the crowd” tends to be encouraged by the initial response and join in backing the project causing an overfunding situation. This is very exciting when it happens but it can also be misleading. You have to deliver your promised rewards the minute you hit your (minimum) target, even if you are planning to go on and over fund. We pondered setting a lower target (so that we were seen to achieve our target quickly) but we were concerned that if we set our minimum target too low we would not raise sufficient funds to meet our minimum order quantity with our factory, leaving us needing to deliver rewards without the minimum order quantity economies of scale. I guess what I’m saying is that setting your crowdfunding target is more complex than you might think. You’ve got to think about what you need, the costs of delivering your promised rewards and recognise that there is human psychology at play too.

“It is dependent on you to get the first 40-50% (of your target) pledges in – and you need these pledged in the first few days of your campaign. I cannot stress this enough”

Hatty: Had you lined up some initial investors to support your crowdfunding pitch when it went live?

Kellie: I cannot stress enough how important it is to do some in-depth prep and ground work on lining up initial investor pledges. I’d recommend lining up initial pledges that account for 40%-50% of your target – and you need these pledged in the first few days of your campaign to get the traction your campaign will need to reach “the crowd” (people you don’t know).

We’ve found there is a difference between American and UK consumer behaviour on crowdfunding sites. We found that our campaign received good numbers of visitors but the conversion from our Facebook advertising and our database was not what we had anticipated. People can be scared off, or simply be confused about what they are there for, if they have not made a crowdfunding pledge before. I’d recommend providing a clear, short explanation on your pitch page explaining how crowdfunding works. UK consumers, in particular, seem less familiar with crowdfunding compared to, say, the USA.

“I wish we had worked with somebody independent to our campaign and company so that we had another perspective and view.”

Lastly, and I feel this sincerely, I wish we had worked with somebody independent to our campaign and company so that we had another perspective and view on how to approach our campaign. In my experience, you cannot cover enough angles when preparing for your campaign!

Hatty: Have there been any surprising outcomes from your crowdfunding campaign?

Kellie: Yes! We were not clear enough on how much the first 30% (of your target) depends on you to get the pledges in. The first two days of the campaign were exhausting, asking friends and family to pledge. If only we had understood the importance of this better, and had prepared more pledges before going live.

That said, we’ve had amazing comments about our product. That’s been insightful. We know we have a desired product, but this has not translated into pledges. We thought that the pledges would be indicative of the product’s desirability – but this has not been the case.

We are currently (at the time of writing) mid-campaign and have reached 37%. We’ve had some lovely PR which has been brilliant (including a spot on BBC Business Breakfast) but, without faster progress towards our target early in our campaign, the exposure Indiegogo and Crowdreach can offer is limited. It reinforces how important it is to have lined up pledges which amount to a significant chunk of your crowdfunding target before you put the campaign live.

We are disappointed but we are not giving up yet. We have some plans in play to boost our campaign. Whatever happens, our product has been very positively received so maybe we just need to launch in the old fashioned way!

You can back YUUWorld’s crowdfunding campaign here

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How to succeed at Crowdfunding – live, interactive webinar
Book your free place

Crowdfunding Accelerator is an eight week online programme that makes it quicker and easier to be successful at crowdfunding. Find out more

Why crowdfunding is like running a marathon…and how you can make it quicker and easier

The power of crowdfunding is undeniable. The media is full of stories of companies raising large amounts of money in just a few days, hours or even seconds!

Brew Dog raised more than £7 million from three crowdfunding exercises

Just Park raised £3.57 million in 34 days

Mondo bank raised £1 million in just 96 seconds

Looking at these examples you might be forgiven for thinking that crowdfunding is easy.

Let me tell you, it’s not!

Crowdfunding is like running a marathon. It takes months of preparation, a good dose of persistence and a degree of stubbornness that stops you giving up even when the going gets tough.

Most of the hard work for a successful crowdfunding campaign is done before you put your campaign live. As with marathon running, the amount of preparation you do is directly correlated to the result you achieve. There’s a lot to do: From preparing written copy and a video pitch to developing a motivating suite of rewards or business valuation. You’ll need to hone your business or project plan in order that it conveys the essential information investors look for, and you’ll need to tee up potential investors so that the money starts to pour in when your crowdfunding pitch goes live.

In fact, crowdfunding is a full-time job – one that’s usually done alongside your other full-time job – that of running your business or project.

Crowdfunding is not an exact science either. Are you certain the crowdfunding platform you have selected will help you attract the right type of investors? Have you pitched your rewards package at the right level to motivate investors? Would it be better to set a lower crowdfunding target and overfund, or should you aim high from the start?

For many, crowdfunding seems appealing but when you look into the detail of what is needed, crowdfunding moves to the “too hard” pile and the campaign never gets off the ground.

For those that do try, there are many pitfalls and difficulties along the way.

The bad news is that over 50% of crowdfunding campaigns that launch fail to achieve their target.

For this reason, it pays to get professional help. After all, if you do run a marathon chances are you will take on a personal trainer or, at very least, research and adopt a training programme.

Crowdfunding Accelerator, an online programme of workshops and mentoring, is designed to make it quicker and easier to run a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Over 8 weeks, in 90 minute (online) weekly meetings you are guided, step-by-step, through the elements of a successful crowdfunding pitch.  There is specially created content which focuses your effort on the things that really matter, workbooks, easy-to-use templates, helpful tips and motivational advice. It’s like having a personal trainer at your side.

There is no doubt that, if you prepare properly, crowdfunding is a good source of finance. In fact, just as a marathon runner can pretty much tell you the time they will run on race day, so it is with crowdfunding. If you prepare properly you’ll know just how quickly you’ll achieve your crowdfunding target , perhaps down to the last second!

A good way to find out more about Crowdfunding Accelerator is to join a free online, interactive seminar: How to succeed at crowdfunding Book your free place below or find out more here

book onto a free online taster session. Sign-up here to receive details of the next taster session.

Crowdfunding Accelerator: Making successful crowdfunding quicker and easier

Crowdfunding Accelerator: An online programme of workshops and mentoring

How to succeed at Crowdfunding: Free online, interactive seminar – Book your place


The harsh truth is that 50% of crowdfunding pitches fail to reach their funding target. Crowdfunding Accelerator is an eight week ONLINE programme designed to make it quicker and easier for you to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. The programme:

  • takes a step-by-step approach, focusing your effort on the things that really matter
  • provides specifically prepared content focused on each aspect of your crowdfunding campaign
  • supports you with programme workbooks, handy-to-use templates, additional resources and proven tips
  • encourages peer learning, support and motivation through a closed Facebook Group
  • facilitates the actions needed to prepare your campaign through weekly “homework”
  • culminates with “Pitch School” where each participant pitches their campaign and receives tailored feedback
  • significantly improves your chances of crowdfunding success

What participants say about Crowdfunding Accelerator

“Hatty is a great teacher! The rich content of the course kept me interested and helped me understand how crowdfunding fits into various financial offerings. This course has given me confidence on how and when to organise a campaign.” Sue Frost, Co-founder Curamicus

“Hatty made the daunting process of accelerating my business a simple, outlined and structured process. As a company we have gained direction, professionalism and valuable information through her insights”. Arun Thangavel, Co-Founder, Hollabox

“The Crowdfunding Accelerator was an excellent way to explore the concept of crowdfunding in a real hands-on and practical way which resulted in having everything I needed to proceed.” Claire Timbrell, Co-founder The MacGuffin Project

“You have really helped me address my ideas and improve my plans. The support has met my expectations which were high”. Adalberto Battaglia, Founder Quinto Quatro

“I’ve found your feedback on the homework assignments most helpful. It feels like personal tuition.” Sue Frost, Co-founder Curamicus

“The homework is by far the best bit! It’s what made this so much more practical than just researching crowdfunding on your own, because you end up with everything you need to proceed. Even if you don’t proceed, the homework definitely focuses you on what is important for your business.” Claire Timbrell, Co-founder The MacGuffin Project

“Hatty was a fantastic coach helping us create a short pitch, ensuring the delivery of key investor information in a simple but effective way” Gill Hayward, Co-Founder, YUU World

Dates for the next programme

The next Crowdfunding Accelerator runs on Monday evenings from 19.00-20.30 BST on the following dates:
September – 11th, 18th, 25th
October – 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

Location
This is an online programme delivered weekly in 90 minute interactive video call meetings. There is no need to travel. Simply log in from your computer (with internet access) wherever you are.

What next?

How to succeed at Crowdfunding: Free online, interactive seminar – BOOK YOUR FREE PLACE

Got questions about the programme? EMAIL HATTY

Want to join the next cohort of Crowdfunding Accelerator: SIGN UP NOW

 

About Hatty
Crowdfunding Accelerator is run by experienced crowdfunder Hatty Fawcett. Hatty raised £250,000 through crowdfunding and angel investment for her own business venture and for the past 5 years she has helped business owners prepare for and raise investment. She learnt the hard way what it takes to raise investment and is on a mission to make it quicker and easier for other businesses to access finance.

Hatty regularly speaks on crowdfunding and is an active blogger on the subject of raising investment.

Hatty is also a Regional Manager for Angels Den, the Business Angel Network and crowdfunding platform, is a Talent Spotter for The Start-up Funding Club and an Ambassador for Phundee. She runs free, monthly Funding Clinics giving businesses the opportunity to discuss their funding requirements in an informal clinic and to receive tailored advice.