3 things drove our successful crowdfunding campaign – planning, pump-priming and PR” says Matt Dyson, Co-founder and CEO of Rockit

Matt Dyson Co-founder and CEO of Rockit knows what successful crowdfunding takes. He and his team beat their crowdfunding target and overfunded to raise £253,000 in May 2018. It’s been quite a ride. Rockit only launched in October 2017 and to beat their investment target within eight months of trading is testament to the efforts of the team.

Hatty Fawcett of Crowdfunding Accelerator asked Matt what he thinks made the difference to Rockit’s successful crowdfunding campaign.

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

“Crowdfunding is a fantastic opportunity to increase exposure at the same time as raising investment.”

Matt: Ever since we launched Rockit, the portable baby rocker, in October 2017, its been creating a real buzz. As we started thinking about raising investment, we had already built up quite a following amongst parents both in the UK and abroad. Crowdfunding seemed a perfect match as we could access a large pool of potential investors whilst simultaneously building a group of Rockit brand advocates. It was a fantastic opportunity to increase our exposure at the same time as raising the investment.

Hatty: Many early-stage businesses with a strong product start with reward-based crowdfunding, why did you choose to do equity crowdfunding?

“Our investors will benefit from the success of the business as a whole, not just a single product.”

Matt: We had already launched Rockit and it was gaining traction in the market. The team were working on a range of follow-up products to solve various child sleep issues. We chose to focus on equity crowdfunding to raise capital to bring these new products to market as quickly as possible, but also to increase marketing spend both in the UK and overseas. Our investors will benefit from the success of the business as a whole, not just a single product.

Hatty: What do you attribute your successful crowdfunding campaign to?

Matt: The appeal of our product has to be a factor. Rockit itself certainly caught the eye of investors as there is nothing quite like it on the market.

Thorough preparation for the campaign was another key attribute.

“We spent several months planning and preparing the video, pitch deck and financial forecasts. Several serial investors commented on the attention to detail and the fact that we supported our assumptions with detailed explanations.”

Hatty: A lot of crowdfunding platforms won’t accept you on to their platform until you have secured some of your investment target. Did you have a “lead investor”?

“We managed to reach 40% of our funding target prior to going live…that pump-priming meant the campaign got off to a flying start.”

Matt: I agree that securing some of your investment prior to putting your campaign live is important for successful crowdfunding. We managed to reach 40% of our funding target prior to going live on Crowdcube so we had primed the pump but we didn’t have a single lead investor. Instead we were backed by a number of smaller investors who had followed our progress over the previous months. This, coupled with the fact that we still had some SEIS allowance for the early investors, meant that the campaign got off to a flying start.

Hatty: What promotional activities did you undertake to bring “the crowd” – those you didn’t know prior to crowdfunding – to your pitch?

“Our PR drive was probably the most effective way of engaging with the crowd as it snowballed organically and drove lots of potential investors to our campaign page.”

Matt: We promoted the raise on all our social media platforms, posting regular updates about the campaign but also about key successes within the business generally.

Whilst we were live we signed several distribution deals including one in the US. We also won several design and consumer awards. These successes were very timely and we certainly found it encouraged investment during the campaign.

We were also lucky to be featured on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ and that generated additional press interest. This PR drive was probably the most effective way of engaging with the crowd as it snowballed organically and drove lots of potential investors to our campaign page.

Hatty: What advice, tips or successful tactics would you offer to anyone preparing for crowdfunding?

“Start planning 3 or 4 months prior to the launch of a campaign. That may seem like a long lead time but preparation is key!”

Matt: This gives you time to identify all the potential investors in your various networks and start conversations with them.

Another tip is to get feedback on all your campaign materials – video, deck and pitch page before finalising them. This is something we did repeatedly with both the Crowdcube team but also via feedback from experienced investors within our personal networks.

Hatty: Many founders who successfully crowdfund tell me it is very time-consuming. What do you recommend for maintaining your motivation and commitment when crowdfunding?

Matt: It’s certainly challenging running a crowdfunding campaign whilst also maintaining the day to day running of the business! Our days were long and we often found ourselves emailing responses to potential investors late into the night.

“There were times when the investments were slower to arrive than we would have liked and it was really useful having a plan to promote the campaign using different channels to increase engagement on these quieter days.”

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

Matt: Yes! Crowdfunding has certainly raised the profile of our business, not just in the UK but overseas too. We are following up some leads from potential international distributors who became aware of Rockit through the Crowdcube campaign. We have also had some investors offer expertise and advice on a voluntary basis as we move forward. All in all it’s been a very rewarding experience.

Is your Startup ready for investment?

Take the Startup Investment Scorecard to discover if your Startup is ready for investment. Start here

Latest Blog & News

Panel members at How to find and impress investors June 2022

How to find investors, and impress them

Have you ever wondered what it takes to find and impress investors? Well, who better to ask than leading VCs and angels themselves! Earlier
financial-forecast-charting-growth-1200-1

Investing your time where it counts – the numbers

How the right financial forecast is crucial to unlocking startup investment If you’re looking to secure startup investment, it’s inevitable that at some point
Barry Klipp founder of Interlnkd who has raised over £250,000

The travel industry tech startup that went from being grounded to accelerating for take-off having secured over £250K investment

Barry Klipp had spent 17 years working in the airline industry so you might imagine how he felt when the covid pandemic grounded planes
PEEQUAL founders raise £250,000 for their startup

Funding Accelerator graduate PEEQUAL secures £250,000 equity investment

British Design Fund became PEEQUAL’s largest investor but the reason they provided equity investment might surprise you… Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane, the two
Should you raise startup funding from family and friends no words

Should you raise startup funding from friends and family?

So you think you need to raise funding for your startup? You may be right, but before you being to raise startup funding from
7-Essentials-that-unlock-startup-equity-investment-600

7 Essentials that unlock Start-up equity investment

Start-up equity investment: Investors look for 7 Essential ingrediants when deciding whether to back a start-up – or not! Be succinct to get attention
Financial savings mechanism. Piggy bank formed by gears and cogs

Traction makes it quicker to raise funding for a startup

So you want to raise funding for a startup? To succeed, you’ll need to speak the language of investors. Investors will ask “how much
7 mistakes that stop you raising investment for your startup no words

7 Mistakes that stop you raising investment for your startup

Startup founders are resourceful and move quickly but sometimes that haste can work against them. They make mistakes. When it comes to raising investment
10 founders no copy

“What’s the best way to fund my business?”: Ten founders give the lowdown on the best way to fund your business

One of the fundamental questions at the front of most founders’ minds – and the most frequently asked question – is “What’s the best
Doors within doors kilarov-zaneit-KjqNGd0sCTQ-unsplash

Why your executive summary is your most important investment document

When seeking investment for your business it pays to think like an investor, giving an investor the information they want rather than telling them
New fund improves access to funding

Every startup deserves equal access to funding

Our Partner, Capital Pilot, has launched a new fund to improve access to funding Let’s face it, raising equity investment is hard. All the
Find-investors-by-Herbi-B-from-pixabay

How to find investors for a startup…quickly!

A recent report from Beauhurst and SFC Capital* reveals that it takes, on average, 15 months to find investors for a startup and close