Considerate Hoteliers: Our crowdfunding success
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Last summer we helped hospitality service Considerate Hoteliers raise over £300,000, to support the growth of the company and their new system, Con-Serve.
Business partners Xenia Hohenlohe and Benedetta Cassinelli took over the company in 2012. Together they used their extensive expertise within hospitality and sustainability, to develop Considerate Hoteliers into a service company providing responsible business solutions to the sector.
We caught up with Benedetta Cassinelli (pictured above), Business Development Director at Considerate Hoteliers, to find out why they chose to raise growth capital through crowdfunding, and how the business is doing now.
CrowdBnk: Why did you look to crowdfunding for growth capital?
Benedetta: We wanted to speed up the launch of our new product Con-Serve, our data management system. We hadn’t had much previous experience raising funds via some of the more traditional routes, and crowdfunding just seemed more straightforward to us.
C: What made you choose CrowdBnk in particular?
B: We looked at a few other platforms but most of them dealt only with start-up seed companies. We’re a bit further down the line as we already have a solid revenue stream. Plus the fit was better, and we could see CrowdBnk had dealt with a lot of similar businesses to us too.
C: Were there any other deciding factors?
B: CrowdBnk really did a thorough job of due diligence. They got to know our company really well and gave us plenty of support developing our Investor Memorandum document. Also, because they took the time to get to know us, our finances, and our business needs, they were able to give us that extra degree of flexibility when working out our terms.
C: How much did you raise?
B: Our initial target was £300,000 but in fact we went into overfunding and raised a total of £337,700.
C: What have you done with the funds since then?
B: We’ve added new core people to our company, expanding the sales team and the operations team. A portion of the funds went towards further development of our product, and PR /campaign support. We also developed our infrastructure along with gaining a robust CRM system and new accounting software.
C: Anything else that’s happened since receiving funding?
B: Yes, plenty. A couple of recent highlights would be our new website which is due to launch in about three weeks time, that and the award that we’re up for this week. We’ve been nominated for two industry awards including The Guardian Sustainable Awards for our trademarked data management system. The awards ceremony is this Thursday, so we’re really excited about that.
C: Congratulations, that’s fantastic news! Any advice you would give to Entrepreneurs seeking funding through alternative finance?
B: Look for a platform that is the right match for you, depending on where you are in the business cycle. A lot of the companies we looked at couldn’t help us as we were too developed for them. CrowdBnk were able to support our fundraising needs and took a genuine interest in helping us succeed.
Another piece of advice is realise that for the next six months or so, fund raising will be a full time job and will become your main focus. But with the right platform behind you and the financial rewards at the end, it’s worth putting in the time.
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A growing number of institutional lender are redirecting their funds, to provide finance to UK SMEs.
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CODE Investing has entered into a strategic partnership with BNP Paribas Asset Management to originate SME loans.
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