When Sourced Market founders Ben O’Brien and Dan O’Neill decided to expand their successful St Pancras-based artisan food business, they didn’t go hat-in-hand to the bank.
With big growth plans scheduled for 2016, including two new venues—one in Marylebone and the other in Victoria—Sourced Marketis using a relatively new method to raise finances, via the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
Their target is £750,000 (with a maximum of £1.5m) and as of today, they’re 97 per centthere with £728,000raised by a combination of 182 backers so far.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of crowdfunding before, it’s a simple fundraising approach whereby an individual or business invites investors to contribute towards a target. In Sourced Market’s case, O’Brien and O’Neill are asking investors to contribute a minimum of £500 on the basis of an annual interest rate of a generous eight per cent payable in two equal installments every six months, with the principle repaid after four years. Sourced Market is also offering rewards, such as luxury hampers, access to events and a Sourced Market discount card to bondholders, too.
Sourced Market first opened in August 2009 inside the station’s main foyer, which has since become a draw for luxury retail brands, including Fortnum & Mason, The White Company and MAC Cosmetics, who all have outlets inside the station.
The grocery store currently serves 12,000 customers per week—supporting over 110 small producers—revealing on their crowdfunding page that it generated £2.9m net revenue in its last financial year, while the current financial year up to September 2015 shows sales are 14 per cent up year-on-year.
While Sourced Market continue to challenge supermarket retailers, favouring quality products supplied by local, ethical, artisan producers, O’Brien andO’Neill areambitious and keen to expand to other parts of London.
Sourced Market isn’t the first food-related brand to take the crowdfunding approach over more traditional methods, with two of the biggest culinary names in the world using the same method earlier this year.
Noma My Perfect Storm, a documentary directed by Pierre Deschamps, which charts the rise of René Redzepi, launched a campaign earlier this year via the Indiegogo platform to generate funds for post-production work, while more recently Nuno Mendes of Chiltern Firehouse fame is asking for support to reopen Viajante in Wapping, London, through the Seedrs platform.
With only fourdays left to become a bondholder, now is the time to let your altruistic side shine as Sourced Market is on the last push to reach their £750,000 target. To invest or to find out more, visit: crowdcube.com/investment/sourced-market-bond-20656