Tuesday 26th February 2019
Founded by Joe and Sadie Sillett, The Funky Iron Company address the gap in the market for a funky looking iron. This is now Joe's 4th start-up business. He is best known for one of his previous businesses to date which was the cricket and golf brand Woodworm, which he took from £0 to £10m valuation in 4 years. Before starting and running his own businesses which he has done for 18 years now, he worked for leading corporates Wilson Sporting Goods, Compaq Computers and SAP.
The Funky Iron Company came very close to signing up with 2 private investors in London after 1 year of developing the concept and business plan. However, in previous businesses, they noticed just how important it is to have the right harmony and balance of power amongst the management team and shareholders. For that reason, they opted to run crowdfunding campaigns on Seedrs. They then had two very successful campaigns in 2017, attracting investment from 164 investors in 20 countries and they will be running another campaign in 2019, where they hope to grow their investor base to between 400 and 500.
Is crowdfunding now a legitimate way to raise the capital needed for a new business, or the resources to develop a new product?
"Yes. Totally. It's a very credible and modern way to raise capital. There are also some superb tax incentives for investors in the UK. The SEIS and EIS schemes are quite brilliant. We have used both. Round 1 was SEIS where you are allowed to raise up to £150,000. Investors get up to a 50% refund on their next tax return and a further 22% loss relief should the business not succeed. That's incredible. The EIS scheme which is from £150,000 to £1,000,000 gives 30% and 30%, which takes away a significant amount of risk. Our Round 2 was EIS and our current Round 3 is EIS."