Esale, a UK business hits its funding target on the Crowd for Angels platform by raising just over £38,000 from 27 investors. Esale is an online estate agency based in Harrogate which enables homeowners to sell their property from as little as £495. We spoke to their Founder and Managing Director, David Rook and asked him questions to better support your fundraising journey.
With Esale going from strength to strength, as the online sales sector of the industry increases, the directors made the decision earlier this year to raise finance in order to take the business to the next level. I’ve always liked the idea of crowdfunding and I know a lot of our customers were interested in backing us, so this was the obvious choice. We decided to go through the crowdfunding route as we also wanted to open up the opportunity to the wider investor market.
The money raised from crowdfunding will help us service the increase in business. We are investing in staff (taking on apprentices) and a larger office. The money will also help to increase our growth over the next 12 months and we will be investing in advertising and marketing to attract new sales leads. In the long-term we want to be a viable alternative to the big online estate agents and these funds will put us on the road to achieving that ambition.
On the whole, we had a very positive campaign. As mentioned above, a lot of customers who we had dealt with in the past were interested in getting involved in the business. This was reflected by external investors too.
It was difficult to get some investors who had shown interest to eventually commit the funds. Just like with our online approach in the early days of the business, I think some people were reluctant to give it a go, at first. However, working with Crowd for Angels we managed to raise our target amount. I think this was helped by our personal approach to customers, as reflected in our reviews on the Trustpilot ratings site – currently a 9.8 out of 10 rating, with 97% 5 star ratings.
Before thinking of raising funds from crowdfunding, entrepreneurs should get a solid understanding of the target market, their wants and need. Try to take a step back from your business and look at it from an outsider’s point of view - “take the lid off it and peer in”. Don’t miss an opportunity to get a recommendation or review.