Surpassing your crowdfunding target in just two days is impressive. But smashing it by more than 250% by the end of the campaign is incredible. That’s what happened to founder, Sumi Wang, after she participated in Virgin StartUp’s CrowdBoost accelerator programme.
Sumi is the founder of SunTech UK and co-inventor of eFOLDi: the lightweight and foldable electric mobility scooter, which continues to go from strength to strength since its original launch in 2015.
After winning ‘British Invention of the Year’ in 2016 and gaining initial seed funding from Virgin Media’s VOOM competition later that year, the product was selling well but needed some extra work.
Sumi heard about Virgin StartUp’s CrowdBoost accelerator programme, giving founders the opportunity to learn all they need to know about running an equity crowdfunding campaign – and even giving them a chance to hone their pitch to would-be investors.
Taking part in CrowdBoost paid off. Not only did Sumi attract the investment she needed, the overfunding achieved meant the business could really swing into action.
Sumi said: “eFOLDi has always been about people and giving something back. We chose crowdfunding because it gives ordinary people the chance to be part of the eFOLDi story for a very small outlay. We love the fact that you can invest a little or a lot and get to own shares directly, with no distant brokers or investment funds. By crowdfunding as part of CrowdBoost, the campaign also garnered more publicity. We had enquiries and interest from all over the world.
“We initially only wanted to raise £350,000 but after two days of the campaign a notification on my phone popped up to say that our target had been met. We didn’t expect it to do so well. We ended up raising £940,000.
“As a start-up, you have so many things to do. Getting funding is totally different to the day-to-day management of the company. You often need to spend a lot of money to get things to market. When we launched, crowdfunding was really taking off and it was perfect for us.
“CrowdBoost saved us a lot of hassle because everything is all in one place to help you through the process.”
The original eFOLDi sold around a hundred units, but after taking on feedback and upgrading to aluminium, eFOLDi 1.5 has successfully sold more than 1,000 units. And the journey doesn’t stop there. Sumi is planning on returning to the crowdfunding scene to raise money for the next generation eFOLDi, making it even lighter by using magnesium.
Find out more about our CrowdBoost programme and how it can take your business to the next level.