Crowdfunding is a rite of passage for many startups. The co-founder of a UK startup taking the electric vehicle market by storm says he was wrong about his initial concerns surrounding crowdfunding - and that we should dispel the many myths surrounding this route to market.
Jerome Faissat is CEO of Andersen EV, a business which designs, manufactures and installs stylish charging points for electric cars at residential and semi-commercial properties. With more than ten million electric vehicles expected on the UK’s roads by 2030, Andersen EV addresses a gap in the booming market.
The idea for Andersen EV started in 2015, when Jerome and fellow co-founder David Simpson were both working together at a bank and spotted the rise of electric vehicles. More importantly, they didn’t see the trend stopping and set about launching a business together.
Fast forward a couple of years - and with plenty of research and development under their belts, the duo sold their first electric vehicle charger in 2017.
Having to look for investment is a rite of passage for any start-up. “We’d invested our own money, asked friends and family and neither of us had rich uncles,” Jerome says. “We were too early and high-risk for VCs, the banks weren’t interested because we had no sales, and it was painstakingly slow to find the right kind of angel investors.”
Jerome was initially reluctant to use the crowdfund route to gain investment because of the way Andersen might have been perceived within the marketplace, adding: “There’s a perception that crowdfunding is a bit of a last resort. We saw others doing things traditionally and thought that’s how we should do it. But we were wrong.”
Anderson attended our CrowdBoost programme for startups who want to get ready for investment.
CrowdBoost is a six-week programme designed to equip founders with the skills and knowledge to run a successful equity crowdfunding campaign. It is set up to dispel some of the myths surrounding crowdfunding.
Jerome said: “If you’re new to crowdfunding it is full of guidance and it increases the chances of success. We learned about market preparation and the importance of networking to find your investors. We had some customers already, but it didn’t occur to me to ask them if they’d like to invest. Now, some of them are large stakeholders. I didn’t realise.
“It’s pretty intense. They even give you homework, so when you have a business to run it’s quite challenging to squeeze it all in.”
Jerome said that it worked perfectly for Andersen EV – especially after the subsequent campaign raised £734,000 and was overfunded by 267%.
Now, Jerome and the team are heading for further success.
He added: “We’re now a scale-up business. I’m focussed on our production, commercial growth partnerships and building a good team.”