The founders behind a Fintech start-up say they’d definitely return to crowdfunding after raising half a million pounds in the first round.
Genuine Impact, led by Truman Du, Yuchen Xia and Alister Sneddon, raised £500,000 through crowdfunding just six months after launching.
The trio took part in Virgin StartUp’s CrowdBoost Accelerator programme, enabling them to better prepare their campaign.
Genuine Impact is a new financial terminal for DIY investors, helping people make informed trading decisions based on quality research and up-to-date news.
“It all started when we met for lunch one day next to the Bloomberg building,” says Truman. “We thought, ‘Where do they get the money to build such an amazing building?’. We started to do some analysis and saw a gap in the B2C market.
“At the end of the financial years, my friends used to come up to me and ask me what they should do with their money. If my friends who work in the sector are asking me that, the chances are that other people outside of financial services didn’t have anywhere to go either. Research is the most important part of any investment.”
Genuine Impact’s beta app was launched in 2019, and already has several thousand users.
CrowdBoost and the subsequent investment have allowed Truman and his team to move Genuine Impact to the next stage.
Truman added: “The CrowdBoost programme was extremely helpful. It was a very streamlined process, allowing us to work through a structure. Each session is very well prepared – how to market the product, how to get exposure, how to model the business. It’s a very well-rounded, comprehensive programme.
“Crowdfunding is a very good place to get exposure and get our users to become investors. We’re progressing well and the next stage is to hire two more full-time people – one to help with the technology, and one to help with marketing – before we bring the product to market.
“We definitely would return to crowdfunding. The community we get on the back of the crowdfunding raise is highly engaged and our investors have since then turned into our customers.”
And if Truman could give advice to would-be start-ups, what would it be? “Be agile in your product design and do not sit in a dark room thinking you know what your users want,” he said. “Bring a product to market as quickly as possible. You will look back after two years and feel embarrassed at it, but it’s important to get that user feedback as soon as possible.
“It’s also important to get to know the ecosystem players like Virgin and Crowdcube, especially in the Fintech space.”
To learn more about running an equity-based crowdfunding campaign, take a look at our CrowdBoost programme.