Boutique travel business Mr & Mrs Smith closed its crowdfunding campaign yesterday, 10 days earlier than planned after raising a total of over £6.1m in under a month.
More than 2,000 people have contributed to the Crowdcube campaign since it launched on 11 September, with investments starting at £125 (the price of a single share).
Initially scheduled to end on 18 October, the campaign became one of the fastest to surpass the £1m mark on Crowdcube – achieved on its very first day.
The crowdfunding campaign was the first time in the company’s 15-year history that Mr & Mrs Smith has made equity in the business available to either its 1.5million members in 100 countries around the world or the wider public.
The new investment will support the company’s continued growth as it aims to build on a 22% increase in total transaction value – from £51.8m to £63.5m year-on-year to June 2018 – and a recent upsurge in booked revenue, which has risen by 35% from £7.9m to £10.6m.
The influx of investment from both Smith members and the public meant that the limit of £5m eligible for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which gives investors access to tax relief, was quickly reached so Mr & Mrs Smith decided to close the round at midnight on Monday 8 October.
The success of the campaign has made Mr & Mrs Smith the first company in both the UK and Europe as a whole to take advantage of the new UK limit of €8m for investment crowdfunding, crossing the previous €5m limit on 21 September 2018.
James Lohan, co-founder, Mr & Mrs Smith said: “This crowdfunding campaign has been a humbling reminder of how passionate people are about the business and our mission to shake up luxury travel. Thanks to the support of our new shareholders, we can now rapidly expand our curated collection of boutique hotels and villas, extend our international reach, and enrich our experiences offering. It has been a great honour to see our community accept our invitation with such enthusiasm.”
Core plans for the funds include accelerating the development of Smith’s in the US market; rapidly widening its collection of hotels and villas and expanding Mr & Mrs Smith SideStories.
Funds have also been earmarked both for its in-house booking engine and Smith24 – the 24/7 booking and member-support service.