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Crowdfunding Unicorns: The Hall of Fame

Crowdfunding is now more popular around the world than ever before, not only as a fundraising tool for startups and SMEs, but also as an opportunity for just about anyone with a bank account to become a business-savvy investor.

In a tech-driven world, the online listing of pre-market products has transformed the innovation landscape, allowing creators to gauge demand for their idea, build up a support community, and rake in huge amounts of cash without approaching a single VC.

Among the most successful companies in the world, you can find a few particularly rare beasts – the crowdfunding unicorns.

Let’s be clear, we’re not talking about mythical creatures here. We’re talking about unicorn businesses - privately held companies valuated at over $1B – that hit their crowdfunding campaigns out the park.

Let’s take a walk down the crowdfunding hall of fame…

Brewdog was founded in 2007, by James Watt and Martin Dickie. The pair had grown tired of uninspiring beer, and started brewing their own from the comfort of their own home.

From there, Brewdog was born.

Fast-forward to today, Brewdog holds the world record title for equity crowdfunding – having raised a staggering £43M solely through Crowdcube, the UK’s leading crowdfunding platform.

Having used Crowdcube to run three hugely successful funding rounds, the platform champions Brewdog as their poster child, and has built up a community of over 80,000 Equity Punk investors.

Fintech giant, Revolut, prides itself as the world’s first truly global financial superapp. Though customers’ personal and business accounts, Revolut seeks to improve financial health, and boost connectivity across the world.

Unlike Brewdog, Revolut decided to play the field, running multiple lucrative campaigns on both Crowdcube and Seedrs.

Prior to reaching their Unicorn status, Revolut raised more than £1M from over 430 investors on Crowdcube. Then, as part of their Series B round, they went on to raise £3.8M on Seedrs, from 4,260 backers.

3. Monzo

We don't want to give Fintech all the spotlight, but this one’s too good not to share.

After meeting whilst working for Starling Bank, four co-founders launched Monzo in 2015 – a new bank based exclusively on an app.

After listing Mozno on Crowdcube, they struck gold almost instantly, with Monzo breaking the world record for the quickest crowdfunding campaign in history to reach £1M.

They did so in just 96 seconds.

By the 3 hour mark, Monzo had crowdfunded £20M.

In 2012, John Foley developed the first Peloton Exercise bike.

Peloton brings the energy of a gym class to your home, through exercise equipment integrated with a virtual workout coaching system.

Not long into its journey, Peloton found success on Kickstarter. In 2013, Peloton raised £226,000 on the rewards-based crowdfunding site, with its fusion of hardware and software catching the eye of many investors.

As one of the few businesses to be propelled by the pandemic, Peloton reported a 250% sales surge in the first quarter of 2020. And despite the reopening of gyms, their growth shows little sign of stopping.

No doubt, the Brewdogs, the Revoluts, the Monzos and the Pelotons of the future are waiting patiently on a crowdfunding platform right this moment.

Perhaps, this blog has made you realise you’ve been sitting on the next billion dollar idea for too long.

Crowdfunding is a fantastic way to test the waters with a new business venture.

Crowdfunding platforms like Crowdcube don’t charge creators a fee unless their funding goal is met, so setting up a campaign is virtually risk-free.

Want to learn the tips and tricks of crowdfunding from the experts?

We’re excited to be hosting a webinar with Crowdcube’s Senior Equity Fundraising Manger, to explain how you can achieve a successful crowdfunding campaign.

This webinar takes place on the 8th of December at 1pm!

Don’t miss out – save your seat here.


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