Bruce and Baksho here from Lord of the Fries New Zealand.
We’ve realised that while we let our interested investor database and pledgers for our crowdfunding campaign know where we’re at and choices for where to next, we haven’t yet talked to our full customer base and social media followers. So this is for that and for you.
We really wanted to gather enough funds from our crowd to open a bunch of new stores around the country and substantially increase our positive plant based impact. That’s totally because we were born from purpose, and continue to want to hurry up and help Save the World, Bite by Bite!
However, in a nutshell, prior to Christmas we didn’t reach our minimum goal for our equity campaign. We had over 280 people pledge a total of just under $400k, which is fantastic, but since we didn’t hit the million dollar goal the money wasn’t collected. We are so grateful for the support from that small collection of humans, and the clear belief in what we do and why we do it.
During our campaign, we heard and felt how much our crowd loves our brand and what we do. We also saw an increase in interest from potential franchisees, and other investors.
But from running a couple of surveys and speaking to our crowd, we feel like there were a few things we didn’t get quite right, and that meant we didn’t get to that campaign target.
A big one for everyone was the timing. We thought offering shares as Christmas presents in December would be a great idea. Turns out not so much, as people are really focused on other things, and money as well is tighter as we all budget for presents and holidays etc.
Potentially due to above and to the amount of other ‘noise’ during that time of year, we never really kicked off with the momentum needed to carry us along and over the threshold we had set. It’s a strange thing, possibly a kiwi thing, but it seems people don’t pledge if they don’t think you’ll get there, which of course creates a nasty little vicious circle!
Thirdly we were indeed ambitious with our minimum target: no apology for this, because as mentioned above, we’re out to have a massive impact and do real good by going mainstream. However, we could also do good potentially one smaller bite at a time, and we will be looking at this as we plan our next move.
Lord of the Fries NZ is still cranking along with our 4 stores, in fact, we had our best December yet. We think awareness of our product and brand was substantially increased by the PledgeMe campaign. But we still want to grow. There are multiple benefits from scaling:
1) purpose based impact – at scale we can increase reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, water use and water degradation. We can also improve animal welfare and human health outcomes, with a subsequent reduction of the burden to our healthcare system.
2) a business perspective – moving to local manufacture and subsequent reduction of food costs, spreading of head office costs, plus other scale efficiencies – so overall the increased store revenue will create (potentially) increased profitability for the group.
With scale we could also increase our marketing budget which supports both our business and impact goals.
To that end, we’re looking to plan our next step. We loved and still love the idea of being partly community owned by having our crowd own a piece of us, but we want to make sure before we go that route again that you agree! The campaign did bring us to the awareness of private and angel investors, and there are other routes to expansion we could go down, but we figure we’ve come this far with crowdfunding, let’s not just bin it. So we’ve decided to test the water and hopefully warm it up a little before we consider diving back in!
We’re open to comments, feedback and thoughts on Lord of the Fries NZ running another crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMe.
So if you could please fill out our survey below, we’d really appreciate it…
We will then go through the feedback, make a decision, and get on with whatever’s next…