Case study: A jolly good doooAug 23, 2021
dooo is an all inclusive platform for on-demand haircuts, enabling people to get a stylist sent to their home. Founder Jess Palfrey from Bristol started by doing home haircuts as she learned of more and more individuals who do not feel comfortable in a salon environment. When Jess found this gap in the market, she set out to provide an easy and convenient way to get a haircut at home.
Why did you decide to raise investment via crowdfunding, rather than other methods of raising funds?
As an early stage company without a lot of traction, crowdfunding felt like the best way to get more marketing and to help me find initial capital. We loved the idea of brand ambassadors, and wanted to get as many people to be a part of our journey as possible.
- What made you decide to use a support partner to help you prepare your campaign? And why did you choose ISQ?
When I first applied to launch on a platform, I quickly realised it was not an easy process. I reached out to a friend who had done a crowdfunding round before and they referred me to ISQ to help me more easily reach my end goal. The team was a great help in getting me on the crowdfunding ladder and launch more successfully with Crowdcube.
- Did you have lead investment confirmed before you joined ISQ? How did your network respond to your decision to raise investment via crowdfunding?
My lead investment was confirmed after I started the programme with ISQ. I used the early stage modules on scoping my network that ISQ provided which helped me to secure that lead investment, and it worked! The overall view of raising via this method of funding from my network and wider network was good, however I found that some higher ticket investors who wanted to come onboard wanted to do so privately and have preferential rights, which would have meant taking the investment offline. I decided to continue with the crowdfunding round for the great marketing benefits, and I’ll pursue a new route of fundraising further down the track!
- What were the key challenges you encountered whilst crowdfunding?
Raising the initial lead investment was hard. Keeping up to date with all my contacts, and working on all the different documents and paperwork would have been impossible without support. Crowdfunding takes a lot of time and effort, luckily I had a team of people to help as I believe doing this on my own would have been really hard whilst running my business.
ISQ helped me all the way along with making sure my investor documents were fit for purpose, and I found the coaching very helpful. I’d certainly recommend them to others looking to crowdfund, because I wouldn't have launched on Crowdcube without them. ISQ is a great team, very warm and welcoming, and they go out of their way to help you right up to the very end!
Their 3 key areas of strength are:
- Communication - always there to help.
- Organised - the teaching is great and all planned perfectly.
- Friendly- go out their way to help.
- Would you use crowdfunding as a way of raising funds again?
Hopefully with the traction from this round, I will be able to acquire lead investors outside crowdfunding. I learnt a lot about myself and my team, and I did enjoy it, however I found trying to juggle both preparing for a crowdfunding raise at the same time as trying to set up my business quite stressful. So I think for my next round of fundraising I’ll go directly to investors, I need to focus my time and attention on the business now.
- What did you learn from this experience? Did you enjoy it?
I enjoyed crowdfunding, and I learnt a lot from small things to really big things - but mostly I feel like I learnt how to be more organised and how to be a great leader to my team. Thank you so much for all your help, it was much much appreciated - the team is excellent and I truly believe I wouldn't have been able to do it without the super friendly staff who are very well-informed.
...What's next, Jess?
Next to dooo, is launch the app, YAY! Crowdfunding has got me to the stage where I have now paid and developed the app ready to launch. Once we have launched then we will raise more money to focus on expansion.
You can check out dooo's successful crowdfunding campaign here on Crowdcube.