Case study: Cosimo.Art raises £130K from 173 investors on Seedrs

Feb 15, 2023

“I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the framework and support from ISQ.” - John Sewell, Founder of Cosimo


Client: Cosimo Art

Platform: Seedrs

Campaign target: £125K

Final amount raised: £130,077

Overfunding: 103%

Number of investors: 173

Pre-money valuation: £1,2M

Final equity transferred: 9.70%


Business Summary: A marketplace and platform empowering emerging artists to sell directly to those who love their work.


Bullet highlights:

  • Engaged Community - 600 Registered Users, 3k on Social Media
  • Marketplace Active - £10k+ in Transactions Facilitated
  • Revenue Generating - £1k+ in Subscription Revenue 2022*
  • Award Winning - Uni of Birmingham £15k Start-Up Scholarship


“As a sole founder you know, first-time founder, I had to do a lot of learning through this process, but that was really expedited, I think, by the support I had from ISQ throughout” - John


The most surprising bit of the campaign….

One of the most surprising things for John, was individuals from his network that he didn’t think would invest at all, ended up investing significant amounts; whereas some contacts that John was perhaps a little too overoptimistic about investing in the first instance, thinking they would definitely invest, didn’t come through. Using our Crowd Scoping Tool, which John used to scope out his whole network and assess the potential value of it, meant John got a better idea of how much investment was sitting in his network. So this balanced out in the end. 


Key challenges…

The Seedrs Compliance side of things was certainly a challenge for John, as the rules changed half way through his campaign and extra risk warnings needed to be added to campaign pages. This wasn’t easy for John and meant that he lost a few small tickets that maybe weren’t able to justify the potential risks of investing in early-stage businesses.


Learnings from the process…

Time management is a biggy. If John were to do it again, he said he’d prepare more content ahead of time in order to release the pressure during the live campaign. 

John spent a lot of time and energy on the wrong investor type and underestimated how many times you need to talk to people to get them to take action. The first couple of weeks of the live campaign he spent chasing up friends, family and other contacts in the small to medium ticket size category. In hindsight, he realised that this perhaps wasn’t the best focus point, other avenues better turned out to be more lucrative, so towards the end of the campaign he had more success talking to other founders, investor matchmaking services and introducers, as well as tapping into his 2nd-degree connections and friends of friends.

Biggest benefit from the ISQ programme…

As mentioned earlier, the ISQ Crowd Scoping Tool from Phase 2 was really important as it helped frame the strategy. 

Most significantly, John felt well-prepared before submitting his campaign to Seedrs, which meant there was no back-and-forth getting it right, it was all sorted ahead of time.

Having an understanding of the submission process and due diligence side of things, meant he was able to launch the campaign quickly and stick to his launch targets. John said he probably wouldn’t have been able to do it as quickly or as well without the knowledge and skills learnt from being a part of the ISQ programme.


“ISQ have been fundamental in helping us get through this process” - John


Next steps…

John thinks he might crowdfund again one day. His goals for crowdfunding were not just to raise investment but also to market the business, and both of those he managed to achieve. He definitely wouldn’t have been able to raise as much without crowdfunding and he’s also acquired a new contact in the tech space to utilise moving forward. Running the crowdfunding campaign has given him a bigger perspective on things, as well as adding to the overall traction and achievements for the business.

What is next for your team/growth?

John is going to use the funds to make the team full-time and gain more commitment, overhaul the platform and streamline the tech. Most importantly, he aims to get Cosimo to the revenue-generating stage and achieve more traction too.

We look forward to seeing what’s next in store for Cosimo!


View campaign here


Written by Steph Yeates, Operations Director @ ISQ

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