Case study: Cleantech EMSOL raises nearly £400K in 2nd Seedrs raise

Jan 17, 2024

“I can't recommend the ISQ approach and framework enough for anyone planning to raise with Crowdfunding.

The work involved is significant, and being guided on what to do first and next is helpful. 

A successful campaign is vital, and investing in ISQ is a must, even as I have previously raised before with Crowdfunding.  

It is a lonely challenge at times, especially as this is on top of running the business. 

Huge thanks to ISQ, for helping me with our raise. I learned a lot and so pleased we got through it.” - Freddie, Founder & CEO, EMSOL

Client: EMSOL

Platform: Seedrs

Campaign target: £350,002

Final amount raised: £397,362

Overfunding %: 108%

Number of investors: 320

Pre-money valuation: £8,2M

Final equity transferred: 4.4%

Tax relief: EIS


Business summary:

SaaS cleantech that identifies urban pollution sources & mitigates them with real-time data & insights


Bullet highlights:

  • WINNER: Construction News - Innovation of the Year 2022
  • Addresses combined market opportunity of £45.1Bn pa
  • Verticals include waste, NHS, retail, construction
  • Customers - NHS, Morgan Sindall & John Lewis


ISQ supported Freddie from EMSOL during the business’ 2nd raise on Seedrs. We spoke with Freddie about how he found this raise and how it compared to his first. 


What are the best bits about Crowdfunding?

Freddie said: 

  • I"t’s the ultimate forcing function - It gets you as a company to position yourself, your product or brand much more succinctly, it forces you to finesse the message and spread that message publicly"
  • It’s an important growth piece in a business, as most founders need pressure to get collateral together. Crowdfunding helps with price positioning and figuring out “how do I sell this to the market”. It’s all about articulating the story, which helps to prepare the business for bigger investors in the future.
  • What I love about crowdfunding is you never know who you're going to meet, ideally those investors who can give you industry insights, open doors and be your new best friend.
  • Every investment counts, even the small amounts matter as every investment comes from real people who are each supporting your business.


What were the key challenges you encountered whilst crowdfunding?

He said it was “harder this time around than our previous round, as investors are more savvy, there are cost of living challenges, income pressures, plus having a campaign live in August is difficult.”

Freddie found that this raise took much longer, as there was a lot of corralling of existing investors, which is important if you want to have a successful campaign. He said it was painful at times, but rewarding.


What was the best bit of working with ISQ?

“Understanding the framework and structure of the campaign”. 

ISQ’s Crowd Scoping Tool is a task we get all our clients to complete early on whilst planning a raise. It’s the foundations of a campaign comms plan and outlines the different groups and individuals within a business’ and founder’s respective networks, that they’ll be targeting as part of the round, so it’s super important. Freddie took this tool and totally made it his own on his CRM, which was connected to Mailchimp. The benefit of this meant that it could keep evolving, and he could really dig into the data for the purposes of marketing.

Freddie said that the best bit about the ISQ process, was that it provided the steps and workflow for him to follow.

During the live campaign, Freddie also had lots of positive interactions with investors and he was lucky that not many difficult questions were asked on the forum. He was organised with his list of FAQs, which helped with the speed and quality of his responses.

Freddie’s Top Tip to share with new crowdfunders? 

  • Be mindful that how you run the campaign reflects on how you run the business, the messages you push out, your campaign updates etc


What is next for your team/growth?

Freddie is now planning to grow the business a little more slowly than planned, due to the economic environment at the moment. So he’ll take some time to work out what the economy is doing and go from there. 


Would you use crowdfunding as a way of raising funds again? 

A Series A is on the horizon for EMSOL. Freddie said he would crowdfund again, as long as business is going in the right direction, but institutional investment is the next big thing for them, as existing shareholders can get a bit fed up of constant crowdfunding rounds.

Written by Steph Yeates, Operations Director, ISQ

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