Alumni interview: Question time with Jelte Liebrand, founder and CEO of savvy navvyJan 28, 2021
savvy navvy is the Google Maps for sailors! Jelte and his team designed an app that makes navigation easy, safe & fast, helping everyone enjoy sailing. savvy navvy saves sailors hours of frustration by finding the best and safest routes to their desired destination. Instead of having to use multiple apps, sailors simply drop a pin on the map, and savvy navvy does the hard work to find the best route in seconds.
In 2019 with our help, savvy navvy raised £330k in a very successful crowdfunding campaign. In just 7 days they’d reached 265% of their minimum target, accumulating more than 400 investors on board. We chatted to the founder, Jelte, about why they came back to carry out their second crowdfunding campaign with us in 2020, to take the business to the next level.
1. Why did you decide to raise investment via crowdfunding, rather than other methods of raising funds?
It's all about understanding your market, and understanding all funding vehicles. The perhaps more well-known venture capital route is often misunderstood. It really applies to very specific mass-growth companies. For us, in a niche market, the Angel and Crowdfunding vehicles far better align with our trajectory.
2. What made you decide to use a support partner to help you prepare your campaign?
Crowdfunding is quite unique, and unless you've done it before, you'd be foolish to think you can "just do it". Having someone explain all the pitfalls and help us structure our campaign was invaluable. For our first round, the ISQ Crowdfunding team came recommended by Seedrs. Once we'd successfully closed one round with them though, it was a no brainer to use them again for our second round.
3. What were the key challenges you encountered whilst crowdfunding?
For our first round, we felt quite a bit of stress. There are a lot of unknowns, and it can be a very daunting prospect.
4. How did ISQ Crowdfunding support you in meeting those challenges?
It was a real benefit to be able to talk to someone who understands the process, has been through it themselves and with a multitude of other clients. It gave us peace of mind when we were going through the campaign that we were on the right track.
5. What do you believe to be ISQ Crowdfunding’s key areas of strength?
Experience, an extremely well-structured approach/plan to raising and being approachable. Also, they are always at the end of the phone to provide support. We would definitely recommend them to other businesses based on these core strengths, and we would definitely use crowdfunding as a way of raising funds again in the future.
6. What did you learn from this experience?
The value of your own network, and how to get the most out of it (don't ask for things - remember, it's like dating)!
7. What is next for savvy navvy?
Covid has been challenging, but we've come out the other end now. 2021 is going to be a BIG year for us, with a solid go to market plan for five regions across the globe!
Where are they now?
savvy navvy’s latest goal for the app is to provide worldwide chart coverage. They’re currently focusing on quality and validating sources, to ensure each string of data is as accurate and relevant as can be. They’re also working with their growing user base around the world to work out what the current pain points are. It’s helping savvy navvy prioritise their road map and figure out what they are going to build next. We can’t wait to see where this year takes them.