Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Pizza Rossa turns to dough on line


Pizza Rossa are famous at Crowdcube. They have raised £600k in two tranches, won the 2013 Crowdcube Best Start Up Award, promised the world and to date delivered nothing. But are things about to change?


Rossa pitched on CC with a promise to sell their square slices to the City on Saturdays. This was back in 2013 when we were posting Q's on the CC forum. We asked them how they intended to sell 15% of their turnover to a city that was all but closed at weekends. They told us we didnt know anything. Shortly after opening their second unit, they had closed it and pulled back the original unit to a 5 day week. These guys won a business plan competition at LBS for gods sake.

In the 2015 pitch, PR stated this - and it was sanctioned by the FCA regulated Crowdcube - 

Our second outlet opened on the 20th of November on London Wall (London EC2M) and it is already a success story.

So why did it close? Even the 2015 projections have been shown to be complete BS. You might have thought they would have learnt a little from 2013. The product seems well received.

Since, they have achieved little apart from burning all the money invested. Now in 2017, with only 1 unit open, they have taken to home delivery. Why has that taken 4 years to work out?

Anyway the penny has eventually dropped and from the accounts for YE Nov 2016, they may just have saved themselves from the brink -  a relatively small loss seems to have ended the haemorrhaging - although the patient is still critical.  Naturally the Crowdcube projections used to sell the equity are long gone - as ever, pure fantasy. Now its a question of how little can they manage to lose each year. They raised a small amount of extra cash in 2017 and now promote themselves as almost exclusively on line. Time will tell but a sloth might be a better CEO than the current one.  

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Brewdog announce radical profit giveaway?


Brewdog, who just sold 23% of their company to American corporates, have now announced what they claim is a radical profit giveaway. 



Brewdog has announced (their wording) - 

Today, we’re excited to announce that BrewDog is committing to giving away 20% of our profits. Forever.

Firstly many companies do similar things but they just dont dress them up as unique. CSR has been around for over 20 years. It is a form of company promotion. And who ever heard of giving something away and then asking for it back?? That's called a loan. 

Secondly, when they say profits, what do they actually mean? Anyone who has run a company knows that your net profit can be as small as you wish to make it. That apart, the scheme as outlined looks very ordinary and has no doubt some Corporate Tax kickback.

Finally the employee profit share scheme they have announced alongside this, is just that. Its not new. Its called building in employee loyalty and feel good. Its part of running a successful growing business. Some of the this money will apparently be going to shareholders or Equity Punks as they insist on calling them. That my friends is called issuing a dividend. 

Now if had you got real balls and a real concern for the welfare of your community, a share of revenues ie turnover along the same lines would have been a punk move. This PR is for pussies.

So Brewdog, you are a great company and you have redefined the possibilities of growing something small into something big. Why do you need to continue with the charade? You sold out to corporates - everyone does it. So get used to it.


A view from the top

Recent conversations we have had with the top players in Equity Crowdfunding, show convergence. Crowdcube must change or go?


Everyone says it privately. So we thought we'd share their views with you, the Crowd. No names just some real facts. It matters because as the largest and betst known UK ECF platform, what happens to Crowdcube will have serious consequences for the sector as a whole.

The descriptions vary from 'a shambles' to things far far worse. But they all agree - the Crowdcube ECF model doesnt work and if something isnt done about it, ECF will suffer, possibly even die. 

They all have the same positive outlook for ECF generally. But the Crowdcube pile em high, sell em cheap model, with little follow up and no platform engagement after funding, is simply not sustainable. The trail of carnage is building.

They all agree that we need far more company and platform engagement, more pre and aftercare, more skin in the game. The simple truth is you cannot dangle start ups in front of an audience of cash rich, semi ignorant, semi arrogant, tax rebate junkies like some hypnotic rib rave and expect them to make sensible business decisions. They do, incredibly, believe the PR and figures they are fed.

The answer has to be for the platform's to take a stake in the businesses, backed by their expert panel who have some input into the businesses' futures and have properly reviewed their plans. So now the interests of the platform and the investors and the companies are all aligned. All of this can be controlled by access to EIS and SEIS reliefs. Crowdcube essentially set up investors with promises of massive tax reliefs and PR about Zuckerman in 3. They then take the cash, peel off their commission and let the companies do whatever they like with the rest. 

The nature of the beast is such that no one can emphatically prove this one way or t'other; right now. We have evidence that strongly suggests it is the case; other platforms and sector commentators, agree. But until Crowdcube's businesses have nearly all collapsed, many leaving in their wake, liquidised SME creditors, corruption and fraud or just plain stupidity, we can have no definitive answer. By then, it's too bloody late.

September is a hot month for Crowdcube - over 100 of its 'successes' are due to file accounts; many for the first time, so the accounts will show how they are really doing. Our bet is that over the July - September period for 2017, filed accounts will show that very very few of the 130 companies that will have filed, will have come even close to the projections used to value their companies and sell their equity. That is not a good trend but it is consistent with all the evidence we have from 2011 onwards. Nothing has changed.

To date the figure that represents the gap between the projected P&L and the delivered P&L for the last year of filed accounts, stands at over £150m. That's in just one year - add say 2 or 3 years misses together and its goes off the scale. Of the 214 companies that have filed accounts for the relevant period since CC funding, 193 have missed their projections(including a number of companies that have gone bust). 41 of these have missed by more than £1m for the last 12 month period since funding - one of these is Crowdcube. Only 9 have genuinely met them. That's a miss rate of around 95%. These projections are verified by Crowdcube 'experts'; Crowdcube is sanction by the FCA. Is it any wonder that experts have such a bad name now.

We asked Crowdcube to discuss this but never received a reply. If you are reading this, then please help us all out by letting a discussion take place. That would certainly be democratic and open - it might change some opinions. We'd be happy to provide our evidence for you to look at and comment on??

  


Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Cake - Give Me CAKE!


Cake Technologies raised £1m on Crowdcube in 2015. Accounts to YE Dec 16 show losses of £2.4m and a large deficit on the BS. 


This is odd as friends of mine in the City swear by it. So whats happened to the plans?

Well firstly they have failed to raise the £5m projected equity funds since the £1m on CC. The losses are only £100k higher than projected, which is probably a result of the funding issue. Since the 2016 YE they have only managed to raised another £100k or so which in no way covers their £600k plus deficit. The CA position is horrible.  

Maybe a lack of traction and lack of venues who accept it, have slowed things down. The patient doesnt look well though. You could say that the Directors have stretched the explanation of their Going Concern clause to the limit. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Where is the Big Sofa? Ah there you are.

Big Sofa raised a target of £700k. Ka-ching went the commission. So why have all four lead directors now resigned and where has the cash gone?



There seems to be some connection between this company and Big Sofa Technologies PLC, which went public shortly after changing its name on Dec 2016. There seems to be no legal bind but they do the same thing and have largely the same directors. - Correction.... Big Sofa Tech Gp PLC (on AIM) bought BS Tech Ltd and it is now part of the Group. So does that mean it is Crowdcube first IPO?? And if so why havent we heard about it?? 

The Crowdcube version should, by Dec 2016, have been at BE. The filed accounts show losses for the year of 2.3m. Revenues are well below projected levels and the company is technically insolvent. So just about standard for Crowdcube.

No doubt there is a plan.

On further research we have the answer. Bloody typical. We havent heard about the deal for BS Tech because in Crowdcube's own words - 

Big Sofa initiated a realisation for its investors prior to a listing on AIM Market in 2016. Investor returns were at a lower valuation than the initial investments.

I think what Luke is struggling to say is Crowdcube investors in BSTech lost some of their money. Was this on another drag along deal? Shares in BS GP were listed at 17p and opened at 21p, then rose to 28p before falling back to 21p now. Hard luck to all you CC believers. Luke you need to go on a realism course. 


Monday, 21 August 2017

Crowdcube tell the truth, their way.


An interview we did in the Memo has allowed Crowdcube to tell its investors how well they are doing.


The article here has been sanitised to avoid any court cases but the message is plain.

Here is Crowdcube's response to the piece, which really says it all.

In response to Brown’s comments Crowdcube told The Memo:
“Independent research from AltFi Data has found crowdfunded businesses have performed ‘impressively’ and Crowdcube has the highest internal rate of return for investors in the industry.”
“We enable young businesses to raise capital to create growth, which is not short term, but judging by the 430,000 Crowdcube members and the number of businesses being funded through our platform we think our investors understand that.”
“To say that most companies never bother to keep investors abreast of events is simply not true. Over 90% of Crowdcube funded businesses have sent at least one update to shareholders since fundraising.”

So lets take these one by one.
AltFi is a well known ECF promoter, so you can take this with a large pinch of salt. Their evidence comes from looking at companies that have raised again since their first ECF campaign and taking the increase in company value as a real increase. We all know that is crap. Companies that have for instance gone bust are counted as zero - there are no negative values and not one of the companies that they say has increased its value has in fact done so in real terms. So investors in companies that have gone bust suffer no opportunity loss according to their metric, they simply lose their money. This not realistic, factual or objective. £10k invested in Bad Ideas Ltd, which takes 3 years to go bust is £10k that could have earned interest or been invested in a growing asset. Altfi wipe this out. Why is that? Its a real quantifiable loss but then that would add to the downside pressure on the ECF figures. Their figures are in the end meaningless.
Crowdcube do not have 430,000 active members. Their real numbers are on the slide and from anecdotal evidence we get from 'members' sending us things, they will continue to be so. If returns are not short term then why have campaigns talking consistently about 3-5 year ROIs?
This is the worst one. So what they are saying is that of the 600 odd companies that have funded via the platform, 60 have never corresponded with their investors. That's bad enough. But if you take into account the fact that CC has been going since 2012 (ignore 2011) and most of the companies have only provided one update, then that is a disgrace. Our point made. Thank you. These updates should be minimum twice a year - so a company funded in 2014 should by now have around 6 updates - not one. We know that this is the case as we get told this constantly by their members, although many rather than most would have been a better description. And of course you know that Luke would have put the best possible spin on all of this, so its guaranteed to be exaggerated in CC's favour.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Velvet buried underground


Velvet London, a beer producer, raised £45k at the turn of 2014/15, on Crowdcube and has now closed. As usual it didnt last long but it did use SEIS so no one will lose out, apart from HMRC. Yet another success for the UKplc's start up funding policy.

And we are only scratching the surface. Surely time for someone somewhere to wake up? If you put money into poor plans run by people with little or no experience, back it up with SEIS and free beer for investors, you will get funding. You will also get a business collapse. Extend that nationwide and we have a problem.

Velvet went from revenues of £12k to over £300k to £1.5m in the space of 24 months. Well the problem was, they didnt - that's what Crowdcube said they would do. Not sure they ever sold anything. The projections on Crowdcube are obviously complete tripe but so are the historic accounts. The real accounts show considerable losses mounted up and a negative BS, whereas the Crowdcube BS is in the black. 

Ridiculous.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Crowdcube's Psonar stops the music


Cambridge has produced yet another Crowdcube flop. Psonar took £316k off 70 investors just over a year ago. It had previously raised another £1.2m. Now it has been put into liquidation with zero assets, owing trade creditors £250k. 


Dont know what it is about Cambridge but its having its share of Crowdcube cock ups.

There is no explanation yet as to the what happened. The SofA shows an estimated £11,900 of assets made up almost entirely of a VAT refund - so probably wrong if was worked out by the founders. 

The founders have what can only be described as caste iron brilliant credentials - our hats were full after reading all the big names they dropped. Makes you wonder. As does the veracity of the all the signed and pending contracts they had around the world. Is there a chance that Crowdcube checked these?

Where did the £300k plus go? It hasnt ended up creating any assets; they have none. Its just been spent. Mind you with 14 directors you are bound to have large expenses bills.

Surely someone, somewhere needs to be held accountable? This is nuts.

A new approach to S/EIS


Ask yourselves - what is the purpose of EIS and SEIS? Is it to help individuals get richer or is it to help UK plc?


Equity Crowdfunding relies almost entirely on the Government tax rebate systems SEIS and EIS. Without these there would be little investment. So from that standpoint, it is working - it is releasing private cash into companies as an alternative to the banks and VCs etc, where money has largely dried up or is too difficult to access for start ups and small SMEs.

So the next question is what happens next? What does this money achieve? Well the answer is a little more disappointing. The end goal of Government intervention into private funding of UK start ups, has to be the long term benefit of UKplc. You simply cant have Government handing out money from the public purse, to allow punters to go on a Saturday One Arm Bandit Spree - risk free. That wouldnt make any sense. And if further fallout was such that other SME's suffered as a result - because these newly funded, poorly run businesses went bust owing them money, then that would be crazy, right?

Well this is pretty well what Vince Cable set up. Investors openly tell us that its only because of SEIS or EIS that they take a punt. Some take an interest in the business, but many we have spoken with dont - some even admitted not reading the plan at all, they just like the rewards and with the rebate it makes sense even if they lose their principle. Is that helping UKplc? 

I have sat through numerous meetings and conferences on ECF, where the main speaker isnt an entrepreneur, but a lawyer. His is the most listened to section of the event and gets the most queries. He isnt talking about marketing, product development or cashflow. He's talking about how to maximise your S/EIS benefits. 

When a small business raises £250k on an ECf platform for their plan, and within a year has gone bust owing trade creditors that again, something in the system is wrong. Crowdcube now have around 60 failures (closures, so not accounting for the 100 plus that are zombies) to 3 dubious successes - the best exit being by sale to an overseas company, thereby taking any future benefit out of the UK. In fact 2 out of the 3 'successes' have been sales to overseas companies. 

It might all work better if the companies applying on the platforms were better chosen, or in some cases were actually chosen. A simple new director's course and test might help? If you havent passed it you cant access S/EIS. I am constantly staggered by the naivety of most plans and they never fail to back me up. If we really want to help these start ups we need to start at the beginning. The money so far wasted on tax rebates for 'investors', better described as punters, in businesses that never had a prayer of lasting 2 years let alone 10, could have helped fund this course and test. We'd be in a much better position now. It would allow easy access investment, help to protect investors, benefit the platforms and the businesses and most importantly benefit UKplc, which is where we started.

It's not instant, so wont be liked but it has to make more sense than HMRC pouring yet more tax payers money down the drain. 

All comments welcome. 

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Pressery has been squeezed dry.


The Pressery squeezed £143k out of 60 Crowdcube investors in March 2015. By November 2016 they had filed for closure with unpayable debts of another £80k plus. It's one we missed.


The company is still in liquidation nearly a year later.

Why are these stories never covered by any of the ECF or Altfi press and why do Crowdcube never even attempt to explain what went wrong? It may well have been an authentic business that just tried to scale and failed - but we dont think so looking at the pitch and its claims. 

Trade creditors were owed £99k. That is not helping anyone.

Yet another one for the growing list. Come on Crowdcube either try harder or push off.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Rentify reviews are bad



Rentify took £1m plus off investors on Crowdcube in 2016. Now reviews on Trust Pilot are nothing short of a disaster.


You just have to spend a few seconds on TP on the Rentify page. Page one of the reviews - so the most recent - has twenty reviews. Of these, 7 are one star or would be negative if the the option was afforded. They come with copious notes on the complaints. One other review is two and one three stars, neither recommending the service. So that's pretty half of the most recent reviews telling people to stay away. 

Rentify is a customer service business. Or that's what they sold the punters who invested. Accounts due out next month. 


Saturday, 12 August 2017

Cornerstone lose £2.4m and secure investment of £3.5m

Cornerstone raised £845k on Crowdcube in 2015 and another £3m since. Now on the back of 2016 results, showing losses of £2.4m, they have secured £3.5m from Calculus Capital.


And all of this against a CC projection for 2016 of a profit.

Well somebody is wrong.

Brewdog close $50m, 12 month, punk USA round $43m short.


Brewdog's failed US fundraising campaign peters out with a whimper rather than a snarl.


Following the recent announcement that Brewdog has sold 22% of the company to San Francisco based TSG Consumer Partners for £230m, they have decided to close their ailing US Equity for Punks campaign. Targeting an ambitious $50m it raised just $7m. Clearly now, they do not need the extra $43m. According to their own PR, the campaign was a stupendous success. So that's why they had to sell out to Corporateville?

Some might say that all the vocals coming from the Ellon HQ, when Camden sold out to AB InBev for £85m, was just a sham. Now the punks have done the same. Promises to keep the razors sharp are no longer believable.

Investors in the company are looking at a stupendous return of over 2000% if the rumoured IPO takes place and is successful. The company has been a fantastic success, no doubt, but I do wish they would stop talking total crap.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Buffalo Grid announce new funding partnership with Microsoft


Buffalo Grid raised over £400k on Crowdcube last year. Now they have entered a new partnership with Microsoft's Energy Initiative.


Kevin Connolly, CEO of Energy Access, explained why they had joined up Buffalo Grid - 

''BuffaloGrid fits perfectly as a partner – it provides affordable access to clean energy for mobile phone charging to those who lack it, and it’s doing so through the innovative use of technology. With a solution that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT), data reporting, analytics and advanced services like machine learning, we believe that BuffaloGrid’s innovative use of Microsoft Azure services will be a truly exciting way to demonstrate that technology can be used to accelerate access to energy and connectivity, while building a scalable and sustainable business model."

The full article is available here.


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Seedrs CEO Jeff Lynn takes a bow

The CEO and founder of Seedrs has decided to step sideways to allow a new CEO to take charge.


This will free Jeff Lynn up pursue his 'moonshots' according to the platform. It is not possible to do both and he admits that being a CEO is not really his forte - which is honest.

We will have to wait and see if this changes anything. Whilst Seedrs is considerably better than Crowdcube in all areas, they have recently succumbed to some blatant PRinging and not being entirely open about the facts. Hopefully the new CEO, who is the old COO, will correct this. 

Adding to their wage bill at the top end doesnt seem very sensible at the moment - with all the uncertainty in the market. But if Jeff couldnt manage it, it maybe for the best in the long run; if there is one. One thing that might concern SHs is that whilst the credentials of the new CEO are good, they are certainly not in start ups or SMEs. So you might ask how is that going to work with a company that focuses almost exclusively on funding these types of businesses? He joined in January 2017 so has had very little experience in this sector. Im not a SH so really it's just an observation.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Paul Weller's Real Stars are Rare calls it a day


Paul Weller's fashion brand is no more, according to its website. Earlier this year the company tried to raise capital on Crowdcube but failed. Now they have thrown in the towl.

Maybe it really was one of those companies set up to use the ECF space as easy money or maybe he has just made a sensible decision. We will never know. The Crowd for once didnt like the star's idea.

And so rather than let the walls come tumbling down, he has exited quietly via stage door left; still a brilliant songwriter.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Troubles at Enistic highlight the poor Crowdcube model

Enistic raised £340k on Crowdcube in 2104. Now they are struggling with mounting losses, huge founder pay packets and resigning directors.

So how does a new company making losses justify a salary of £150k to its founding CEO. Well is cant but there is nothing Crowdcube investors can do about it.

We wrote about Enistic here when they suddenly withdrew their second attempt to take Crowdcube investors for a ride. Thet were not well received the second time.

Now information we have shows why. The CEO, Darryl Mattocks, has been taking £150k pa out of the company by his own admission. YE March 2017, the company reported losses of over £100k - ie his salary. He hasnt broken any laws, its just plain stupid. Investors did not put their money into the company to pay for his lifestyle.

A recent resignation by one of the non exec directors has led to the revelation that things are not well at the company and there have been some interesting goings on. We wont go into these here, suffice to say that they are not in the interest of Crowdcube's shareholders and it also involves a service contract which appears to be against the interests of Enistic.

So we comeback to the title of this post. How can Crowdcube investors assert any from of meaningful influence on rogue directors, once they are shareholders? Simple answer is they cannot. The first Crowdcube pitch raised almost 3 times the amount sort. So investors were enthusiastic. The March 17 accounts show little cash remains and assets total £119k, even after the company raised more finance last year. Someone has benefited but it is surely not the investors.

Some genuine good news for Equity Crowdfunding


One of Seedrs 2016 successes will be able to return investors a 3-4 times uplift on their money. Now that's what ECF should be about.


Blow Ltd raised £1.3m on Seedrs 14 months ago. Now the company has a large retail chain investing £6m. As part of the deal, it is also offering to buy back around £1.5m of the existing Seedrs SH shares. This offer is being made at a company valuation of around 3.5 times the valuation in June 2016. So for a Seedrs SH, a great and swift return. What's more, this is not part of some drag along clause as so often seems to be the case  - it is merely an option, to be delivered on a pro rata basis.

It seems likely that most SH will take the opportunity to off load at least some of their holding, so demand will be strong. The £1.5m set aside will not allow all investors to cut and run at the new valuation, so you could argue this is an option and a mere gesture. But in the current climate we would like to applaud all involved for bothering.

Hats off.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Innis and Gunn PRing their 2016 success


Innis and Gunn have released a glossy spin on their 2016 accounts, prior to their filing next month. The Crowdcube projections, produced when 2016 was almost complete, beg to differ.


Dont get us wrong, these are very good figures viewed on their own but they are not quite Carling. The way they have been fed to the press, you would expect I&G to have smashed their Crowdcube projections for 2016 - the ones used to raise the funding.

I&G raised £2.34m from almost 2000 investors at the end of 2016. The projections for that year, so mainly historic in nature, showed revenues of  over £15.1m and GP of £8.9m. Again dont forget that these were hardly projections as they were published on CC at the end of 2016. The accounts, now being trumpeted as an enormous success, show revenues of £14.3m or short by £800k and a GP of £8.5m or short £400k. Actually that's not bad certainly for a CC funded business but its still not reached targets which should have been, lets be honest, spot on. If a company with projections where 10/12ths of the year is historic, cant meet its figures, there is little hope for the rest of us.

You might ask why they chose GP as a measure instead of the NP, which is a far more important indicator. We will have to wait and see when the full accounts are filed. Certainly the margin held up well.

It's really far to early to see if the company's new direction will pay off. We were not impressed with the St Andrews unit.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Glentham Capital raises £250k - at last.

Nicola Horlick's Glentham Fund comes good on promise of £250k investment.


We have written about the Glentham Fund many times on here. Most recently about a promise from Horlick to come good on her promise of a £250k investment. Well now it seems the money is on - or in July, the company issued shares to that value. This appears to be a deal struck with two new SHs, to whom Horlick sold the newly issued shares after buying them of the company at a value of £12 each. What she sold them on for is unknown. With the shares currently issued, the £12 value makes the company nominally worth just over £2.9m. The Seedrs pre money valuation was £1.8m in 2014. 

We doubt the new shareholders paid £12 though. 

Now Seedrs investors just need to see her do something with it.

Recent filings show Cauli Rice giving off mixed messages.


However there are bigger question marks over the product and whether it will ever get where they told Crowdcube investors it was going.

Cauli have raised 4 times on Crowdcube and there other company, Righteous, has completed another 2 campaigns. Righteous SHs have been offered and have in large part taken up, the offer from the founders to swap their Righteous shares for shares in Cauli. At a substantial discount, but better than most failed CC businesses. However its only worth something if Cauli  go on to do the business.

For those who dont know, Cauli have taken the simple process of turning fresh cauliflower into rice step further and created a long live easy cook packet convenience food. So with my business hat on, what are the keys to making this a global success?

First, create an unstoppable brand. This will depend on the product and production being tight and consistent. Word of mouth is key. Target the market sector, in this case young, busy, health conscious 20-40 yo. 

Second, trial and obtain long term listings with the major supermarkets and markets overseas.

Third, sustain a level of sales increases over several years which will cost in promotional spend so raise plenty of cash.

Fourth, new product development based on the original.

Finally a consistent and attainable plan of action, driven by a great team.

Cauli are someway to creating number 1. But they do seem to have a fundamental problem. 

If you scan the reviews of their products from the listings at Morrisons, Ocado and the other large retailers, they are not good, especially the recent ones. The first point is that there are not many reviews and the average is between 2.5 and 3.5 out of 5. Comments on most 1 star reviews, of which there are a high percentage, are extremely off putting and consistent on the bad smell and flavour. For the good reviews, Cauli have a slight problem with a certain Dr, who is to be found on most of these sites. The said doctor is a large shareholder, via CC, in the company. It makes you wonder if all of the good reviews are fixed?

A company trying to sell the volumes that their own projections submit, needs products that deliver. 

Supermarkets will not look kindly on a product review on their site which only rates a 2.5/5. They may have had a bad batch or the world maybe just agin em but both seem unlikely.

Number 2 they have started but with these reviews, will the listings last? The product has many, more healthy, substitutes.

Number 3 - they have consistently disappointed with their sales figures. Over the 4 raises, every time the previous projections have been missed and the new forward figures, slashed. They are yet to begin to see the BE line. Cash has been relatively easy to raise so far but investors might want to query some of the maths. For the January 2017 raise they used an independent company to verify their valuation and projections. This company, Blue Box, was then listed in the same document as their (paid) outsourced accounts and FP department. 

Number 4 - there has been some new development but if the base product isnt actually that great, then developments are pointless. Maybe they have some in the pipeline.

Number 5 - The plans have been changeable. The plans for Righteous were the same - at the time they were promoting Righteous as the next big thing they were also pre planning Cauli. Flexibility is important but firefighting isnt the way to build a successful business - you have to get ahead of the curve. The team are very enthusiastic, loved by their backers and work their socks off. But if my customers are writing -

Horrible artificial taste, nothing like rice texture, went on the lawn. Magpies ate it.(Morrisons May 2017)

Smells and tastes really strongly of plastic. Just thoroughly horrible. Wish I'd read the reviews before buying. Will go back to making my own. (Ocado June 2017)

On opening I expected the typical cauliflower smell but instead I got a very chemical smell I guess this is from the plastic packaging. It translates the the flavour and spoiled our meal. The texture is great compared to others but would never buy again as feel the product is probably contaminated. (Ocado June 2017)

This smelt and tasted like burning rubber. Even covered in a tomato based sauce I couldn't eat it. Had 2 mouthfulls and couldn't get rid of the taste for the rest of the evening. (Sainsburys Jan 2017)

Id be worried. They are not.

Now there are clearly a number of good reviews but to get so many really atrocious ones makes you wonder if this will ever be a popular purchase. I find that you learn far more from the atrocious reviews than any of the others. 

For the record the projected (from raise 3 in late 2015) accounts for YE 2016 showed a £96k profit whereas the real accounts showed losses of over £900k. Projected revenues were £3m and real revenues were £1.5m. It's far worse if you compare the first CC raise projection for YE 16 - revenues over £5m and net profits over £1m. One consistent feature is they have never undersold themselves.

People are heavily influenced by what they hear about a product. It's a very mixed message at the moment. But maybe its like Marmite? That did ok.