The UK’s fastest-growing doughnut business is set to raise the ceiling on its crowdfunding campaign after attracting five times its prospective investment target in just two weeks of trading. Derby-based Project D launched a £400,000 crowdfunding campaign at the beginning of May in an effort to inject cash to speed up its already rapid expansion.
On the launch day alone, the pre-registration figure totalled more than £500,000. And, within two weeks of launching its online campaign on the Crowdcube crowdfunding platform, the firm received expressions of interest amounting to more than £2m, in addition to the £150,000 lead investment already generated prior to the launch.
More than 2,500 potential investors keen to claim their own stake in the booming bakery business have flocked to the crowdfunding site to register an interest. The company, which was launched from a kitchen table in 2018 by three former school friends, is now keen to encourage more potential future shareholders to pre-register before it decides how much to increase its original £400,000 target by. The closing date for pre-registration has not yet been announced.
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Max Poynton, co-founder and marketing director for Project D, said: “Given the level of interest, we will probably now look to overfund our original investment target. It’s unbelievable how many individuals want to be a part of our company.
“I’m totally blown away by the numbers our crowdfund registration campaign has generated so far. It’s also really rewarding to see some real interest from everyday people, including hundreds of our loyal social media followers.”
Max said that around 45 per cent of the £2m total came from professional investors, while 55 per cent came from first-time investors, most of whom showed an interest in investing between £50 and £1,000. Once the pre-registration stage of the crowdfunding campaign has closed, the firm will begin the task of inviting potential investors to formally pledge their desired amounts. This will be handled by and large on a first-come-first-served basis until the firm’s “overfund level” has been reached.
“We urge any interested parties who haven’t yet visited our crowdfund page to get involved before the door closes,” said Max. “We’d love to invite as many investors as possible to join our ‘inner ring’.”
The multiple-award-winning bakery, which prides itself on creating “the world’s best doughnuts”, manufactures around two million doughnuts per year at its purpose-built 11,000 sq ft bakery in Spondon and employs more than 100 people.
With a current annual turnover of around £2.6m, the team is aiming to use the crowdfunding investment to reach a £12m turnover within three years. Founded by Max and fellow ex-schoolfriends Matt Bond and Jacob Watts, Project D has already attracted partnerships with global heavyweight brands like British Airways, Brewdog, Amazon and Coca-Cola.
Finance raised from the crowdfunding campaign will be invested in product innovation, retail expansion, digital marketing and e-commerce and key office hires. The firm, which has to date created more than 2,500 individual product lines, works closely with food scientists and nutritionists at a state-of-the-art research and development facility in Corby, Northamptonshire.
Its rapid expansion has been aided by the company’s huge digital marketing push and social media following, with its TikTok account alone receiving 19m views, 1.1m likes and 27,000 comments in a single two-month period.
Anyone interested in pre-registering for this crowdfund investment opportunity may visit the Crowdcube website.