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EIS Crowd 23 May 2021

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 23/05/2021 |

Crowdcube has opened its secondary marketplace, called Cubex, to firms that have not raised money via Crowdcube. The crowdfunding platform hopes that Cubex will attract early-stage companies from around Europe. These companies would not have reached the point where they would gain a quotation on a major stockmarket. Buyers and sellers are both charged fees for trades. The investor is charged 1.5% and the seller a smaller percentage.
The financial ombudsman has told Crowdcube to reimburse an investor the £18,000 they invested in Chinese takeaway start-up Zing Zing. There was criticism about the lack of information in the pitch and that it was not clear what the funds were raised for. Zing Zing went into liquidation in June 2020.  Crowdcube says this is the first time a complaint has been upheld against it.
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Edinburgh-based Artisanal Spirits Company, which owns the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, made an offer via Primary Bid ahead of its planned flotation on AIM. Artisanal hopes to raise around £16m. The offer will be set at between 112p a share and 121p a share.
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society business was bought out of LVMH in 2015. It purchases casks from distillers, matures the whisky and then chooses the correct time to bottle the whisky and sell it.
In 2020, Artisanal’s revenues increased by 3% to £15m and the operating loss, before an exceptional charge of £392,000 relating to investment in IT and the initial costs of the flotation, fell from £572,000 to £311,000. The company received £169,000 from the coronavirus job retention scheme. The cash outflow from operating activities was £1.38m.
Management estimates that the venue closures knocked £2.1m from revenues last year, so the growth in overall revenues was a decent achievement. Online sales made up for the shortfall, increasing by £2.4m.
Artisanal has plenty of maturing whisky stock. It is estimated to be 26 times the volume sold in 2020. The expected admission date is 4 June.
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Seedrs is holding an Equity Crowdfunding 101 session for CBD businesses on Thursday 27 May at 1pm. This session will cover how the CBD market is evolving and why CBD companies should use crowdfunding. One of the hosts will be online CBD products market operator Alphagreen chief executive Alexej Pikovsky. Alphagreen recently used Seedrs to raise more than £2m at a pre-money valuation of £10m. The online platform provides manufacturers of CBD-infused products with a way of selling them around the world. There are plans to move into medicinal cannabis.
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Bug, which plans to be a UK consumer brand for edible insects, has already raised £394,000, 131% of its £300,000 target (at a pre-money valuation of £1.31m), and there is another 22 days to go. The offer is EIS-eligible. Bug supplies recipe kits that enable consumers to make meals with insects. The cash will enable the business to increase its scale and expand from the direct-to-consumer market into food retailers during 2022. 
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EBar wants to raise £275,000, at a pre-money valuation of £3m, in order to sell its Ebar self-service beer vending machines designed to be installed at entertainment venues and events. These units can dispense two drinks in 30 seconds. There is a UK patent and other international patents are pending. Revenues are generated by charging a commission on revenues from the EBar. Aberdeen-based EBar previously raised £275,000 in 2019 and it has opted to allow the shares to be traded on the secondary market.
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Gravitricity has developed energy storage technology that uses heavy weights to store energy underground. A 250kW demonstrator has been built and the cash will fund a full scale prototype. The surplus electricity raises the weights and when the electricity is required the weights are released. The strategy is to sell this equipment. Gravitricity has raised £1.28m. The original target was £750,000. There are 19 days left in the fundraising, which is EIS-eligible. The pre-money valuation is £12.5m.

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