News blog

EIS Crowd 27 June 2020

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 28/06/2020 |

PrimaryBid continues to prosper

PrimaryBid has followed up its fundraising for caterer Compass Group with other cash raisings for FTSE 100 index constituents and other large Main Market companies. In the past month, PrimaryBid has been involved in 16 fundraisings, including Ocado, property investor Segro, housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, workspace provider IWG, waste management firm Biffa and William Hill.
PrimaryBid was involved in 16 fundraisings from the beginning of 2019 to 22 May 2020. Most of those offers raised relatively small amounts.
There was strong demand for some of the latest fundraisings and the PrimaryBid clients’ contribution had to be scaled back because of EU prospectus rules.
Ocado raised £657m from the share issue and a further £350m from unsecured convertible bonds due 2027.
PrimaryBid is not just raising money for large companies. Five of the companies that raised cash were quoted on AIM. Avacta raised a total of £48m to scale up its COVID-19 related diagnostics business and accelerate the development of its affimer-based cancer treatments. Pubs operator Young & Co raised £85.5m through a combination of A share and non-voting shares. The Primarybid offer of A shares raised £2.7m. At the other end of the scale, Sareum, which has used PrimaryBid before, raised £304,000 from the crowdfunding platform, taking the total raised to £1.02m.

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West Berkshire Brewery (www.wbbrew.com) was seeking £750,000 for 9.35% of its share capital and it has already raised £823,000 via Seedrs. The cash is required for working capital with scope to increase production to 26 million pints a year.
The Reading-based brewery is chaired by David Bruce, who founded the Firkin pub chain and has been involved in Capital Pub Company and City Pub Company, which both floated on AIM.
In the year to March 2020, revenues jumped from £3.34m to £6.23m, but the loss increased from £2.27m to £3.31m. The cash outflow from operations was £1.12m. Contract brewing helped to boost revenues and taproom sales trebled to £1m. The growth was achieved even though the brewery was hit by the European shortage of CO2.
Improved manufacturing efficiency is helping to boost gross margins and management believes that West Berkshire Brewery can breakeven with annual revenues of £8m. 

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Beauhurst says that there were 784 fundraisings during the second quarter of 2020 (up until the middle of June) and the amount raised was around one-half of the cash invested in the first quarter. There was £1.86bn invested and the largest deal was the £79.2m invested in background screening platform Onfido.

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Propelair has raised more than £1m via Seedrs. This is more than was initially sought by the low water use toilet developer and there is more than one moth to go for the EIS-eligible fundraising. Propelair (www.propelair.com) is the trading name of Phoenix Product Development Ltd.
The Basildon-based company’s technology uses air to propel 1.5 litres of water in each flush. This is less than one-quarter of the water used by other toilet systems. There is a network of distributors that install and maintain the toilets that are assembled by Propelair.
In 2019, underlying sales are said to have been £1.1m. That comes from sale and installation of toilets and maintenance income. A new strategy is planned where a smart connected toilet will be developed, and clients charged on a monthly basis.

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Fintech firm Coconut has raised more than double the money it was initially seeking via Crowdcube. The EIS-eligible crowdfunding has reached £1.5m. The pre-money valuation was £12m. In 2018, Coconut raised £1.8m. Coconut has developed an accounting and tax tool that can be used by self-employed people. The additional cash will enable the company to continue to grow rapidly from the current level of 25,000 registrations. Coconut has integrated with PayPal and connects to 20 major banks. 

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