The Mindful Chef team set out to raise £1m to fuel their vision of helping more people eat healthily. They believed the best way to do this was to deliver fresh, sustainability-sourced ingredients, together with a recipe card, directly to the customer’s front door.
Backed by the likes of Victoria Pendleton CBE and Will Greenwood MBE, Mindful Chef smashed their target within 24 hours. They went on to raise a total of £1.92m from 638 investors and closed at over 190% funded.
Giles Humphries, co-founder of Mindful Chef, “look[s] back on crowdfunding as a whole and the Crowdcube experience very fondly. He continues, "I’m so glad we crowdfunded. We got more than 600 investors, those investors became brand ambassadors and customers. You wouldn’t have got that going down an institutional route.” Watch our short video to hear Giles explain more.
School friends Giles, Myles and Rob founded Mindful Chef in 2015. Their recipes, all low-carb, gluten-free and dairy-free, quickly became popular, especially with those looking to improve their diets.
Focusing on the premium end of the recipe box market, at the time of the raise the team had shipped over 500k meals and were generating £80k per week in sales.
Two years after starting out, the team were looking to raise finance to increase their marketing spend and acquire new customers. They also planned on investing in tech to improve the user experience of their website and create a mobile app.
After deciding that crowdfunding was the way forward, the team began building their campaign. In the words of Giles, “In terms of preparation, planning is absolutely fundamental [...] my biggest piece of advice would be: start as early as possible.”
“Make sure potential investors understand tax relief. I’ve heard anecdotally from investors that they were considering putting £10,000 in, but when they realised that EIS existed they put in £15,000.”
“When you’re looking for seed capital, it’s all about meetings - meet as many people as possible. Getting coffees in face-to-face is really important. That’s where some of the best conversions came from.”
“When I speak to other entrepreneurs looking to raise I always remind them that they must secure cornerstone investment first. Lots of people don’t realise that.”
Following the raise, Mindful Chef experienced their biggest growth (almost 200% YoY) thanks to a more aggressive spend in growth marketing. Two years on, Giles still believes this is the key to their growth, commenting “that’s the number one reason that we’re now much bigger and still growing (at around 170% YoY).”
One example of this comes from their successful influencer marketing activity. As Giles puts it, “Things like that just wouldn’t be possible without going via Crowdcube, for the paid advertising spend and to be able to work with the likes of Fearne Cotton.”
The team has also expanded, allowing co-patrons Giles, Myles and Rob to “bring in expertise in areas that you can only get so far in by doing yourself.”
We can't wait to see where their journey takes them next.
Investing in start-ups and early stage businesses involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution, and it should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. Crowdcube is targeted exclusively at investors who are sufficiently sophisticated to understand these risks and make their own investment decisions. You will only be able to invest via Crowdcube once you are registered as sufficiently sophisticated. Please click here to read the full Risk Warning.
This page is approved as a financial promotion by Crowdcube Capital Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Pitches for investment are not offers to the public and investments can only be made by members of crowdcube.com on the basis of information provided in the pitches by the companies concerned.