Dribble Dots has what it takes for a new business to get initial traction in the global marketplace. The product: gourmet cooking oils. The slogan: How do you Dribble? However the fººº you want. And the passion: until now, founders Jason Clevering and Michelle Fabregas have been hard at work doing everything on their own from sales to distribution, branding to marketing, as well as financing the whole project. But like so many start-ups, after the preliminary surge of interest to get the company off the ground, Dribble Dots now needs a solid platform to procure the funding that will enable them to expand their team and a marketing push to catapult their lifestyle brand to the next level.
That’s where CrowdCube comes in to play. CrowdCube’s mission is to help start-ups bridge the gap between friends and family funding and receiving professional money from lead investors and small business angels who can really market and cultivate their businesses. A CrowdCube campaign is an alternate way to finance a business, rather than seeking a loan or venture capital, which is proving more beneficial to the entrepreneur. Through CrowdCube, entrepreneurs have more control over their financing rounds by offering the same terms and conditions to all potential investors, including the option of offering shares with and without voting rights. This allows entrepreneurs to raise the funds they need while maintaining freedom and control of their company, and it gives non-professional investors the ability to invest in companies that excite them. “Rather than promising our investors a keychain, a t-shirt or even a few cans of Dribble Dots months down the road, we like the idea of our investors receiving shares of the company. This way investors can grow with us,” explained Michelle. “With CrowdCube, it’s a two-way street. The crowd shows that they believe in you, in your company, and you in turn show your appreciation by giving them a valuable, practical return on their investment.”
Essentially Dribble Dots could raise enough professional money to fund their expansion. So why chose to do an equity crowdfunding campaign? “A lot of the reason we chose CrowdCube is the fact that they aren’t letting just any frivolous company or crackpot idea onto their website. They vet each company, filter out projects and present the crowd with start-ups that have realistic business plans, tangible products, bylaws, etc. CrowdCube helps companies focus and get everything ready to go public. This approach, this attention to detail and due diligence, is attracting sincere, eager investors, which are the kind of people you want backing your business,” explained Jason. “Everybody is looking at CrowdCube. Their projects are newsworthy. And by being associated with them, we are getting a lot of attention, as well, and securing investors who are willing to go a step further after their initial investment because of their interest and belief in Dribble Dots.”
This specialized crowdfunding is an equal financing opportunity and marketing push. After a campaign closes—goals are met and investors are monetarily affiliated with the company—investors are typically converted into brand ambassadors. If you have a t-shirt from a company you invested in, it’s going in the bottom drawer of your dresser. If you have shares in a company, you are talking up that company at dinner parties, sharing the company’s blog posts, retweeting even their most mundane tweets and bringing Dribble Dots to every family function. According to a Forbes study, companies who completed an equity crowdfunding campaign saw an increase in sales of about 341% on average post-campaign. Each person, each investor adds value to the Dribble Dots brand. Through CrowdCube, you become an integral part of Dribble Dots and sequentially become an essential part of marketing their brand. And who wouldn’t want to be associated with a lifestyle brand that promotes fun, creativity and sexiness?
CrowdCube is not only a way to support your friends, but also a way to support the growth of an industry you find important and the growth of new businesses you consider viable. There are start-ups emerging onto the scene daily in Spain, especially in Barcelona. Recently, people are starting to see good ideas and potential big business developing in this country more commonly known for tapas, flamenco and Ibiza parties. Unfortunately for Dribble Dots, they couldn’t fund their rapid expansion solely through the Spanish market. “Currently, the entrepreneurial world is much more developed in the UK and United States than in Spain. The idea of making an investment in a start-up comes more naturally overseas. We’re here in Spain because we’ve seen the quality of projects coming out of hubs like Barcelona, and we want to provide a platform through which anyone can participate in this world of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Mac Parish, Business Development Manager for CrowdCube España. “A big part of our job right now is educating the potential Spanish investor about the prospective benefits of investing in startups”.
The idea for Dribble Dots was born in Barcelona. The brand is inspired by the vibrant lifestyle of the city. Jason and Michelle live here and plan on keeping the Dribble Dots headquarters here. However, the market isn’t ready, the crowd isn’t confident enough and there are too many Spanish hurdles to jump. Which is why Dribble Dots will be the first company to do a simultaneous campaign in Spain and the UK. This breaks down any barriers created by Spanish laws and hang-ups, and allows anyone in the world to invest in Dribble Dots with just a few clicks of a mouse. “Regardless of where you do business, there are going to be hurdles,” said Michelle. “But we’re a global brand. We want to gain investors and brand ambassadors all over the world. That’s why a cross-border campaign was the best option for Dribble Dots. This way someone without an NIE can still take part in our campaign; it offers the opportunity for anyone to quickly and easily invest whatever spare cash they have.”
Because Dribble Dots is a good investment—a company that is doing things right—their campaign will hopefully encourage the Spanish crowd to jump on the bandwagon. “We want Dribble Dots to be one of the first success stories of a Barcelona-born company. We want to show the investment world here that even though investing in a start-up carries a risk, Spain shouldn’t be missing out. They should be taking advantage of the access they have to really cool opportunities,” said Parish.
The Dribble Dots CrowdCube campaign will not only create buzz for Dribble Dots but for the start-up community in Barcelona as a whole. “In some ways ‘start-up’ is synonymous with ‘dreamer,’” said Jason. “You have a dream, you get an idea, and then you start following the steps to turn that dream into reality. CrowdCube is a great platform to guide you through the processes that will facilitate your success. Even when you think you’ve covered all your bases, there’s bound to be something you missed. That’s when CrowdCube has your back. They work to shape and tweak, assist and encourage a start-up until it is ready to graduate to a company that is doing business and on the road to success.”