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Chilango raises more than £2m via Crowdcube lending platform

Mexican food business smashes funding record through “Burrito Bond” offering

London-based Mexican restaurant chain Chilango this week raised more than £2m via Crowdcube’s “mini-bond” lending platform, setting a new funding record for the site.

Founded by Class of 2010 Young Guns Dan Houghton and Eric Partaker, Chilango was launched in 2007 as a fast-service Mexican restaurant, and has since grown to encompass seven sites across the capital with multi-million pound revenues.

749 people have backed the business with £2,160,000 in total in exchange for 8% gross interest per annum over the four-year life of the bond.

The bond was the first to be offered through Crowdcube’s new mini-bond lending platform, which allows armchair investors to lend small individual amounts to companies in exchange for a fixed rate of interest.

As well as the fixed interest rate, backers were offered a variety of additional benefits through Chilango’s “burrito bond”, including free burrito vouchers and an entitlement to one meal a week in Chilango restaurants for those that invested £10,000 or more.

The average amount invested was around £2,900, with 82% of investors coming from London and the South East.

The amount raised exceeds last year’s record of £1.97m raised through the site, set by Grand Designs star Kevin McCloud’s Hab Housing pitch.

Chilango said the successful pitch would fund the opening of three Chilango restaurants in London, taking the total in the capital to 10.

Eric Partaker, co-founder of Chilango, commented: “The brand awareness and engagement we created, together with Crowdcube, is simply off-the-charts.  The bond has been a massive success; we not only raised the capital we needed to open our next batch of restaurants, but have also created 749 brand ambassadors to support our growth.

“The team at Crowdcube made the whole process straightforward and efficient and it’s an experience we look forward to repeating. Debt options for small and medium-sized businesses in Britain have expanded in a major way, and it was delight to help spearhead this new and exciting route to funding.”

Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, added: “It’s great that the Burrito Bond has attracted so many people who not only believe in Chilango’s future as a viable, profitable business, but are also fans of its fabulous fresh food.

“This was the first mini-bond to launch on Crowdcube and it has shown that the British public is really open to alternative ways of getting a return on their savings beyond banks and building societies.”

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