Crowdfunding success stories: River Cottage

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall opted for a crowdfunding mini-bond to raise £1m for his restaurant and food business…

A ‘River Cottage Bond’ might not mean much to the average Joe Bloggs but for chef-turned-entrepreneur Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall the concept enabled him to raise £1m in less than three days for his restaurant venture – impressive to say the least.

Available as part of Crowdcube’s new mini-bond initiative, the River Cottage Bond enabled investors to make an initial investment of £500 or more in return for 7% fixed rate interest per annum.

Given the high-profile name and the established brand, Whittingstall’s mini-bond offering drummed up interest from the crowd almost immediately when it went live in June 2014 with 281 backers all keen to get a slice of the River Cottage pie.

Having already expanded to three canteen restaurants, a cookery school, books and countless television series, the funding was set to be used to launch four new restaurants across the South of England.

On its attitude to crowdfunding, River Cottage managing director and co-founder, Rob Love, said:

“I am a huge advocate of crowdfunding and this new innovation from Crowdcube helps reduce the cost and complexity of raising finance and provides an effective way for more established brands, like River Cottage, to raise growth funding without the banks.”

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