Crowdfunding success stories: The Rushmore Group

The private members club which became the UK’s first £1m crowdfunded deal

The Rushmore Group can be seen as one of the forerunners of the crowdfunding industry after it became the first company to raise £1m through any crowdfunding site worldwide.

The owner and operator of several well known London members’ bars and clubs, including Soho’s Milk & Honey and The Player, and Brick Lane’s Danger of Death, The Rushmore Group created crowdfunding history in November 2011 via Crowdcube.

The private members’ club secured its £1m target, Crowdcube’s sixth deal at the time, after attracting interest from 143 investors who backed the pitch for a combined equity share of 10% and was hailed as a “new crowdfunding record”. The previous record had been set by a project on US reward-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which had raised £602,285.

The exclusive club group, which then had 3,000 members, intended to use the finance to acquire, develop and launch a new venture in Soho in order to return Group profitability.

Speaking of the world record achievement in November 2011, Jonathan Downey, The Rushmore Group founder and director, commented:

“We are delighted to have successfully reached our £1m target. […] Crowdcube is a powerful new way to raise business finance and this investment wouldn’t have been possible without its innovative platform.”

Rather aptly, Crowdcube co-founder and chief executive, Darren Westlake, also said at the time:

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“We firmly believe that raising finance using crowdfunding will transform the way businesses raise capital in the future.”

The Group has since achieved further backing from the crowd, with £500,000 raised in a follow-on round in May 2013 in return for 4.61% equity.


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