‘Happy Days’ theatre production raises £250,000 Seedrs funding for UK tour
World first as musical secures finance through equity crowdfunding
A new musical version of the classic TV sitcom Happy Days has reached its £250,000 funding target in six weeks via equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs, making it the world’s first theatrical production to raise finance through an equity-based crowdfunding site.
345 investors backed the campaign to see the musical tour the UK and will now receive a 25% share of the tour’s profits.
Written by Garry Marshall, the creator of the original Happy Days series, the musical will look to re-enact the sitcom and will include a cast of famous faces including Sugababes’ Heidi Range, Cheryl Baker of Bucks Fizz, and Emmerdale actor Ben Freeman.
The 250,000 investment contributes towards the show’s total budget of £600,000 and will look to support its national tour which it will embark on following its January 2014 launch at the Churchill Theatre Bromley.
While a number of theatre and film productions have raised money through rewards-based sites, the announcement marks the first time that the ‘crowd’ has been able to invest in a musical production in return for an equity stake.
Todd Ruppert, co-producer of Happy Days, discussed its funding pitch: “We decided to use Seedrs for several reasons:
“1) To enable individuals throughout the UK to get involved financially. 2) To potentially aid ticket sales. […] 3) To be the first major commercial theatrical production to raise funds through equity crowdfunding. 4) We like the Seedrs team and think they do a great job, so we wanted to support them, as well.”
Seedrs co-founder and CEO, Jeff Lynn, continued: “This was another great example of how equity crowdfunding can unleash the power of communities to get exciting new ventures off the ground.”
Commenting on its latest venture to expand overseas, Lynn added:
“Now that Seedrs is open to all of Europe for both investors and entrepreneurs, I am sure we will see an increasing range of enterprises coming to us to raise the money they need to get off the ground by sharing their future upside with investors.”