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Challenges and learnings of raising funds for your start-up

Written by Rachel Kettlewell on Tuesday, 07 June 2022. Posted in Funding, Start-up Diaries, Finance

At Fearne & Rosie we have just closed our first investment raise securing over £300 000 of precious investment funding to help us to grow and reach more families.

Challenges and learnings of raising funds for your start-up

At Fearne & Rosie we have just closed our first investment raise securing over £300 000 of precious investment funding to help us to grow and reach more families. We’ve closed our campaign and perhaps you may think that means it’s time to crack the champagne and pop our feet up?

But it certainly doesn’t feel that way. For me it feels like we now have a further responsibility to ensure our business grows. And we will. For all the joy a crowdfund brings it’s also in my experience, the most stressful period in business. I’d actually say it has been  the most stressful time of my life. I want to be really honest and hopefully help other people. I’m new to our industry and still very much at the beginning of the business’ journey. So what’s it like raising investment? Why have I found it challenging? Is it different for female founders?

Here is my experience of our first investment round…

Fearne & Rosie wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the investment of others. For us, investment has taken different forms. It’s the mentorship, the time and experience of others. The support of experts in the field (including our retail partners) who have invested their time in helping us to grow our business and without the investment of each and every one of our customers. Thank you.

We’re also here because of the monitory investment of our shareholders. We’ve just closed our first investment raise securing over £300 000 of precious investment funding which will help us to grow and reach more consumers as we scale. Gosh we are lucky. With everything that is happening in the world to have money in the bank to continue to build the brand is a privilege. We want to use our funding to grow our business and impact positively on the lives of families. It feels like we now have a further responsibility to ensure our business grows. And we will.

Top five tips for raising investment

Build your network

I have 3 young children, Fearne & Rosie… and George. Balancing them with building a business… and managing a crowdfund… has been hard. I’m grateful I have the network I do around me. If you are planning on raising investment build your network first. You will need your friends.

Be clear on your use of funds

We wanted to use this investment round as a way of inviting experts into our business. Building our team so that together we can build our business. Be clear on how you will use your funds. Know how investment will grow your business and how this will deliver a return.

Break the bias

There are investment funds set up to support female founded businesses… but the statistics speak for themselves in that less than 2% of VC funding in the UK goes to female founded businesses. There is still work to be done. 

The #overbeingunderfunded campaign by https://www.weareradikl.co.uk/?locale=en is jam packed with useful resources for female founded businesses. A great place to start if looking for support. 

Product, product, product

The main reason we have had the successes that we have is the product.We’ve created a product that fills a niche. We help people, be that our customers, our retail partners, wider businesses or the charitable causes that we support. We also taste better… berry important! Know your niche. Know your market… and your why!

Why?

Hold a simple sentence that defines your ‘why’. Mine is, ‘we need to provide healthier choices for families’. You need to be able to explain the purpose of your proposition simply.

Berry best of luck!

When I first launched Fearne & Rosie I had no real concept of investment and what that would mean for our business. You don’t need to be an expert… but you need to build a team that is.

Ask for help and be open to learning. It is hard, please know that. But people will help you. And, you can absolutely do it!

About the Author

Rachel Kettlewell

Rachel Kettlewell

Rachel Kettlewell is founder of Fearne & Rosie, which scaled from kitchen table to three of the UK's largest retailers in under two years and secured a Dragons' Den offer from Tej Lalvani, before opting to partner with industry icon, Giles Brook.

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