UK Special: Come on Baby, Park My Car

Well ‘allo guv’nor ‘ere we are in ol’ Inglun towne where a good 20% of equity raises are now being done through crowdfunding platforms. This week we take a short break from our regular series to bring you a few special features from our international trade mission. In this UK Special Edition we dust off the vestiges of the Newcastle Brown from the evening after the night before and feature the present UK equity crowdfunding record holder and seriously disruptive app revolutionising the way you – in the illustrious words of the late great Tony Greig – park your car [thick Afrikaans accent implied]. Wivvou’ furver’ ado, may we pressen’ yer Lordship wiv’ a place to park ‘is buggy?


Campaign: JustPark

Platform: Crowdcube (Exeter/London)

Campaign style: Direct equity

Capital raised: £3.7m (370% funded)

Equity offered: 15.79%


What is it?

JustPark is a seriously disruptive app that connects parking space owners – be they householders, pubs, hotels, churches (‘allo Vicar!), or clubs – with irate motorists who want to get out of the car.

And it’s a bloody good idea.

It’s amazing just how many cordoned off and ‘private’ car parks pop up when you’re driving round in expanding circles, losing your mind wondering if you’re ever going to find a place to park the bleeding car to go pick up your seersucker suit at the drycleaners.

It’s such a good idea, BMW’s venture capital arm chucked in £250k and have even installed the app onboard new Minis scooting around Old Blighty. Once you choose a space on the iPhone app or your car’s dashboard and pay for it you’re sent a map directly to it. Brilliant.


What did investors get for their money?

15.61% equity of ordinary D shares held in trust by an appointed nominee with voting but no pre-emption rights (read some of our excellent, if we do say so ourselves, upcoming educational pieces where we start to break down the major considerations of crowdfunding and crowdinvesting).


Why was it successful?

Let’s start with the founder – Anthony Eskinazi. Represented Great Britain in chess from 11-18 years of age, maths major in the UK and US, taught himself to code, took up a job at Deloitte to quit and start the original JustPark site at age 23. Seems an average Joe.

The company has also been trading since 2006 with over 8 years experience at the point of launching the campaign, over 650 000 registered drivers and 25 000 property owners already signed up to the site. Chuck in some heavyweight VC backing from BMW and a top European tech startup backer, Index Ventures, and this all starts to add up to something pretty significant.

To labour an already brimming point, JustPark hit the maximum EU limit of £3.7m (€5m) in just one month, a full month ahead of schedule - at it’s peak, garnering 2.5 investments a minute!

Of course the campaign was top notch as well. This is a fully-fledged and professional pitch with all elements – from identifying the problem, solution, market size, users etc. – absolutely on point. The video is extremely slick and professionally produced and absolutely nailed the disruptive potential of the business to leave the viewer with little doubt that this could be the Airbnb or Uber for finding a carpark.


The wrap

Whoa - some pretty heavyweight business right here! In the words of Montell Jordan, this is how we do it. This is a very, very exciting proposition with an enormous market and huge potential for global growth.

As an investor, one look at the offering should tell you this. The original raise was £1m for a 4.76% equity stake which gives a £20m pre-money company valuation. If you recall our Valuing a Startup article, this isn’t a seed, start-up or even early growth company. We suggested that a company on large valuations like this should be well and truly in the growth phase, with momentum, market acceptance, profitability and expansion plans. JustPark nails these and more with a large and growing customer base (650k+ users), high profile partnerships with Barclay’s Premier League, Novotel, BMW and others, and first-mover advantage with global expansion potential.

You can see why with such runs on the board they’d be unlikely to give up a huge chunk of the business. It is important to note the terms of the offering though for future investors. The shares on offer in this case are Ordinary D shares with voting but no pre-emption rights. There are implications but it’s too much to go into right here, although it is something we think is important to know – for both investors and entrepreneurs - and will expand upon in future articles.


Well that’s it from us signing off on our first European update. As always, check the CrowdReady website, join our mailing list and email us and tell us how much you love equity crowdfunding. Til anon.