Berries by Astrid
SWE Special: Twig and…. And/or Smoother than a baby’s…
Hej frå Sverige! Another day, another sparkling Stockholm sunrise to invigorate the crowdfunding juices. We’ve been in the land of the rising Elk, navigating our way around civil decency (and maybe the archipelago). God dammit it’s so polite here you feel like apologising to yourself for getting in your own way. Sweden has been out in front on the equity crowdfunding scene for quite a while. The exact regulations and mechanisms are still a little murky and with a few days still to go on the campaign, we’ve decided to run it anyway as it looks the goods.
Campaign: Berries by Astrid
Platform: FundedByMe (Stockholm)
Campaign style: Equity
Capital pledged: €244k (capital maximum €100k)
Equity offered: 10.72%
What is it?
Berries by Astrid.
Berries in the form of lovely fresh smoothies made with Swedish yoghurt and organic ingredients including indigenous Nordic delights such as the blueberry and the…wait for it (Rear Admiral) Seabuckthorn. Astrid in the form of a colon cancer researcher with a doctoral degree. Smart lady that she is, whilst simultaneously engaged in an entrepreneurship course and a doctorate, the idea to create a stand-alone mobile smoothie vending machine was born.
From what we can gather they utilise a ‘bag-in-box’ method – similar to our regional favourite, the silver chook – presumably with individually cryovac’d smoothies in single use plastic packages ready to be ripped open and dispatched by the machine (although we could find no specific mention of this – probably why its patented and don’t tell anyone how they do it).
Fully wired, you order your smoothie on the touchscreen, pay for it via an app on the smart phone and hey presto, seabuckthorn spouting forth before your very eyes.
What did investors get for their money?
10.72% of common shares at a pre-money valuation of €832k.
Why was it successful?
The idea simmered, PhD completed, knocked back a position at Stanford and went it alone, culminating in the first prototype, external funding and the founding of the company mid-2010.
Astrid certainly put her money and all of herself on the line to drive this through – working since 2009 with no salary. From founding to the successful 2015 crowdfunding raise, it certainly seems she has paid her dues.
The campaign itself simply, elegantly and professionally conveys the story with a beautifully shot video to cap it all off. The elegant simplicity of the design, implementation and roll-out is amply demonstrated in the pitch material as are the partnerships and prototyping that have already gone into the product.
The valuation isn’t outrageous either, unlike some other campaigns we’ve seen, and the path to market well defined. All in all a very slick campaign laid out in a very user friendly manner that’s as easy to digest as one of those supremely sippable smoothies.
Who quits a full-time job after schlepping away for 5 years doing a PhD and living below the poverty line? A crazy person. A brilliant person. And in reality, probably a bit of both.
That’s the kind of daring and risk taking we like to see in entrepreneurs (similar to James Dyson and his vacuum empire). This isn’t a company just looking for a hand-out. From prototypes to partnerships, market testing, product development and patenting this all adds up to a very mature and confident pitch.
One note about the offering however – these represent a ~10% stake holding with 1/10 voting ordinary shares meaning little rights other than holding on tight and hoping not to be diluted out pre-exit. Astrid seems like a lovely lady though so finger crossed, it’ll be alright on the night.
Well that’s it from us as we head into the long run home via silicon valley and the birthplace of grunge. We’ll be reporting for duty from HQ next installment so stay tuned for some updates on the lessons learned and the chances spurned as we reflect on the season that was. Until then, check the CrowdReady website, join our mailing list and email us.