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Freetrade’s Crowdcube-busting crowdfund “was like Glastonbury”
Adam Dodds joins Tom Blomfield with the honour of being the only two CEOs to ever bring Crowdcube down.
Within 77 seconds that email led to Freetrade raising £1m, and eventually £1.98m, but also triggered a tidal wave of traffic onto their crowdfunding partner Crowdcube, which would take the site down within minutes.
“I was trying to get in to look at the investment, to give people access to the restricted documents, and I couldn't access the pitch page.”
“On Thursday, Freetrade raised £1m in just 77 seconds.”
Crowdcube’s chief technology officer Rich Pearce described it as “a bit like trying to breathe after being dunked by a wave in the ocean, whilst being hit by another wave.”
But where does this leave Freetrade, and does Dodds see the crowdfund as a success, or a failure?
“Overall it probably isn't the ideal situation, but in the end is it a net benefit? I think it might be.”
Freetrade now has the opportunity to reopen its crowdfund in June, with a larger funding round and a larger EIS allocation which should give more investors an opportunity to get involved.
“Because if the tech was perfectly smooth, a lot of people still would have missed out.”
Dodds said Freetrade is also exploring ideas to mitigate the traffic tsunami the funding caused, like “pre-registration or staggering or lower types of investment, we need to think about that, so that the maximum number of people can participate.”
Would the experience lead Freetrade to use another crowdfunding platform? Not at all the founder says.
“Now we have the chance to hit our internal target, and a bit more.”
Next month we’ll find out if that was enough.