MyMiniFactory launched in June 2013 and has since become the world’s largest curated open platform for 3D printable files and products. Designs are submitted by thousands of talented 3D designers from around the world and are made available to people with access to desktop 3D printers to download for free.
Businesses each have different motivations for when it comes to deciding how to raise funds. Romain Kidd, CEO of MyMiniFactory, said “MyMiniFactory itself being a community-based platform, we felt it made sense to give our members a chance to get involved and be a part of our journey. Because we offer a platform instead of a product, we decided that offering our community a piece of the company would make a lot of sense.”
Indeed, the 3D printing industry is used to seeing successful donation-based crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, but they saw an opportunity to innovate and lead the industry by fundraising through equity crowdfunding.
Rather than get their tens of thousands of users to pre-order something or donate, they genuinely wanted them to have a vested interest in the continued growth of the platform and have a direct impact on the company’s growth by being ambassadors for MyMiniFactory.
Because Seedrs is open throughout more than 50 countries, it is a great chance to open up investment to a truly international audience. “We had just over 300 investors from 28 different countries with a wide variety of people investing a huge range from £10 up to £225K.”
Beyond customers and the active Seedrs community, Romain and the team wanted strategic investors in the business, as well:
There were a number of exceptional strategic investors, including Nicolas Franchet, the Global Head of e-Commerce at Facebook; Nick Pendleton, the former Director of Corporate Strategy and Innovation for Royal Mail; Colin Nunn, Finance Director at Sugru; and serial CFO Oliver Chatin.
For Romain, he engaged potential investors the same way he would for any marketing campaign. “For us, having an established community really helped. By tapping into our already loyal user base we were able to quickly spread the word of our campaign.”
“If you are able, you should try and build up this following and loyalty during pre-launch. That way, upon the launch of the campaign, you have a relationship and it is easier to engage with people because they already like you.”
“Get people excited about what you do and what you can offer; and use social media, influencers, tastemakers, and so on, who derive value from you and your brand to make that noise for you. In a nutshell, you should be super active and completely unapologetic about displaying everywhere the fact that you are equity crowdfunding.”
Now that they’ve raised investment, they will continue developing the platform by growing their community, increasing their content output and continuing to innovate with the introduction of new features. This money will be all put towards making MyMiniFactory the go-to community platform for 3D printing.
You can keep up to date with MyMiniFactory and check out their really fun marketplace on their website.