Powered by our aestheticians and cutting-edge Computer Vision AI, Renude matches products from an expertly curated selection of the world’s best-loved, results-driven skincare brands, delivering them to your door. In August 2022, Renude set out to raise +£300,000 on the Seedrs platform. They smashed their round however, overfunding with more than 250%.
We sat down with Pippa Harman, Co-Founder of Renude, to discuss why crowdfunding was the right option for Renude and how to be successful at raising funds through the crowd.
Tell us about how Renude started? Where has your vision taken you so far?
Renude has a curious backstory! Both Cate and I were both working on this concept independently when we met.
I had been working in the skincare industry for 10 years, developing products at large corporations like Boots and Reckitt Benckiser, as well as high-growth startups like Beauty Pie, where I was employee number four. After years of friends and family asking for product advice, I started offering more in-depth skincare consultations and personalised routines to those in my network. Word quickly spread and I realised the huge gap in the market for a service like this. I decided to quit the day job and luckily met Cate soon after!
Cate is a data scientist and realised that a service like Renude was needed after helping a close friend who had been struggling with cystic acne and rosacea. He was unable to access the right professional help, so Cate used data collected from peer to peer forums like Reddit to build him a routine – and it worked! Seeing hundreds of thousands of people in these channels looking for help, she realised the immense potential for applying computer vision and machine learning in this space.
We’ve built a team of incredible experts in their field, helping tens of thousands of people along their skin journeys. Our proprietary AI has been built from almost 1 million data points to supercharge the advice our experts provide.
Tell us about your fundraising journey before Seedrs?
Renude was originally launched through the Founders Factory incubator which Cate and I joined with just our idea. We closed an additional SEIS angel round in early 2021, and then decided to raise again this year with Seedrs.
When you came to Seedrs, why did you decide it was the right time to raise funds?
When you launch a new company, especially one which is a new concept to the industry, there are a lot of questions to answer. Who are my customers? What is their biggest pain point? How can we build something that solves this need? What is the best business model to serve them? The list is endless.
We worked to answer these questions and build a service and model that performs very well for our target customers. We’re really proud to have a +81 NPS score and an 87% retention rate after a full year. We were in early growth stages and decided to raise additional capital to allow us to accelerate that growth, and build out the team so that we can achieve our next milestones even faster.
At the time of your Seedrs round, what other fundraising options did you consider, and why did you choose crowdfunding? What were your goals from crowdfunding?
We chose to crowdfund for this round so that we could engage our community and invite them to join our journey, as well as attracting new potential customers to Renude through the Seedrs platform (which we succeeded in!). We didn’t know what to expect as this was a first time for us, but we’re completely overwhelmed by the support from both our Renude community and our personal networks.
Why did you choose Seedrs? Why did you feel we were the right partner for your business?
We chose Seedrs for our crowdfunding campaign primarily because of the team, and secondly because we had heard glowing reports from other startups in our network.
During our initial conversations, the process was made super clear, the team were really responsive and shared all of the information we asked for (e.g. investor gender split on the platform). We had seen some successful consumer companies raise through Seedrs in the months prior, and felt very confident that we could achieve a strong result with their support.
How did you pitch crowdfunding to your lead investors? Do you have any high profile investors on your cap table?
Our investors were excited for us to raise via Seedrs. As a consumer business, it’s really effective in engaging your community and creating real evangelists of your brand. We have several institutional investors on our cap table, including Antler VC, Access Bridge Ventures, SFC and Founders Factory.
Talk us through what running a campaign was like? What are your 3 do’s and 3 don’ts?
The campaign process was really enjoyable – a lot of work, but very varied with lots of opportunities for creativity!
- Do shout loud and often – emails, Instagram posts, LinkedIn posts – make sure your entire audience knows you’re raising. Go to events if you can – it’s a short campaign window and you need to be actively acquiring investors every single day.
- Do talk to other founders that have been through the process – you’ll pick up tips from everyone on things they would do differently which can help your campaign.
- Do utilise the dashboard updates once your campaign is live – share exciting milestones across the business. It doesn’t need to be limited to campaign updates.
- Don’t underestimate LinkedIn – I think my biggest surprise of the campaign was how many people from my professional network participated in the raise. This included prior colleagues, recruiters, even university teachers – you never know who might want to join the fun!
- Don’t rush your Q&A section – we gave this a lot of thought, sharing detailed answers to the questions and had a lot of positive investment off the back of the work we put in.
- Don’t give up on people that have shown interest – people know they have 30 days to invest, and they might wait until the 30th day – so keep sharing updates to remind them – it’s probably pending on their to do list!
What were some of the highlights of your campaign?
The main highlight was ending the campaign at 250% overfunded! That was incredible, and will allow us to achieve so much over the coming months.
A second is the Q&A that we hosted as a team. We had loads of fun doing it, and had a lot of lovely feedback from those who attended and listened back.
What investor feedback did you receive, and how has it helped you navigate your crowdfunding campaign and growth?
We had a lot of requests for international shipping! We’re currently only able to ship to the UK but have expedited our plans to expand this based on the demand – this seemed to be our most common question!
How would you describe your overall experience working with Seedrs?
Wonderful! Not only did we end up with an incredible result on the fundraise, but the Seedrs team were a delight at every turn – helpful, kind, and extremely patient!
Has your company engagement improved during or after your campaign? Have you seen an increase in customers or revenue?
We gained a significant number of new members from the Seedrs campaign, so that was a bonus! We also received some lovely supportive messages from existing members in our community that were so excited to be able to invest.
Aside from the funds, what are some of the benefits of raising through crowdfunding and how will this impact the future?
Crowdfunding is a brilliant way to engage your community, create evangelists of your brand, and allow your personal network to get involved too. It was overwhelming to see the support of friends and family – having their belief and backing gives us extra fuel to make Renude a success!
To find out more about Renude, visit their campaign page here.