Traditional tents and fabric structures tend to be very uncomfortable - but they don't have to be. We needed a tent that is more than a tent. We wanted it to be a comfortable environment that would be warm in the winter and cool in the summer. One that could also regulate sound and light. In a moment of freezing clarity, we realized that we were going to have to build it ourselves. That is, develop a range of tents with all the insulating cabilities and comforts of a regular building.
At Crua Outdoors & Crua Industrial (trading names of Thermo Tents Ltd) we have begun a 'Tent Revolution' by designing and developing what we understand to be the world's very first thermally and acoustically insulated tent or tenting system (which also regulates light). Our (patent-pending) multi-layer design and brand new insulation technology has applications in:
- Recreational Tents
- Industrial Shelters
- Military Shelters
- Luxury tents or 'Glamping'
- Disaster Relief Shelters
- Permanent Homes
People like to camp but dislike the lack of comfort associated with tents. Typically, once temperatures drop outside, conventional tents follow suit and become very cold. The opposite is also true. In warm climates, once the sun rises, traditional tent design means that tents become unbearably hot and bright. When camping in a busy campsite or noisy area, one can find it hard to sleep due to the noise.
Recreational customers include:
People that engage in hunting and fishing etc. & 'hardcore' campers, that are very much at home by the campfire and want to be outdoors all year.
More mature and experienced campers that want more comfort
The 'Overland' community - groups into using their 4x4's, bikes etc
Industrial customers include:
Oil and Gas contractors - we have developed and delivered blast resistant & insulated fabric structures
We have developed a blast resistant, insulated and ballistic proof tent for military applications
Substantial accomplishments to date
5 x successful crowdfunding campaigns
US$120,200 raised in pre-orders from 301 backers
£169,890 investment raised in Seedrs (Round 2) 232 investors
US$300,003 raised in pre-orders from 965 backers
£70,005 investment raised in Seedrs (Round 1) 119 investors
€50,891 raised in pre-orders from 175 backers
Since our last Seedrs round we have:
1. Developed and brought to market 4 new products:
2. Landed the first blast resistant and insulated shelter in Saudi Arabia
3. Developed a blast resistant, insulated and ballistic proof tent for military
4. Rebuilt our website
5. Added to the team
6. Filed for a second patent
7. Signed distribution agreements for Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China
Some technical specifications of the products:
• Insulation value of up to R22 is achievable
• Noise can be muffled by up to 50dB
• Total blackout if required
• Blast resistant to 1.3psi @ 200ms, aiming for up to 3psi
• UL protection level 8 is achievable for ballistics
National TV in Ireland:
Some of our media cover:
Accepted as a High Potential Start-Up by Enterprise Ireland after a very thorough and competitive due diligence period. This is the government body responsible for assisting new Irish businesses.
Delivered what we believe to be the world's first insulated & blast resistant fabric structure to Saudi Arabia.
Our products have also been tested by the FBI.
As we are a product based company, our profits come from sales of Crua products, primarily across The UK, Europe, North America and beyond. Our products are currently manufactured by third parties, but we have brought some prototyping in-house.
We aim for a minimum 50% gross margin on everything as we believe this is what we need this to maintain a sustainable business. B2B sales to retailers / re-sellers will mean slightly lower margins but higher volumes.
Recreation: We sell both D2C (online) and B2B (strategically chosen re-sellers - e.g. Cabela's)
Industrial: We sell B2B as this is our end user / customer
Military: We plan to sell B2B through Aspetto Inc, a registered US Military supplier
Glamping: We sell B2B directly to the sites and through our agent in the UK
As sales volumes increase, we anticipate that margins will increase by nearly 10%, once we streamline the process, but it is important that quality and unique design remains the main objective through the short-term.
Use of proceeds
A) Commercial Milestones Recreational
1. Website development & a cutting edge digital marketing and advertising delivery
2. Research & Identify appropriate distribution & retail opportunities - recent deals already signed for Japan, China and the ANZ markets in 2018
3. The creation of tools to best show our unique products utilising Augmented Reality
4. One strategic hire for website development
B) Commercial Milestones Industrial
1. To continue to liaise with large partners and offer them customised shelter solutions that are blast resistant and insulated in Oil and Gas.
2. To bring in 3 new customers in 2018
3. One strategic hire from industry
4. Continued development of our military product suite
5. Exhibit at SHOT Show
C) Tech Milestones Recreational
1. Research and Development of new products to stay ahead of potential competition
2. 2 x new product introductions
3. IP protection
D) Tech Milestones Industrial:
1. 1 x new product introduction
2. IP protection
Outstanding Convertible Investments
Investors should note that the company has two outstanding investments that may convert to equity (and dilute existing shareholders):
POINT POSITIVE CONVERTIBLE
Point Positive investors have invested US$262,500 in the form of a promissory note, based on 6% annual interest rate, maturing on 31 December 2020. Point Positive has the option to convert the principal and accrued interest into equity at the Maturity Date (rather than seeking repayment) at a conversion price of US$20.58 per share (the share price of this investment round is £39.93).
However, if Thermo Tents raises US$1,000,000 or more in equity prior to the Maturity Date, then the promissory note will automatically convert to equity at a 20% discount to the price set by the trigger raise.
ENTERPRISE IRELAND CONVERTIBLE PREFERENCE SHARES
Enterprise Ireland have invested €250,000 in the form of Cumulative Convertible Redeemable Preference shares. These shares carry the following rights:
• A cumulative and preferential dividend equal to 3% of the investment per year. The dividend will only be paid if the shares are redeemed or on a return of capital to shareholders of the company, without conversion of the shares to ordinary equity.
• The preference shares are convertible into ordinary equity if the Company raises €250,000 or more from a VC or other institutional investor within 5 years. They will then convert at the same price as the qualifying investment, subject to a discount ranging from 15% to 55% depending on the time at which the qualifying investment takes place.
In 2018 we are focusing on three specific markets:
1. Insulated camping tents for the outdoors person that wants to camp all year round in comfort. $184 Billion spent annually on outdoor equipment in US alone.
2. Industrial - Middle East and North America - We have delivered the world's first blast resistant and insulated fabric structure to a customer in the Middle East and we have three more in production for the largest construction company in the USA. $470 Billion annual Cap Ex spend in Oil and Gas so there are massive potential revenues.
3. Military - We have collaborated with Aspetto Inc., a current supplier to the US Military, and developed a blast resistant and ballistic proof tent for military applications, to be launched at the annual SHOT Show in January. Note that the founders of Aspetto Inc. have just been listed on Forbes 30 under 30 so this is a very strategic partnership for us. US military spent US $126 Billion on procurement in 2016 and this is on the rise.
Characteristics of target market
A) We target the 32-60+ year old
North America, UK and Scandinavia directly.
Japan, China and ANZ markets through distribution agreements.
Customers generally partake in year round outdoor activity.
Above average disposable income. Tech 'savy'.
B) With our smaller tents and hammocks we target 25-35 year old
US based primarily.
(All of this targeting is 100% data based - we make decisions based upon what the market tells us)
A) We target construction companies that do the work for Oil and Gas companies on their sites.
B) We target rental companies that rent shelters, plant and machinery to these construction companies, and directly to the Oil and Gas companies.
The main characteristics of both of these types of customers is their scale - so by customising an insulated shelter exactly for their needs, we have opened very large volume possibilities.
As our partners supply the US military specifically, we will be focusing on this initially.
We have 4 core marketing strategies.
1. Online through digital marketing of our own website as well as through strategically selected ambassadors. This is true for Crua Outdoors and Crua Industrial, who have separate websites.
2. Through resellers and retailers (specifically for recreational), carefully selected as we must be careful with how our brand is portrayed. Not every outdoor shop is suitable, so we have hand-picked some that we are focusing on at the moment. (B2B and B2C - drop-ship).
3. Through strategically selected trade shows. These have been carefully assessed and we will start with the SHOT Show in January.
4. Direct engagement, particularly with Industrial and Military partners, is essential. This is done through building contacts within those industries, which we have acquired ourselves and through the 32 localised Enterprise Ireland offices around the world. We strive to always meet face to face as this is much more effective, especially in the B2B relationships.
Because we believe what we do is completely unique, we don't consider there to be any direct competitors. But we do have indirect competitors so we make it our business to analyse the major players in our key market segments.
However, we very much feel that concentrating on getting our own unique offering correct, and in front of the right people, is much more important. So, although we observe what the competition is doing, we don't obsess over it, striving instead to become thought leaders.
We also monitor best online practices in selling and displaying products in other industries. eCommerce is ever evolving and as this is an important part of our strategy, we must be sure that we are ahead of the curve.
In Oil and Gas, we have been careful to discuss what we are doing with the companies themselves, ensuring that we are solving an actual problem for them, thus aiding productivity on site.
We protect our IP, with two patents pending. We're also filing for a number of trademarks in 2018.