Crowdfunder is the UK’s leading crowdfunding website. At the time of writing, over £34 million has been raised via its platform; supporting thousands of business ideas, charities, people in need, community groups, sports clubs, and political movements. The company’s mission is to change the world by making good ideas a reality and it’s doing so from a converted surf shop in Newquay.
Invest in Cornwall’s Brand Consultant, Sophie Tregenna met with Executive Chairman Rob Love to find out more about this next generation company. The premise of Crowdfunder is in the name – individuals or groups, who are in need of funding, upload their idea onto Crowdfunder’s website and ‘the crowd’ are able to donate. The company is the biggest of its kind in the UK and is growing rapidly. “We have an ambition to not just be really big in Cornwall or compete with London, we are working to be the best in the world at what we do. There’s a tendency when you’re outside of the bigger cities to think small, when what’s needed is to be ambitious and think globally – those are the key drivers in our success.”
A disruptive company like Crowdfunder needs the constant ebb and flow of fresh ideas. “I think that being in Cornwall is an advantage. Cornwall is full of innovators and creative thinkers, I think it attracts those kinds of people, they’re slightly different. It sets us apart because we’re not treading the normal trail but choosing to work down here so that’s a big advantage and I believe it’s a fundamental key. I think the places in the world that tend to be on the edge physically, are also the places where you get good ideas. Not only that but historically there were less opportunities in Cornwall than say London so everyone naturally has to be more creative to make it work. You find a lot of small companies, the one or two man bands and a real ingenuity in the way that everyone operates. So they’re all plusses of Cornwall and Cornish people. That’s why I like being here, because people have this inbuilt innovative thinking and creativity.”
Crowdfunder currently employs around 30 people in addition to a number of freelancers. “No one is here because they’re filling time. They’re here because they want to change the world. We have up to 200 projects coming in every day and in the last 30 days our platform has raised £2m.” There’s another obvious draw to working at Crowdfunder. The company overlook s Tolcarne Beach, one of Cornwall’s famous surfing spots. “Everyone surfs here. When it’s good we will surf before work, during lunchtime and after work. It’s about making the most of where we are and empowering our team with the flexibility to do that and make up the time. We work incredibly hard so it’s vital to have a workforce that is happy and motivated.”
In 2016 Crowdfunder was valued at £15m. It is forging a path in a next generation industry and its attitude towards doing business is equally as progressive. The company demonstrates that the old adage ‘work hard, play hard’ needn’t be reserved for the fast paced lifestyles of city workers and that the concept of ‘surfing on your lunch break’ may not be quite so far flung after all.Rob Love Executive Chairman, Crowdfunder
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