Boutique online travel firm Mr & Mrs Smith has cut short a crowdfunding campaign after raising over £6.1 million in just a month.
The firm closed its funding bid on Crowdcube 10 days earlier than planned after it became one of the platform’s fastest to surpass the £1 million mark on the first day.
More than 2,000 people have contributed to the campaign since it launched in September, with investments starting at £125, the price of a single share.
The level of investment from both existing members and the public meant the limit of £5 million eligible for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), which gives investors access to tax relief, was quickly reached so Mr & Mrs Smith decided to close the round at midnight on Monday.
The success of the campaign has made Mr & Mrs Smith the first company in both the UK and Europe as a whole to take advantage of the new UK limit of €8 million for investment crowdfunding, crossing the previous €5 million limit on September 21.
Tamara Lohan, co-founder, Mr & Smith, said: “We’re beyond delighted that so many of our members and supporters of our business are joining this exciting next stage of our journey.
“Their investment will enable us to scale the company quickly and help even more people around the world uncover spectacular places and have unforgettable experiences with those who matter most to them.”
The crowdfunding campaign was the first time in the company’s 15-year history that Mr & Mrs Smith has made equity in the business available to either its 1.5 million members in 100 countries around the world or the wider public.
The investment will support the company’s continued growth as it aims to build on a 22% increase in total transaction value – from £51.8 million to £63.5 million year-on-year to June 2018 – and a recent upsurge in booked revenue, up 35% from £7.9m to £10.6m.
James Lohan, co-founder of Mr & Mrs Smith, said: “This crowdfunding campaign has been a humbling reminder of how passionate people are about the business and our mission to shake up luxury travel.
“Thanks to the support of our new shareholders, we can now rapidly expand our curated collection of boutique hotels and villas, extend our international reach, and enrich our experiences offering. It has been a great honour to see our community accept our invitation with such enthusiasm.’
plans include accelerating the development of Mr & Mrs Smith’s US market; rapidly widening its collection of hotels and villas; and expanding Mr & Mrs Smith SideStories, its new experience offering of original, insider-led cultural tours in the world’s great cities.
The company said it plans to continue to invest in its high-tech, high-touch approach, with funds earmarked both for its in-house booking engine and Smith24, the round-the-clock booking and member-support service run by 45 travel specialists in London, New York, Singapore, and Los Angeles.
Luke Lang, co-founder Crowdcube, said: “It was fantastic to see Mr & Mrs Smith smash their initial target so quickly and raise the funds that will help them take the business to the next level.
“We’re really pleased to have been able to support such inspiring entrepreneurs and a great British business through this campaign, which can be a launchpad for their continued success.”