Espresso and cocktail chain Grind recently closed £1.34m through a mini bond on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube – smashing its initial £750,000 target.

Over 470 investors contributed to the round, with £60,000 being the largest amount invested, for the four-year term of the bond.

Founded in 2011 by David Abrahamovitch and Kaz James, Grind runs four espresso and cocktail bars across London in Shoreditch, Soho, Holborn, London Bridge and it plans to open a fifth site this summer in Covent Garden.

We spoke to David Abrahamovitch to find out why Grind chose crowdfunding to expand its business.

Q, Why did you decide to use crowdfundig to raise your funds?

We are now at annualised run-rate revenue of around £4m across our four hugely successful sites (Shoreditch, Soho, Holborn and London Bridge).  We feel that Grind is now a proved model, and therefore it was a good time to use a bond to keep on growing Grind.
The bond will allow us to fund the expansion with people who are true supporters and patrons of Grind, giving them the opportunity for our customers to directly participate in our growth and share in our success.

We are very keen to expand Grind and have been working hard to ensure the brand remains true to its core values.

Our customers have always been extremely loyal, and will always be very important to us. With the bond we can offer our fans the chance to invest in Grind, and in turn we are offering a series of incentives and rewards for all our investors to enjoy.

Q, How long did you plan this before going to market?

We made the decision and then launched about 6 weeks later. If was very intense – but we work well under pressure! Shooting the video was the longest day of my life – but it was lots of fun!

Q, Did you have any help organising the bond?

We had external help from a video producer, Crowdcube and an ad agency for our ad campaign – but everything else we did in-house – including the video script and concept, the marketing material and the finance piece. It was a fun few weeks! My team were amazing and really pulled out all the stops and drank a lot of coffee late at night!

Q, Would you recommend this style of funding to others?

I think its amazing, and revolutionary. For us it will help bridge an important gap between our first round of funding which carried us from 1 to 5 sites, and a later stage round when the business is at a more advanced state with 8-10 sites.

It was also lots of fun and amazing to meet so many people.

We’ve also had a lot of ‘non-cash’ benefits from landlords and potential partners who have got in touch as a result of hearing about the Crowdcube rise.

It’s not for everyone however – you have to be prepared the process is very public, you really have to put all of your cards on the table – and should someone fail it’s obviously a pretty public forum in which to fail!

Q, What’s next for Grind?

We’ll be using the funds to open a special, one-off Grind where will start Roasting out own beans, as well as setting up a central kitchen and wholesale operation. This site will also have a public restaurant / cafe / bar. It’s very exciting! Beyond that we’ll also be continuing to grow Grind across London, as and when we find buildings we fall in love with!