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Vulpine fundraising drive hits £1million to double its target

Southwest London cycle clothing firm closes hugely successful Crowdcube campaign

Cycle clothing firm Vulpine, which a fortnight ago launched a Crowdcube campaign to raise half a million pounds to help expand the business, has doubled its target by raising more than £1 million as the fundraising drive closed on Sunday evening.

Nick Hussey, founder of the southwest London-based business, decided to crowdsource investment rather than pursue private equity backing because he wanted to give the company’s customers, as well as the wider public, a chance to share in its future success.

Within five days, Vulpine had raised the £500,000 it was seeking, with one backer putting £50,000 into the business.

The company kept the campaign open to raise further funds, ticking over into seven figures on Sunday afternoon with more than 600 people pledging money.

The firm, founded in 2012, will use the money to widen the HOY Vulpine range and to grow the business in overseas markets including the US and Asia, where it is particularly targeting Japan and South Korea.

At the close of the fundraising effort, investors had pumped £1,026,280 into the business, equivalent to an aggregate shareholding of 17.03 per cent.

Yesterday evening, Hussey told "I went into this absolutely terrified but weirdly, also totally confident. I've never crowdfunded before.

"I'd just turned down some very serious funding in order to do Crowdcube, so I couldn't mess about. I liked the thought of Vulpine being owned by it's customers and the wider public. It feels right for a friendly, sociable and open brand.

"So the terror came from the unknown, which made me very motivated to work hard and nail it. The confidence came from knowing we have really active, vocal, passionate customers whom I knew (well, thought) would love to be part of the journey.

"Judging by some of the hundreds of names I recognise, I think that's borne out. A large proportion seem to be investors from the financial community.

"That gives me pleasure because it shows our pitch isn't just an emotional choice but a solid business proposal as well.

"But to raise the full amount in five days, then to double it in two weeks, that it pretty hard to compute," he added.

"We've cut it off early because we don't want to just keep raising cash willy nilly. Plus it is distracting and very very hard work!

"Best to crack on with the plans," Hussey concluded. "It's going to be huge fun sharing it with hundreds of keen new fellow owners!"

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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