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The Mondo Effect

A masterclass in equity crowdfunding

A crowdfunding record has just been broken in spectacular fashion. Mondo, the challenger bank that's aiming to disrupt the mobile banking industry, raised £1m in just 96 seconds on Crowdcube – that's nearly £10,000 per second. This is even more remarkable when you consider they capped each investment at £1,000.

I haven't had the chance to contact anyone from Mondo but I did briefly speak to some of the Crowdcube team the morning after the round closed, and they provided some insight.

What was the secret to Mondo's incredible success? Their approach is simply a masterclass in crowdfunding marketing. They made a lot of noise before they launched, marketing the investment opportunity alongside a beta test acquisition campaign. They created a landing page with a simple sign-up form, which gathered email addresses to soft launch the campaign in prelaunch mode. There was also a lot of social activity building up to the launch day, especially on Twitter.

In my mind the most effective pre-marketing came from Crowdcube. They sent an email inviting people to register their interest to be invited to the prelaunch campaign, which gave everyone in the Crowdcube community a sense that something big was happening. Of course something big did happen – so big that it crashed Crowdcube's servers and they had to close everything down and re-engineer the application process.

Of course it helped that the opportunity profile was so attractive: the company was founded by the epitome of a young, Tech City entrepreneur in Tom Blomfield; the campaign was part of a wider raise backed by Passion Capital, which has an excellent track record in the FinTech space; Mondo technically didn't need the crowd's money so it was a community engagement and customer acquisition play, which always goes down well with the community; the scale is instantly recognisable, and the path to an exit was clear and plausible. That being said, the investment opportunity was still very high risk and a lot still depends on Mondo getting their banking licence - otherwise they're simply a glorified, and very overvalued, pre-loaded debit card company.

Mondo is a case study in exceptional campaign planning. Yes, it helped that they had the support of Crowdcube, but plan your raise well and execute it at the right time (and for the right reasons) and you will give yourself the best chance of closing your round early.