Cardiff music merchandise firm turns to crowdfunding to fund growing business

August 8, 2012 No Comments »

Dizzyja.com creates allows bands to create merchandise online, including T-shirts, which they can then sell to their fans.

A Cardiff company that helps musicians create products online and sell them to their fans is turning to a crowdfunding website to raise finances.

Dizzyjam.com is looking to Crowdcube, which allows lots of people to “micro-invest” in one company, to fund its growing business.

Based in Fairwater, Dizzjam.com allows musicians and bands to create products online – such as T-shirts and hoodies – to sell to their fans, then prints and dispatches the items before sending the profit to the band.

It currently has around 2,500 bands signed up from five different continents, but managing director Neil Cocker said the company had struggled to get the backing it needs.

He said: “We’ve been trying to raise equity finance for a few months now, mainly through angel investors. And while we’ve found the majority of local angels approachable and supportive, we’ve found the investment scene in Wales to be uncomfortable with disruptive business models, and generally reticent to invest in web-based startups like ours.

“Plus traditional avenues of finance, such as banks, are generally far too risk averse when it comes to investing in relatively new business models like ours.”

Crowdcube, which is the first UK service allowing companies to use crowdfunding to sell shares, has already raised £3 million for 15 companies looking for investment, with the average amount invested coming in at £1,402. But potential investors could buy shares for as little as £10.

Dizzyjam.com co-founder Dafydd Griffiths said he hoped this would open up investment to anyone.

He said: “It makes it easy for anyone with as little as £10 to invest in the growth of our company and hopefully get a return of many times what they could get through a standard savings account. By using this system it also means that we don’t have to decamp to London, where there’s a much denser concentration of web-savvy investors. We don’t want to leave Cardiff if we can help it”.

Dafydd added that raising £100,000 through crowdfunding could allow them to employ more people in Cardiff, and even think about setting up an office in the United States.

If the firm can make a success of it, Dizzyjam.com would be the first Welsh company to raise finance in this way.

Find out more about Dizzyjam.com on Crowdcube here.

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