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Asset 1005


Ben's Bloody Big Mess

Ben's Canteen Founder Ben Walton has posted on FB so long, adieu, nice knowing you. After taking £499k off Crowdcube investors 3 years ago.

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Yet another woeful mess promoted by the Wonderful Crowdcube. A case study in why entrepreneurs need basic business skills BEFORE they take on the risks

Ben Walton's pitch on Crowdcube in 2017 talked about this existing and successful 2 unit eatery chain - expanding to 10 units by 2022. Asking for £250k he took £499k off 241 investors. The business in 2016/17 was cash positive and making small losses. By 2018 it was making huge losses and had run through almost all of the £499k - which was £250k more than the plans required. They had not opened a single new unit. 


The plans showed a new unit opening in September 2017 in Battersea Power Station. We at the time knew this was BS - no multi site, blue chip developer was going to risk a lease on Ben. As it turned out they didnt - in fact he hasnt opened any new venues with the £499k. What has he done with it? Ben? 

Losses of £200k for YE June18 help to get rid some of it. And a new business making Gin and other things probably got rid of the rest. Bens Bloody Gin etc helped to create the mess. 

Actually Ben's Canteen prior to its appearance on Crowdcube, was looking good. Healthy footfall and a fulfilling a local need. Left at that, it would probably now be making Mr Walton a respectable living and employing a few people. That is of course a very common outcome post Crowdcube. 

It is why this whole Equity Crowdfunding thing needs reappraisal. Now.

Saturday January 18, 2020

Hardman and Co’s Brian Moretta in conversation with ECF Buzz Founder Rob Murray Brown on start up investing, equity crowdfunding and what’s a good read.