NextUp Comedy have smashed their crowdfunding target in just 10 days, with over £350k raised at the time of writing and 7 days of fundraising left to go. So far, over 370 investors have backed NextUp Comedy, hailed as the Netflix of UK Comedy, as part of their growth expansion. It’s well known in start-up communities, that crowdfunding is far more of an art than a science.
For those who aren’t familiar with crowdfunding, it’s a route to business funding whereby everyday investors can invest anything from £10 to £10M and get shares in the company. Digital banking platform Curve raised four times their target within just 42 minutes of launching the campaign on Crowdcube, with the round eventually closing with £6m raised.
NextUp, a subscription video-on-demand platform specialising exclusively in stand-up comedy specials, are among the lucky ones, they secured 100% of their £300k target on Crowdcube after only 10 days of fundraising. The team are now aiming to over fund up to £400k which will allow them to accelerate their plans for their marketing drive ahead of 2020, and have 7 days left of fundraising.
Dubbed “the Netflix of UK StandUp” by Engadget, according to their CEO Daniel Berg, they’ve even surprised themselves “we know that comedy resonates with almost everyone on some level, and that now, more than ever, people need a laugh, but we’ve been completely overwhelmed by just how quickly the round is filling up.”
We spoke to Luke Lang, Co-founder and CMO of Crowdcube who said, “We’re thrilled to be working with NextUp Comedy on their landmark crowdfunding campaign. Reaching their target in just 10 days shows the power of NextUp Comedy’s ability to resonate with a growing community of advocates. At Crowdcube, we enable entrepreneurs who challenge the status quo, and we’re delighted that so many backers feel the same about NextUp Comedy”.
It’s fair to say NextUp owe a fair portion of their success to their reputation within the comedy industry itself. Comics who understand the value of having their shows available online have come out in droves to support the round, with notable comedian investors including
- James Acaster – Five-time Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee and currently one of the most popular comedians in the UK.
- Luisa Omielan – Winner of the BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2018, Luisa was described by The Guardian as ‘one of the biggest stand up hits of the decade’.
- Tiernan Douieb – Douieb has taken 6 different shows to Edinburgh and toured with Frankie Boyle as well as writing, producing and recording the ‘Partly Political Broadcast’ which was one of The Observers top 10 political broadcasts of 2018.
Additionally, their current investors (which include Bruce Tuchman former President of MGM Networks Worldwide and co-founder Stuart Snaith, BBC Worldwide’s former Director of Comedy), are bound to have helped reassure strategic media investors who have come on in this round including:
- Mike Dailly – (Original designer Grand Theft Auto) – ‘I love the idea of getting more comedians to join in, so I can get to see all these emerging acts that I miss, and NextUp fill that void nicely…..they offer a pretty good pitch, good possible returns, and an obvious gap in the market’.
- Fraser Duncan – (former Managing Director at Terra Firma Capital Partners) – ‘I’m delighted to be re-investing in NextUp having seen their progress over the last year. They’ve got a great product and have some incredibly exciting distribution deals in the pipeline, which I think can really help catapult them to a household brand’.
NextUp have also announced some business updates during the campaign which show the momentum this young SVOD is building around their platform. These include:
- Strategic filming partnership with the Soho Theatre announced.
- Autumn season announcement (watch the trailer here)
- More specials filmed at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe than ever before.
There are a few lessons here for other start-ups hoping to ride the crowdfunding wave:
- Respected investors help herd the crowd, whether from your industry or the investment community
- Keep developing your business – the updates keep potential investors aware of your momentum
- Press – a good PR story at the right time can work wonders.
More Information on NextUp
NextUp champions the most exciting names in stand-up comedy, filming and showcasing their work worldwide via their 5-star rated mobile and TV apps. Comedians include: Max & Ivan, Jordan Brookes, Tiff Stevenson, Jonathan Pie, Hal Cruttenden, Paul Sinha, Bill Hicks, Bec Hill, Lou Sanders, Eleanor Morton, Tommy Tiernan, Stuart Laws, Simon Munnery, Daliso Chaponda, Tiernan Douieb, Tom Ward and many more (full list here).