An ambitious company which specialises in a product that helps babies to sleep has successfully raised funds to help its business grow thanks to specialist crowdlending platform, LendingCrowd.
Poddle Pod, which operates from a base in Rugby, has developed a unique slumber nest which simulates the feeling of when a baby is being held, helping him or her to rest and sleep comfortably in a natural way.
After starting the company at home with a staff of seven and achieving excellent feedback, Charlotte Marshall the owner and Managing Director of Poddle Pod, was keen to expand her business and required £30,000 to help the company produce enough products to keep up with demand. Despite having excellent sales records and feedback, she was advised by her accountant that because Poddle Pod was relatively young that she would struggle to secure the loan she needed from the banks so she decided to look at alternative ways to finance her plans.
Charlotte’s research led her to LendingCrowd, and after signing-up with the platform and passing the rigorous credit and risk assessment checks, Charlotte successfully went through the borrowing process. “The business is getting bigger and more popular every day, and we’re now exhibiting at all the baby shows across the country. It’s got to the point where we can’t afford to manufacture them at the price it was costing us here in the UK and we desperately needed extra funding to help satisfy demand. The banks haven’t been very forthcoming with us so we had to look around for other ways to help us grow. We had hit a brick wall and couldn’t grow anymore. Without LendingCrowd we would not have secured the future of our business.”
Poddle Pod secured their loan target from LendingCrowd, one of the country’s foremost peer-to-business crowdlenders, in just one month. This has meant Charlotte was able to improve the quality, and ramp up production of the Poddle Pod by outsourcing production to Turkey. The funding has also enable the company to sell into major high-street retailers as well as develop a wipe-clean version which can be sold to the NHS.
Stuart Lunn, CEO of LendingCrowd, says that accessing finance to fund development and growth has never been more important for small businesses. “Poddle Pod’s experience goes to show how vital crowdlending can be to an increasing number of SMEs across the country, especially those who operate in sectors that have specialised borrowing requirements.
“Just because a company does not fit the standard template often required to secure bank funding it should not mean their ambitions to grow as a business are thwarted. There are lots of enthusiastic investors out there who are keen to back companies like Poddle Pod, and we believe flexible and well-regulated crowdlending can help support a successful base of SMEs that can go on to make a valuable contribution to the economy.”
LendingCrowd has already facilitated over £1.75m in loans to SMEs across its platform since its launch in October 2014, and over 1,100 people have signed up as investors. For businesses to be eligible for listing on LendingCrowd’s loan market they must satisfy stringent credit control criteria, which includes a suitable cash flow over two-years’ trading and a turnover of approximately £100,000. This helps gives investors a choice of assessed firms with risk categories and corresponding returns from a minimum investment of