Inn Style, an online booking system for hoteliers, campsites and bed and breakfast owners, raised £150,000 using crowdfunding.
The system, a simple and effective way to finance a business which differs from the traditional funding resources of banks, insurance, stock markets and charitable donations – helped the company smash it’s two-week target in just 11 days.
It used equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom and attracted lead investors Mark Aldridge, chief executive of Better Capital, and Henry Catchpole, who ran Suffolk Life for 13 years before its sale to Legal and General for £68 million and now runs Inform Direct.
CEO of Inn Style and co-founder Adrian Melrose said: ” We were – and are – incredibly fortunate to have Mark and Henry as our lead investors. We are incredibly grateful for their unwavering belief in Inn Style.
“Going live on SyndicateRoom with a two-week funding window felt ambitious so we are delighted to have closed with a full week to spare.
“It has been extremely useful way of introducing many seasoned Investors who have now taken a meaningful stake in Inn Style.
“Fundraising for a travel tech startup is inevitably a time consuming process and closing quickly means we can now concentrate on building value.”
Inn Style launched in May 2014, pitching itself as a “blissfully simple” alternative for smaller accommodation owners wanting to take online bookings.
The company saw explosive growth in last quarter after The Pop Up Hotel – an ultra-chic glamping experience found at Glastonbury and other notable events – used Inn Style to sell £100k of availability in just a few hours.
Mr Melrose, who will also fulfill the role of finance director, said: “At Inn Style we have a small but incredibly focused team who will deliver a valuable feature-set that our global customers are telling us they need.”
The Inn Style round was closed on Sunday, February 8, the very same day Inn Style was featured on Product Hunt – Silicon Valley’s favourite site for new products.
Chris Waters, co-founder and head of product said: “To have our idea validated by the startup and crowd-funding communities on the very same day was brilliant for us.
“But also for Suffolk, the county in which we live. This proves you don’t have to be in London to get noticed by international investors.
“The quality of investors SyndicateRoom has brought to Inn Style has been remarkable. We’ve had phone calls and emails from people who are thrilled to be joining us on our journey, and that positivity is priceless in creating a sense of momentum.”
The business said the bulk of the £150,000 investment would be used to pay salaries and third-party technical teams, as well as fund product development and user acquisition.