A Bookstore Seeks to Raise Over $1 million through Crowd Sourcing
- by Michael Stillman
Bookbarn (from Bookbarn International video).
A book store in England has turned to crowd sourcing to fund its business. This is not the often seen case of a bookstore trying to survive the pandemic through contributions from its loyal customers. This one is a business plan by a store that seeks over $1 million in the next two years (£950,000, the equivalent of US $1,300,000).
The store is Bookbarn International, and while it has a retail location, it does much of its sales on the internet. As such, they did all right during the pandemic, but they are now in an expansive mood. They recently bought competitor Cambridge Rare Books and are looking to buy two other businesses. They also plan to update computer systems, improve marketing, and support other business plans. They mostly deal in used, low priced books somewhat akin to Better World Books in America. They pick up inventory from libraries and 25% are ones that are donated by their owners. However, they also have a rare book room where you can purchase collectible books. It's called the Darwin Rare Book Room, named for the Chairman's great-great grandfather, Charles Darwin.
Bookbarn reported sales of £1,469,000 for the past year (through August) with a profit of £10,000. Not the largest profit, but many firms measured success in this past terrible year by how small their losses were. They project sales this year of £2,344,000 and a profit of £68,000. By 2023, they expect those numbers to be £3,613,000 and £401,000. They insist the book trade is a healthy and growing business.
For this year, Bookbarn hopes to raise the first £250,000. In the current crowd sourcing, they are hoping to take in £100,000-£250,000. They have valued the company at £2.5 million ($3,400,000). The first £100,000 will share a 3.95% interest in the company. Shares are priced at £0.76 (about $1) with a minimum investment a very affordable £38 for 50 shares. I'm not sure how you sell these shares if you want to cash out but they have expressed an intention to try to become listed on a European stock exchange, which should facilitate trading the shares. If you wish to invest in this company, their solicitation can be found on the Crowd for Angels website. Now for the disclosure: I own no shares of this company, seriously doubt I ever will, I am not a financial advisor, you should consult one if, like me, you don't know what you are doing, I am making no recommendation, and if I were, you would be well advised to ignore it for your own good.