When we first launched Do Nation back in 2011, we were firmly rooted in the non-profit world. So it’s unsurprising that, over the course of our crowdfunding campaign, I’ve received several questions about our new business model. As I outlined in a blog back in July, we’ve taken quite a pivot over the last year, and are now very much a part of the profit for purpose world. We have a solid business model.
To help clear up any confusion, I thought I’d share my answers to some of the most commonly asked questions…
What do you do?
We help companies to save money by engaging their employees in doing positive, health-boosting, and energy-saving actions.
We do this through our online platform where employees make, measure and share personal pledges to do things like using video conferencing, walking up the stairs, or wasting less food. We make it fun, and use team competition to achieve our high participation rates. We then provide the company with a detailed report on the actions taken and impact they’ve had.
What do investors get?
Shares in Do Nation. you’ll own a slice or a slither of our business, share in any future financial upside that the business generates and enjoy the feel-good factor that will come helping our business to have more widespread impact than it otherwise would.
If you invest over £5,000 you get voting rights with your shares, but if you invest less then I’m afraid you won’t. It just wouldn’t be feasible to get 100+ shareholder’s signatures each time we had to make a decision.
We’re giving away 12% of the business in return for £150k, based on a pre-money valuation of £1.1m. The valuation was calculated with advice from experienced investors, and was based on two main things:
- An analysis of the value of similar companies within our market, taking into consideration our existing revenue, projected growth, and risks.
- The implied valuation that Wayra gave us in 2013, based on the floor and cap of their convertible loan.
How do you make money?
Companies pay a subscription fee for access to the platform. Prices vary according to company size and the programme functionaility (Simple, Standard or Premium). You can see all our prices here. We like to keep it transparent.
Our projections show us generating £1m in sales by 2017, with pre-tax profit of £280k. You can download our financial overview from our pitch page.
How big is the market?
It’s big, and it’s growing. UK businesses alone spend £5.6 billion per year on sustainability, and 78% of sustainability professionals say that engaging employees is their top priority in driving forward sustainable business. That’s exactly what we help them with.
With the government’s new ESOS scheme coming into force next month, all companies with over 250 employees will be required to measure and manage their energy use. It’s estimated that 7,500 companies will qualify for this scheme – making them prime targets for Do Good for Business.
In the medium term, the opportunities internationally are very large and we have already had interest from consultancies overseas.
How successful has it been?
Very. Some programmes have been more successful than others – but we’ve been learning and improving a lot as we go.
We’ve worked with 14 clients so far, ranging from Anglian Water to the Scottish Government. Five of these have already returned for second round programmes.
Average participation rate within these companies is an impressive 30%, but has hit as high as 91% with one client. You can read more on the impact of our programmes here.
Our pipeline is growing healthily: British Gas have already signed up, and we’re currently closing sales with one of the UK’s biggest engineering firms, a leading fashion label, and a major transport company.
Don’t other organisations do the same thing?
It’s true, we have competition. Two things make our offer different, and, we believe, more likely to succeed.
Firstly, our business was born out of our consumer facing Donate by Doing and the expertise that this brought us. This grounding in behaviour change is what makes Do Good for Business so effective, and what in turn makes our clients love us.
Secondly, because of the automated, self-serve nature of the site, we can provide a cost-effective tool to smaller companies that our competitors wouldn’t be able to consider working with. And the market for sustainability solutions amongst medium sized businesses is growing fast, especially with the introduction of ESOS. We’re primed to embrace that.
How are you going to spend the money?
On growing our team, enabling us to ramp up our marketing and sales efforts, and to build some great new features on the site. Things such as including a wider range of metrics (water, waste, money, and eventually health and community, as well as just carbon) and making it mobile friendly.
The aim? To win more clients, and to make a greater impact with those clients.
How will I get my money back?
For the first few years, we’ll be reinvesting any profit into the growing the business, so you won’t get your money back right away. And as with most investments in early stage startups, you even risk not getting it back at all. But we believe that won’t be the case. We have a plan: an exit plan.
We’re really excited about what we are building and we know others are too. We believe that, in a few years, strategic players in our market may be interested in acquiring our business, providing you – our investors – with an opportunity to realise your investment.
But wouldn’t we risk diluting our mission and the spirit of Do Nation by selling it? After thinking about that a lot, I don’t believe it would. The very ‘social’ element of our product is fundamental to our business model, no one can change that. And the scale a larger organisation could provide us with would only serve to further increase our reach and impact.
Yep: we’ve got SEIS advanced assurance, which can give tax relief of 50% or more to investors, and provides some protection on the value of your investment.
Convinced? You have six days left to invest in Do Nation and join our journey. We won’t be going a penny over our target, so don’t miss out: head over to our campaign page now.
Please #investaware and consider the risks before investing. Early stage equity investments are long term investments, placing your capital at risk.
This advertisement, which is a financial promotion for the purposes of Section 21 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, is issued by The DoNation Enterprise Ltd, which accepts responsibility for the information presented. This advertisement has been approved as a financial promotion for UK publication by Crowdcube Ventures Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 572026). Full terms and conditions at www.crowdcube.com.