Every time a startup gets funded through Fundsup, it’s a celebration for all of us. It’s also an inspiration and a reminder to other founders seeking capital: you are one connection away from closing your round. Today we chat with Rik Breur from Finsulate BV (ACE Incubator), a company that got funded in January.
Finsulate is a company that addresses the need in maritime business for products that prevent the growth of mussels and algae on the hulls of vessels and yachts. These products are extremely toxic and are a source of microplastic pollution in our oceans. With its breakthrough antifouling wrap, Finsulate prevents this growth, yet without the pollution of toxic paints.
Rik, congratulations on closing the funding round! How are you feeling?
I feel great about closing this round. It was an important step in getting back on track with the company’s growth after two difficult years. 2019 was dominated by a fire in our warehouse and in 2020 the obvious Covid-issues prevented our growth. We are marketing our environment-friendly antifouling material in the pleasure craft market and this market has completely shut down in most European countries. Working capital diminished, preventing the start of our growth phase in 2021.
How did the journey look like from the moment you decided to raise funds?
It was a relatively easy journey. In the past we have been raising money, it was always a struggle. With this round it was different. In the present status of the company, with satisfied customers using Finsulate for several years and getting beyond our warranty period, combined with the societal change towards sustainability, we could feel that the trust in the business case was easily built.
What was your strategy for this fundraising round?
We have decided to make a combination of Profit Certificates and Convertible Loans. The reason for this strategy was that we are on the threshold of growth so it is difficult to make a realistic valuation. Also, the round was a relatively small one (200k€ in total) just to take the last step to commercial success.
We have accomplished a deal with two investors that were attracted by Finsulate’s profile on Fundsup.
What was the role of Fundsup in the process?
Fundsup was a source of investors and as such has played a role as an intermediary. We have accomplished a deal with two investors that were attracted by Finsulate’s profile on the platform.
What’s the most important thing you learned during the fundraising?
The most important thing I learned during this round was that investors are not necessarily afraid of troubles experienced in the past. I can say for sure that I have experienced most of the setbacks one can experience while starting up. Speaking openly about these actually seemed to strengthen the case. Staying “alive” despite all of this and showing we are there with satisfied customers, works.
What was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was to explain our marketing strategy. We have decided to start selling in a Business-to-Consumer market that seems smaller than the Business-to-Business counterpart. Looking closer at the numbers, the markets are equally large. A sailboat is much smaller than a container vessel, yet there are 18 million pleasure boats compared to 60,000 large cargo vessels. So the choice can be explained, in combination with the larger environmental drive from consumers compared to the low environmental drive within companies.
How are you planning to use the funds?
The funds will be used to boost the marketing and build the organisation to sustain growth. The product is ready and has proven itself, now the job is to really get it out there!
Congratulations one more time!
Thanks, make sure to follow our next steps on Fundsup: https://api.fundsup.co/go/PworroG9l5