No one said it was gonna be easy.
Because of the product's complexity and the specifics of working with a very large bureaucratic organization, we were bogged down in legal paperwork the investment fund in Dubai. We focused all our legal forces into untying this paperwork. Things, however, were still moving slowly. The signing off was pushed more than six months forward. In June 2018 we finally agreed on the terms and received all the necessary papers. We signed our copy of the investment agreement and sent it to Dubai for the investor's signature.
Do you know that feeling when your heart is pounding, you can almost feel it beating somewhere behind your eyes and your body is covered with cold sweat? Every CEO can tell you when and why they felt like that. I felt it when the day after approving six-months' worth of paperwork, I received an email from the Dubai investor. Like all these kinds of emails, it was large text, but its message was short: "For reasons, we cannot disclose we won't be participating in the investment round."
"We were crushed" doesn't even begin to describe how we felt. Everything we built over the entire year, our strategy and all our resources, was put into this work and all of it had just been flushed down the toilet.Are we dead? No, we survived!
We took a week to process what had just happened. We talked to a lot of entrepreneurs. We did research and evaluated all the possible next steps.
We have a plan and we believe this will work. Because of the lack of resources, we lost some of our team members. Team matters a lot when you create a product. Luckily, the core of the team stayed and we have enough workforce to finish the development and manufacturing.So where are we right now?
We have a loan from KIC InnoEnergy, a grant from the European Bank of Reconstructions and Development and several business angels who committed to invest. In total, it's about half of what we need to launch manufacturing, therefore we decided to use the Syndicate Room platform to raise the amount of funding we are missing. Syndicate Room is a platform that connects ambitious investors with the UK most trailblazing companies. We passed their due diligence with the acceptance rate of just 4%.The campaign will be launched in October.
Aside from the Syndicate Room, we have managed to achieve the following:
- We received the 2nd tranche from KIC InnoEnergy, €50k in total;
- A well-connected adviser from the UK, Paul Borrow-Longain, has joined our team. Paul has strong expertise with private and corporate finance and helps us to connect with the right decision-makers in the UK. Thanks to Paul's advice and support, we received a firm commitment from a business angel, negotiated with the Welsh Government regarding R&D and Job Creation grants, and discussed further funding with the Development Bank of Wales, Portman Asset Finance, and UK Export Finance.
I will be honest with you, the last year and a half have been very hard and I am standing on the edge of the opportunity to make everything we have fought for becoming reality. I am, therefore, asking you to believe in me and my team and support me one more time.
The following plans are the most honest timeline I have right now. It is clear until December after which we would need to make new calculations and re-evaluate the situation:
Why am I doing all this?
- We are launching the campaign at Syndicate Room in October. It will last a month and a half.
- By December we will receive the funding we collect during the campaign and will launch manufacturing.
- Launching the manufacturing usually takes around five months. Since we do all the preparations to the manufacturing launch now, we're going to reduce it to four months. So we are estimating the sensors being ready for delivery in May 2019.
The most important person is you, my customer and my user. I will only be calm when you receive the sensor and see how much electricity you are using and how much it really does cost you. When you see and compare your usage with your friends and other households like yours, then I will be calm. When you never forget to turn off your appliances and your wiring can't catch fire because of any overload.
I believe we are creating a great company whose products will improve your life and at the same time make the planet cleaner.Yours,
Ivan Pasichnyk, Ecoisme CEO