It was just over a year ago that Julianne Ponan, the CEO of free-from food company Creative Nature, appeared on the BBC series Dragons Den and was offered funding from Deborah Meaden.
After consideration, Julianne turned down Deborah Meaden's offer based on her valuation of Creative Nature of £300,000. This month, the team have secured investment of £350,000 in a crowdfunding campaign based on a valuation of over £5m.
It was in August 2017, that Julianne appeared on the popular business show Dragons Den and attracted the attention of Ms Meaden. However after the show, Julianne reconsidered and felt it was not right for her business.
"Appearing on the show was amazing and I'll always be grateful to Deborah Meaden for taking such a positive interest in Creative Nature. However on reflection the investment didn't feel right for us. So we took stock and in August this year launched a Seedrs campaign to secure investment via crowdfunding."
Less than a month after launching the Seedrs campaign, Creative Nature hit its target and is now in an over-funding situation.
The team, with an HQ in West Molesey in Surrey, are thrilled that at time of writing the company has investment of more than £357,000 with a community of 341 investors, large and small.
Julianne said: “We are so humbled and so grateful for the support we’ve received from investors. It’s amazing to see so many people come forward and invest in our vision to become the go-to free-from brand for people who are health and nutrition conscious or who live daily with food allergies or intolerance.”
There is still a chance to get involved – the deadline for the Creative Nature is Friday October 19. Investors can put in as little as £12.
In the first week, the campaign attracted more investors than any other active campaign during its first seven days. Julianne is also currently a finalist in the 2018 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards for London & the South East. She’s been shortlisted for her efforts to turn around a struggling company to the profitable brand offering a range of snack bars, baking mixes and superfoods. Creative Nature was also named the UK Small Business of the Year 2018 by the FSB.
Products are stocked in Asda, The Co-Op, Sainsbury’s, TK Maxx and many others. The team exports to countries including Malta, Iceland and Jordan.
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