Hundreds of investors back new Hackney wonder-product
A Hackney company’s revolutionary new product has been backed with a £2m investment – from more than 2,500 investors.
Sugru, the world’s first mouldable glue, closed its second successful crowdfunding campaign at the weekend after raising the money on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
Sugru’s inventor and CEO, Jane ni Dhulchaointigh told BQ: “We’re thrilled and excited to have so many new investors on board for the next phase of growth. The team has worked incredibly hard to make this a success, which is no mean feat considering the level of work currently going into our global retail expansion and launch plans for the new formulation. Exciting times ahead!
"The whole business is built on the support and engagement of users who regularly share details and pictures of projects where they’ve used Sugru. To receive a video from somebody who’s fixed an antique telescope their grandfather had left for them or a Facebook message about a wheelchair hack that’s made life easier for their 6 year old daughter - it makes our mission to get people fixing things extremely real and achievable. Then of course the financial support we’ve seen with our two successful crowdfunding campaigns is another level of support that’s incredibly humbling.
"I really enjoyed studying fine art in college so went on to do a Masters in design at the RCA in London. It wasn’t long before I realised I was a rubbish designer and didn’t want to make new things when there was already too much stuff in the world. It was whilst I was playing with different materials that the first idea for Sugru came about. I wanted to make something that allowed other people to be designers, something that would enable others to fix and redesign things to work better for them."
The future looks strong as well, with yearly revenue for 2016 at £4.2m, and Jane showing no sign of losing that entrepreneurial passion.
"We already know that Sugru’s waterproof and heatproof properties make it a great piece of kit for the outdoor market," she said.
"Tech is also a market that Sugru retains huge relevance - our most popular usage is in fact repairing and reinforcing cables and we’re sold nationwide at Maplin. The R&D team has been working incredibly hard on new technologies, one of which will allow us to extend our fixing mission to the next generation of makers. A product for all the family will be launching later this year and will be the first in a series of new formulations.
"There’s plenty of product innovation in the pipeline and retail expansion overseas will continue to be a focus. This year alone we’re launching in parts of Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and more non English speaking countries (following France in 2016) will start from 2018.
"It has already been successfully launched in France and South Africa with plans to launch this year in Canada, Australia and New Zealand whilst extending its reach in Europe, and crucial R&D means there is a brand new formula allowing children as young as eight years old to use the product.
Invented to help people repair and improve things, Jane and her team developed the award-winning material that moulds like play dough, sticks to almost anything and turns into a strong flexible rubber overnight. Launched back in 2009, more than ten million single-use packs have now been sold in over 170 countries and territories worldwide with the company growing an average rate of over 30 per cent year-on-year from 2013 to 2016. Growth is forecast to increase to 50 per cent year-on-year until 2019.
Sugru is popular for small DIY projects within the home and much used by technology, craft and maker communities. The company has recently doubled its manufacturing space in East London where it employs 70 staff.