Candle entrepreneur launches crowdfunding bid

Bio-oil Candle entrepreneur launches crowdfunding bid

Entrepreneur Lewis Bowen has launched a £300,000 crowd-funding campaign to help grow his LightMe brand of bio-oil candles and fragrances.

The entrepreneur launched his business, Air Global, upon graduating from Sheffield Hallam University six years ago.

His idea came as a response to the millions of deaths that occur each year from indoor air pollution caused by traditional fuels.

LightMe, the company’s best-known product, is a bio-oil candle refined from a renewable source of palm kernel oil. It burns more cleanly than traditional candles and extinguishes when knocked over.

Bowen plans to raise £300,000 on the Crowdcube platform, offering investors a share of a 20% equity stake.

Upon reaching his target, Lewis intends to invest in his sales team and build the range of stockists for LightMe.

He said: “We are ambitious and we want to take the business to the next level. This is a market worth £293m in the UK and £5bn in the EU and US.

“LightMe is an easy to understand product that resonates with a lot of people.”

Designed to be sold as a home accessory or table decoration, the LightMe range is mainly targeted at the retail and catering industries.

The business is backed by a heavyweight team of directors including experienced businessman and investor Chris Welsh, drinks industry veteran Chris Bowen, venture capital expert Emma Cross and former Compass Group UK & Ireland managing director Ian Sarson.

Lewis continued: “We have spent a lot of time developing these products and believe we have a fantastic range that will appeal to consumers. That work is already paying off in terms of conversations with big name retailers.

“Our over-arching aim as a business is to make products that are better for the environment and shake up a traditional market. We will do this by reducing the use of fossil fuels within the home retail and food service industries. We will also reduce unnecessary problems caused by hot spilling wax and fuels that can cause fires.”

After 12 months of development, Air Global now requires funding to drive new and existing ranges nationally and internationally.

Lewis won the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2014 and was also a speaker at MADE Festival 2015 where he launched his brand.