We helped Oddbox close a £500k round in 3 months and save thousands in legal fees
The elevator pitch 🚀
Oddbox is the delightfully friendly subscription food delivery service that supplies healthy fresh food directly to customers. The company specialises in ‘wonky’ and surplus fruit and veg boxes, and it’s estimated that a single veg box saves 13kg of CO2 and 1,599 litres of water.
The Oddbox founders are husband and wife team Emilie Vanpoperinghe and Deepak Ravindran. They set up the company in 2016 after learning that up to 40% of all UK food produce is wasted before it leaves farms.
The challenge: Launching a startup while working a full-time job 👩💻
Getting a startup off the ground is no easy task, particularly when you’re working a full-time job.
“We did all of the early work ourselves while still in full-time employment,” says Emilie Vanpoperinghe, CEO and co-founder of Oddbox. “Most evenings and weekends were spent on Oddbox and we did the packing and deliveries on Friday overnight.”
For two years, Emilie and her co-founder and CCO Deepak Ravindran bootstrapped the company. They sourced the produce, packed it, sold it and even delivered it. So when it came to fundraising, it was important to keep the admin to a minimum.
“All of the startup legal work has been managed through SeedLegals from the start,” says Deepak. “We were recommended the service by another entrepreneur while taking part in the Natwest Accelerator.”
As well as raising funds, the Oddbox co-founders have used the SeedLegals platform to pass EIS compliance checks and create contracts for advisors, interns and employees.
“I’m really pleased we found SeedLegals,” says Emilie. “I think the whole experience would have been a lot harder and more stressful without it.”
How SeedLegals helped 🌱
1. Putting founders in control
Getting investors on board is hard – both managing the process and juggling all of the moving parts can be complicated. But the SeedLegals platform helps simplify the complexity.
“Because the agreements are digital, standardised and easy to understand, we didn’t have to negotiate that much with our investors,” says Emilie.
That helped put Emilie and Deepak in a strong position to complete the deals without spending lots of time going back-and-forth and revising the terms.
“Maybe you’ll need the help of a lawyer if you’re doing something advanced at a later round, but SeedLegals is perfect for the early and mid-stages.”
SeedLegals is designed to get deals done using standard terms at a lower cost than using traditional legal firms.
“I already have a professional understanding of legal terms, having managed the legal and governance team at Girl Effect,” says Emilie. “But I still appreciate the simplicity, and I’ve actually learned a few things too because things are so well explained.”
“All of the documents are in one place, including the cap table,” adds Deepak. “And this helped us feel like we were in control.”
2. Using Instant Investment and SeedFAST to plug the gaps
Founders often spend too much time raising money. Our Agile funding products change that by allowing founders to both offer an advanced subscription agreement to raise cash ahead of a future funding round, and continue to top up their raise on an ongoing basis. This allows founders to get back to what’s important – building the business.
Receiving the funds in advance of the raise – and after, using flexible top ups – helped the founders complete the raise without having to wait for investors.
“Our crowdfunding campaign started a bit later than planned,” says Deepak. “So we used a SeedFAST agreement in the interim, to get some money in earlier.”
Without raising money quickly through SeedFAST, Oddbox might have had to make painful financial decisions.
“We would have had to take out a loan or defer making payments, which wouldn’t have been ideal!”
And with time being of the essence, Deepak was pleased that he and the team were able to rely on SeedLegals to deliver fast.
“The SeedLegals team was extremely responsive in making this happen,” he says. “It was really amazing.”
Oddbox continued to use Instant Investments to raise further money when they needed it, without the need to take time out to raise a traditional round.
SeedLegals are bringing Agile funding to the mainstream and making sure that legal costs are not a barrier to start a business for any founder.
“We have learned a lot. SeedLegals is democratising the process and making it easily understandable. Integration with Seedrs was especially useful, as they both understood one another already.”
3. Offering great support to rely on
Funding is the lifeblood of startups, and we know how much pressure rests on the shoulders of founders. So we do all we can to offer the best and most responsive support possible.
“We could reach a specialist advisor via live chat, phone or email,” says Emilie. “If we had any questions at all, they were always on hand to help.”
And while the SeedLegals platform is set up to explain as much as possible – like why certain terms are included in contracts as standard, or what terms and arrangements are typical – custom terms can always be included on request.
“SeedLegals reduced a lot of the fiction involved in fundraising,” adds Deepak. “Frankly, it’s cheaper than using traditional legal firms, it’s far less stressful and you get excellent service. What’s not to love?”
The impact: Educating the world about reducing waste 🌍
Oddbox has used SeedLegals to close over £1 million since 2018.
“We’re excited to grow the company at an accelerating pace,” says Emilie. “We’re extending our coverage nationwide after London, then hopefully moving onwards to serve mainland Europe.”
As they scale up, they also see it as an opportunity to educate people about the issue of food waste.
“Most people don’t know that about a third of all the food we produce in the UK gets wasted before it even leaves the farm,” says Deepak. “So we need to educate people about the issue of food waste, reconnect them with seasonal fruits and vegetables, and support communities to reduce waste in their homes.”
It’s an ambitious plan, but Emilie and Deepak are up to the challenge.
“We started Oddbox to eliminate food waste,” says Emilie. “And with a bit of funding, we’re on our way to achieving that goal. We’re already challenging supermarket dominance. We’ll continue working directly with farmers. And we’ll continue raising money to scale as quickly as possible, with the support of SeedLegals.”
Oddbox has grown substantially since using SeedLegals to raise funds. We couldn’t be prouder to play a part in their success story!
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