Proud and grateful: Celebrating our crowdfunding success
Topics By Louis Spencer JR | November 21, 2018
In May, I joined Fairphone as the company’s chief financial officer (CFO). While I expected a fast-paced, quickly evolving environment, I’m not sure I was prepared for just how exciting the first months would be.
Part of my role includes overseeing the investment strategy, which is crucial for Fairphone’s goals of scaling up and expanding our impact. So in my first month on the job, after speaking with the CEO Bas van Abel, potential investors and some contacts at Oneplanetcrowd, we hatched a plan: now was the time for a crowdfunding campaign. To us, it made complete sense for our funding and growth plans. But we couldn’t execute something this ambitious without a lot of help…
Dream team hits the ground running
In mid June, we dropped the news on the brand team: “Hey guys, we have this amazing idea for a crowdfunding campaign! It’s going to support our investment goals, give our community the chance to become shareholders in Fairphone and help our company make a bigger impact! Just one thing – do you think we can launch it in about a month? We want to grab people’s attention before they go on vacation in August.”
Happily, it seems that Fairphone is filled with people who have a can-do attitude, even though it meant a lot of us had to quickly shift our priorities. And it wasn’t just the brand team that needed to be involved – we also required input from the management team and supervisory board, and our legal and finance teams worked their magic to compile, review and approve a ton of information in record time.
Besides the Fairphone team, we had amazing support from external sources. Oneplanetcrowd – a Dutch crowdfunding platform focused specifically on sustainable innovation – went out of their way to answer questions, offer guidance and do everything they could to make our campaign a success. They also introduced us to Gijsbert Koren, who became our indispensable crowdfunding advisor and project manager. Gijsbert mapped out deadlines and deliverables and kept us motivated with his big smile and positive attitude. He somehow managed to make everything sound like fun – including staying at the office very late to do some extra user testing. Our dream team was rounded out by Dietwee, a hands-on creative agency who helped bring the Fairphone story and our crowdfunding ambitions to life. In record time, they assembled an international team and whipped up a promo video filmed with a Fairphone 2.
Fairphone’s crowdfunding promotional video
Most participants ever in a Dutch crowdfunding campaign
On 18th of July, we were ready to launch our campaign. It was obviously a nail-biting moment: Would people connect with our story? Was our community ready to invest? What if everyone was on vacation?! As we frantically refreshed our campaign page, it was clear that we didn’t have to worry. One by one, our amazing community members, combined with Oneplanetcrowd’s network, began investing in Fairphone’s vision of making a greater impact.
To our surprise, we already reached our initial crowdfunding target on 25 July: 1 million euros! We were elated, but now it was time to shoot for the stretch goal. Could we raise 2.5 million euros by the time our campaign closed on 16 August? The answer was a resounding YES. And we not only raised the maximum amount – we also had the most participants ever in a Dutch crowdfunding campaign! We’re unbelievable grateful to each and every one of the 1827 people who invested in Fairphone’s future.
Building a more sustainable industry
Bas van Abel, Fairphone’s founder and CEO, summed up how we were all feeling:
“We’re humbled and inspired by the outpouring of support from our community. They have been crucial to everything we’ve achieved so far, and as shareholders in Fairphone, they’re making an essential contribution to our future success. We want to thank everyone for helping us reach another milestone together, and for believing in the possibility of fair electronics.”
Fairphone employees celebrating reaching our €2.5 Million milestone!
The money raised with our crowdfunding campaign is an important part of our overall investment strategy and will contribute to our vision of a more sustainable electronics industry. A few of the ways we’re using this investment to reach our goals include engineering, certification and tooling for our new product, working to integrate fair cobalt into our supply chain, expanding our marketing efforts and sales operations and exploring new business models like offering Fairphone as a service. These activities will help our company grow, professionalize, reach new markets and ultimately increase our positive impact. (If you’re curious to learn more, please read our investment sheet.)
No matter how you helped – from committing your hard-earned cash to sharing our posts with your friends – we’d like to thank you once again for making this campaign a success. You’ve made my first months at Fairphone unforgettable, and I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve together.