- Luxury travel business launches crowdfunding campaign through Crowdcube
- Mr &Mrs Smith is looking to raise £1m+ from members and investors
- Growth capital will fuel bold new ambitions for the company, as it sets its sights on further US expansion
Mr &Mrs Smith, the UK’s leading luxury boutique travel business, has announced a major crowdfunding campaign. Fifteen years after it first shook up the boutique-hotel scene, the ‘travel club for hotel lovers’ is planning to dramatically extend the size and scope of its customer offering, supported by at least £1m of investment raised through crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.
Mr &Mrs Smith will be inviting its members and fans of the company to invest and become shareholders as it embarks on overseas expansion, in a campaign set to run from 11 September – the first time in its history that the company has made equity in the business available to the public.The capital raised will unlock new growth ambitions for the company as it embarks on a period of rapid scale – total transaction value has increased 22% from £51.8m to £63.5m year on year to June 2018, whereas booked revenue has risen by 35%, from £7.9m to £10.6m.
The crowdfunding campaign is expected to be one of the largest conducted on Crowdcube, given Mr&Mrs Smith has a 15-year track record of growth and strong performance.
The Crowdcube investment will be used to accelerate the development of Smith’s already fast-growing US market; increase the rate at new hotels and villas are introduced to the collection (without compromising the exacting curation standards for which Smith has become globally renowned); and establish Mr&Mrs Smith SideStories, a new part of the company focused on providing its members with highly original cultural experiences to enrich their travels.
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The fundraise offers a unique opportunity to invest in one of the quintessential British business success stories. Since it was founded in 2003 by husband-and-wife team James and Tamara Lohan, Mr&Mrs Smith has become one of the world’s leading resources for discerning travellers looking for luxury boutique hotel and villa experiences.
Each Mr&Mrs Smith hotel is personally visited and anonymously reviewed by a panel that includes industry-leading tastemakers, and well-known names – including the likes of broadcasters Pandora Sykes and Gemma Cairney, chefs Rachel Khoo, Melissa Hemsley and Tom Aikens, and musicians Ricky Wilson and Bip Ling – to provide members with honest and engaging reviews of every property featured.
Over 1.5 million like-minded members in more than 100 countries around the world currently use Mr&Mrs Smith to inspire and book their travels, supported by Smith24 – a 24/7 booking and member support service run by 45 specialists based in London, New York, Singapore and Los Angeles – and leading-edge in-house booking technology (unusually for a luxury operator, over 60% of revenues come through from the company’s online platform).
Building on this solid base, Mr&Mrs Smith plans to continue pioneering its unique model of curating and booking the best hotels, villas and experiences for its members and – supported by the Crowdcube investment – to transform the boutique travel industry all over again.
James Lohan, co-founder of Mr&Mrs Smith, comments: “We founded Mr&Mrs Smith because we were fed up of chintzy, old-fashioned luxury hotels and wanted people to experience a new breed of style-savvy, personality-led boutique hotels. Around that passion we have built a travel business that values quality curation, a seamless delivery of bookings, and experiences that will last a lifetime. This crowdfunding campaign reflects our commitment to stay at the forefront of the luxury travel industry and involve the community that has supported us over the last 15 years.”
Tamara Lohan, co-founder of Mr& Smith, comments: “We want to inspire our members to discover extraordinary places with the people they love, and we’re hugely proud of the fact we have over 1.5 million members across the world. That’s why we want to invite investors and our members to buy a share of the company and help us reach our full potential.”
Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube, comments: “Mr &Mrs Smith is an iconic British brand and an entrepreneurial success story. We’re delighted that the team at Mr&Mrs Smith have chosen Crowdcube to support this crowdfunding campaign, which we expect will be the start of a new and exciting chapter for the company.”