Chirp, the sonic data transfer app incubated and hatched in UCL (University College London), has closed its Crowdcube fundraising campaign after receiving investment pledges totalling over £750,000, well above its original £400,000 target This is the largest amount raised by any UK University spinout company via crowdfunding and the first for a UCL spinout.
A total of 365 investors participated in the campaign, including existing investors UCL Business the wholly-owned technology transfer company of UCL, and Red Gate Software. There was also a significant boost in the last days of the campaign in the form of a £215,000 pledge by London-based investment firm GuanQun Investment UK. The campaign also benefitted from an early match-funding pledge from the London Co-Investment Fund.
During the seven weeks of the campaign, the company pushed out a number of new product features including Chirp for Chrome, and announced partnerships with Black Swan Data and BleepBleeps. The publicity around the campaign has also resulted in over 350 requests for the Chirp SDK, which enables external developers to incorporate chirping within their own apps.
“UCLB is delighted with the outcome of the campaign and pleased that the company can now really move forward with growing a sustainable, revenue-focused business based on a robust technology platform,” said UCLB managing director, Cengiz A. Tarhan. This also gives us real evidence that the crowd is now a significant player in the funding of early stage businesses and an option that we will seriously consider for more of our spinouts in the future.”