An entrepreneur has raised more than £100,000 for her Walthamstow business through an online crowdfunding appeal.
CEO of Tidy Books, Geraldine Grandidier, 45, hopes to use the money, including £15,000 from one individual, to take the business global.
The mother-of-two and former violin-maker runs her children’s bookcase company from Hiltongrove Business Centre in Hatherley Mews, Walthamstow.
She says her products encourage children to read by positioning books cover-out rather than spine-out.
“Our bookcases make their books easily accessible and get kids reading for fun. As one customer put it, ‘My daughter looks at her books at every opportunity now she has this bookcase’,” she said.
Rather than accept larger investments from fewer parties, crowdfunding sees large numbers of people contribute smaller amounts to a cause of their choosing.
Initially targeting £75,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, 116 investors overfunded that amount by 140 per cent for 11.35 per cent equity.
“It allows me and my team to focus our energies on creating the best business and ultimately the investors will benefit,” Ms Grandidier added.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of making a product that can be built into a business.
“It’s a very scalable business and with this money I will replicate our success in Germany, France and Scandinavia for starters.”
Ms Grandidier, who lives in Walthamstow and has won awards for her entrepreneurship, founded the company in 2004 with £500.
Luke Lang, Crowdcube co-founder, said: “Tidy Books has not just raised capital by funding on Crowdcube, it has gained a set of avid brand ambassadors with all sorts of business and other experience, who can help Geraldine expand the company into international markets.”