From convertible bonds to shares - The success story of Bohemian Birds
Bohemian Birds was founded in 2013 by Michiel Stoffels, Duco Vermeulen en Jasper Mutsaerts with the mission to help 100.000 people empty their bucket list.
Helping people to live their full potential, to experience other cultures, self development and inspiring to empty their Bucket List! These goals were translated into a business with studenttravels and companytravels. During their first crowdfunding on the Symbid platform in 2016, they raised €60.000,-. In a second round in 2017 on the Symbid platform they raised an amount of €150.000,-. Last month they raised an investment of a half million which means that the investors of the second round are now able to convert!
How did they worked towards this success? I had a great and interesting conversation with Founder Jasper and CEO Michiel about cooperation and creative marketing.
You make it happen together!
According to Jasper “you make it happen together.” When I asked them about how they created a good cooperation they guys from Bohemian Birds shared the following tips that worked great for them:
a complementary team;
division between the strategy and execution;
a clear, and output oriented task division.
So, a complementary team that completes each other, meaning that every person works at the tasks they are good at and in turn receives energy from doing those tasks. Besides this, it’s practical to have a clear division of the team members that are working on strategy and execution. Thirth, it’s effective to make sure the division of tasks is clear and based on output oriented agreements.
We at Symbid, and professional investors, are well aware of the fact that strong teams are an indicator of success. Bohemian Birds is a great example of a company that has built a strong and successful team.
Excellent managers and bucket list consultants
Besides this, it’s of great value to attract excellent managers, says Michiel. “I’m very happy that we were able to partner with Sarah Theunissen (Bedrijfsreizen) and Tessa Kaarsgaren (Studentenreizen). Both of them are truly excellent managers that make our business rise to next levels. We have a powerful team of very passionate bucket list consultants who create unforgettable travels for our customers every day. My compliments to the entire team for the accomplishment of this funding success!”
A community of investors
Cooperation is a key factor I often hear during our conversation. Cooperation, not only within the team, but also with the crowd. “That makes Symbid so cool, we have gotten a community out of the crowdfunding. Once a year we have a shareholder meeting and a drink together. A couple of the Symbid crowdfunding investors are so enthusiastic and come to join these meetings. People love to help others. Blooming & Booming is actively involved too, and loves to brainstorm along.”
Creativity takes you further
Two heads are better than one. This isn’t only true for the cooperation with the team, investors or partners. Jasper also loves to pass on his knowledge onto other entrepreneurs. Bohemian Birds has always searched for creative ways to reach people. For example this vlog with a famous vlogger or by sharing knowledge during lectures. Creativity gives you new possibilities you might not have thought were possible, also in regards to funding. “Some entrepreneurs use having not enough money as an excuse. But you can do so many things without money” Don’t forget to make use of you creativity, creativity will take you further!
Golden tips for young entrepreneurs
Jasper himself was in the end of his 20s when the Bohemian Birds adventure started in 2013. So for the young entrepreneurs among us he sure has valuable advice on funding. “Funding is especially a little intimidating when you are young. Our first target amount was €60.000,-. Looking back it would have been better to raise a ton at the start. A smaller budget is harder, because it’s signals insecurity to investors. Make a realistic estimate of your budget, otherwise you keep on running after funding rounds. It takes longer than you can imagine to reach the break-even point.”
Bohemian Birds, an inspiring example of how you can grow as a company towards converting shares. And now they’re on to their next milestone! They have big goals. They’re going for €10 million turnover in 2020 and in time becoming the market leader in the Benelux. Once they do, we will definitely ask them again about how they made it happen!
This success story is written by: Daisy Lake, MSc Economic Psychology.