When Lina Gantar and Luka Cvikl started their business, Nuuk, in 2015, crowdfunding was gaining momentum, but was nowhere near are sophisticated a platform as it is today. Now they’re at the helm of one of the first crowdfunding-focused agencies in the UK, with a growth rate of 150% year on year. Here’s their story.
What does your business do?
Nuuk is the UK’s only dedicated crowdfunding agency. In just two years, we have already helped 40 start-ups raise over $15 million on various platforms including Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, who we are official partners of.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
We worked with two start-ups that were on Kickstarter and we thought it’s such an exciting area to be involved in. It’s challenging but these start-ups need actual help. We saw how a few competitors out there were taking advantage of them, so we wanted to do things differently – and better.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We got a few inquiries very quickly through referrals and we recognised the huge market potential for a service like this when speaking to a few project creators. When we managed our first two, we saw how much value we could add for start-ups due to our vast experience in marketing, digital and go-to-market strategies.
How did you raise funding, and why?
We were lucky in that we didn’t need funding. We are completely self-funded so we worked really hard-work and didn’t pay ourselves for 6-months until we could afford to..
Describe your business model in brief
We work with clients who plan to crowdfund their projects or are already crowdfunding. Depending on what they need us to help them with and how hands-on they want us to be, we simply quote them based on our time-investment. We find that’s the fairest approach for companies in their infancy, which most of our clients are..
Your lowest point was…
When our 3rd co-founder left us after 7 months to return to the corporate world. It made us doubt ourselves for a little bit. Luckily, it took us less than 3 months to grow turnover by 300 per cent from what it was before he moved on. .
Your highest point was…
Hiring the first employees – we were really happy to start growing our team and getting more hands on deck was really useful, of course.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Persistence and patience are key. Nothing happens overnight and the frustration that can arise from thinking things will just magically be successful overnight is hard to overcome. Believing in your idea and setting a timeline to evaluate progress is essential. We said to ourselves we give us one year – if we don’t see positive signs of potential, we will go back to finding a ‘normal’ job.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
It’s hard to think five years ahead as we are only two years old! Our vision has always been to help tech products reach their audience across the globe and we will keep working towards this in the future. Hopefully some more exciting things ahead, too.
If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be…
Luka: 1) Lost 2) Footballer 3) Working in a company.
Lina: 1) Still working for Google most probably.
If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?
We’d focus on crowdfunding on Day 1 and not 6 months in.
What is your philosophy on business or life, in a nutshell?
Keep moving forward and have fun.