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Fitness start-up 1Rebel raises £1.5 million on Crowdcube

New fitness venture 1Rebel has successfully raised £1,559,370 on equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Having reached its original £1.15 million target just 11 days after its pitch went live, 1Rebel went on to exceed it by 136 percent.

Founded by the team behind Fitness First and Jatomi Fitness, James Balfour and Giles Dean, the business will launch a chain of contract-free ‘high intensity’ boutique gyms in London, which allow members to book classes online and via an app on a pay-as-you-go basis. Its pitch attracted the attention of 304 investors, who have backed the business in return for a 34% equity stake. The first 1Rebel gym is scheduled to open in Shoreditch in the winter of this year.

Crowdcube has raised more than £37m in finance for 143 UK start-ups and growing businesses since it launched in 2011. The world’s first and biggest online equity crowdfunding platform, it allows members of the public and high net worth individuals to invest in businesses that inspire them, in exchange for shares. The public decides which businesses fund and which do not, so the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ prevails. Equity crowdfunding is now a mainstream source of capital for many businesses.

‘Firsts’ achieved by Crowdcube over the last year include:

  • The successful launch of its first mini-bond investment product for established businesses – with River Cottage raising £1m in just 36 hours and Chilango’s Burrito Bond raising a total of £2m.
  • The introduction in January 2014 of the first managed venture fund for crowdfunded equity investments.
  • In September 2013 Kevin McCloud’s Hab Housing broke the world record for equity crowdfunding investment with 649 people putting in £1.95 million.
  • The world’s fastest ever equity crowdfunding raise – in July 2014 Crowdcube raised £1.2 million in growth capital on its own platform in just 16 minutes. This was 12 times faster than the previous record for the fastest crowdfunded pitch.
  • Crowdcube was the first crowdfunding platform to sign up an international partner and now has a presence in eight countries: Brazil, Sweden, Dubai, Poland, Italy, Spain and New Zealand.

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