In the world of fundraising, this is the equivalent of a ‘hail mary pass’, the adminstrators of Caterham F1 have launched #REFUELCATERHAMF1, a crowdfunding social campaign to raise £2.35 million by next Friday (14 November).
Their goal, for the team to go racing in Abu Dhabi on 23 November, will depend on the goodwill of fans and sponsors and if you feel so inclined you can support the campaign by visiting www.crowdcube.com/caterham and donating anything from £10 to as much as you’d like.
The team are offering ‘unique rewards’ to donors, including team kit, parts from the 2012/2013 car or even putting your name on the Caterham F1 car competing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. If they fail to reach the target, then all donations will be returned. So far they’ve raised £178,431 at the time of this post (7% of their target).
“We are working non-stop to get the Caterham F1 Team back racing, initially in Abu Dhabi, but hopefully that will be just a stepping stone to get it back racing on a permanent basis, under new ownership,” said Finbarr O’Connell, Caterham Sports Limited administrator and interim Caterham F1 Team Principal.
“In order to achieve that one of our most useful, innovative and effective options right now is crowdfunding. We want to get as many sponsors and fans as possible involved this week and make our comeback something we can all be part of. This team deserves a future and I’m sure that there are plenty of fans and companies out there that agree with us, so I can’t think of a better way to get us all together and show our support to the team than this one, the Caterham F1 Team #RefuelCaterhamF1 project.
“In order to make this happen, we’ve teamed-up with Crowdcube, the world’s leading crowdfunding platform, which has raised £45m for more than 150 organisations since 2011. If we don’t hit the target by next Friday, obviously the pledged funds will be returned, but right now we are hopeful for the future of the team and we are confident that the team showing the world that it can race again will lead to a bright future under a new owner on a proper financial footing.”
Crowdfunding is a useful tool for projects with a charitable, environmental or uniquely innovative business model, but tends to be less successful for more high-end projects which are normally financed by the super-rich.
Hopefully I’m wrong, but turning positive sentiment into likes and tweets is a very different prospect to the process of generating cash..
Crowdcube is one of the UK’s leading crowdfunding platforms and has raised more than £45m from its community of over 100,000 investors since opening its doors in 2011. But never on this scale. Previous successes include raising £1.4 million for easyProperty, £1 million for River Cottage and £1.5 million for the Eden Project in just 24 hours.
Earlier today, Marussia F1 announced it had ceased trading, with the loss of over 200 jobs. The team had been in talks with two potential investors, but they failed to come up with the necessary cash by the deadline of 12:00 GMT on Friday.