Mango Bikes, which in May bought Vulpine out of administration, has said it will honour discounts for investors who backed the clothing firm on Crowdcube and says they should take financial advice about possibly reducing their losses by offsetting them against tax.
Vulpine raised more than £1 million on the investment crowdfunding platform in late 2015, more than double its original target of £500,000.
A second fundraising campaign on the same platform earlier this year had to be aborted once it became clear that lacked support, and in early May founder and CEO Nick Hussey admitted the company was insolvent and he would have to call in the administrators.
Mango Bikes CEO Barry Dunn, who has taken on the same role at Vulpine, this week sent an email updating the almost 600 investors who backed the business through that first funding drive on Crowdcube, a copy of which road.cc has seen.
He said he was “in no doubt” that administrators RSM chose its bid “as we offered the best deal for creditors and have visions for taking the business forwards, whilst keeping it relatively unchanged for the customer.
“In addition to this, we also have a significant advantage regarding economies of scale, allowing us to operate at reduced costs, which were previously unattainable by Vulpine Performance Ltd,” he continued.
“Like so many, we have admired what Vulpine has been able to achieve in the urban cycling space, which we also inhabit as an ecommerce urban bicycle brand.
“Cashflow issues can hit any business, no matter how fast they grow and we are glad to be able to help a brand we have looked up to, though we understand that this does not help you as an investor.”
Regarding their potential ability to mitigate their losses, he said: “We cannot give you financial advice, but if you are a UK resident, you may wish to consider using Vulpine Performance Ltd's EIS [Enterprise Investment Scheme] status to claim back Loss Relief, as this can be a significant benefit, along with Tax Relief.”
He continued: “You may be able to recover a significant proportion of your investment, though you may want to get your own independent financial advice,” and added a link to a page on the Crowdcube website that explains tax and EIS.
The email added: “As a gesture of our goodwill towards you, we will honour any shareholder discount code that you may have been given when you invested, for one year, until the 1st of June 2018.”
After it was confirmed on 26 May that Mango Bikes had bought Vulpine, road.cc contacted Nick Hussey with a series of questions relating to issues we are aware are of interest to readers. We have yet to receive a reply.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.