Getting to know Bristol - Oliver Mochizuki, CEO and Co-Founder of FundsurferPosted on: 04 Nov 2015
Fundsurfer is a truly special thing. They source funding for start-ups through a wide range of funding channels. It’s not just people donating money; they go the extra mile to secure funds from every available area.
As you all know by now, we love independents here at 365 Bristol and anything that can help them get ahead, or even just get a leg-up, is fine by us. Naturally we wanted to find out more so we spoke with CEO and co-founder Oliver Mochizuki…
When did you set up Fundsurfer and can you give us a brief history?
We created the concept for Fundsurfer way back in 2012 after crowdfunding successfully for a short film. After 18 months of development Derek and I launched Fundsurfer in May 2014. Since launch we have raised over £250,000 for creative, green and social projects.
Are you from Bristol?
I moved to Bristol when I was 18 and fell in love with the City. It's close to 20 years so I think of Bristol as home.
Tell us about Fundsurfer and how it works?
Fundsurfer is a hybrid funding platform and capital brokerage offering access to a wide range of funding options along with support to get ready for funding. The entire funding landscape is changing and can be hard to navigate. Our customers come to us with their funding requirements and we provide access to alternative and collaborative funding solutions: crowdfunding, equity, start up loans, invoice trading and pension led funding. We have over 80 lending partners that we work with and have grown a pipeline of £3.7B from 215 companies in the past five months alone.
Can anyone set up a campaign?
Anyone in the world can now create a crowdfunding project on Fundsurfer in Euros, dollars or pounds. We are also working on expanding our additional funding solutions globally as well.
How do you find running an independent business in Bristol?
Bristol is one of the most exciting cities in the world and is the perfect place to run a business, independent or otherwise. There is a strong togetherness within the tech start up circuit, which is excellent. We are lucky enough to be supported by the tech incubator SETsquared (18 months) and the Entrepreneurial Spark incubator over on Temple Quay. Being in the heart of the enterprise zone gives you a great view of the progress being made throughout Bristol.
Where do you like to eat out in Bristol?
What's your favourite place in Bristol?
Brandon Hill - Many hours spent thinking about projects.
Where do you see Fundsurfer in 5 years time?
We want to be playing a key part in disrupting how funding is delivered to projects and companies. Within five years we want to be working on a global scale and also running our own disruptive fund.
What advice would you give to any aspiring Bristol small business owners?
Build a network of senior advisors and mentors. Many very experienced individuals will be incredibly graceful with their time - if you ask - and can help you at pivotal moments during your start up journey. I have around 8 key advisors who aren't afraid to speak honestly and have been invaluable supporters of our work.
If you were Mayor of Bristol for a day which one thing would you change?
I would give everyone who was homeless a home to live in. Research in Utah showed that the solution to long-term homelessness is the provision of permanent supportive housing for targeted individuals using a housing first approach. Housing first means providing housing first rather than requiring sobriety or other steps to be taken prior to housing - which is often the barrier to a long term rough sleeper being able to access treatment or support. I should ask George about it; he is fundraising on Fundsurfer for 2016 re-election campaign!
Born and raised in the suburbs of Swansea, Jimmy moved to Bristol back in 2004 to attend university. Passionate about live music, sport, science and nature, he can usually be found walking his cocker spaniel Baxter at any number of green spots around the city. Call James on 078 9999 3534 or email Editor@365Bristol.com.