Cheeky Panda lifestyle

Cheeky Panda has received £7m from a community of 4,000 investors across three previous crowd campaigns

Eco hygiene challenger Cheeky Panda is plotting a multimillion-pound crowdfunding push in a bid to sustain rapid growth ahead of an ambitious £300m IPO.

The company, which makes toilet paper, kitchen roll, tissues and baby wipes from bamboo, will publicly launch its latest round on Seedrs on 14 February, with a private window opening a week earlier.

Cheeky Panda expects to easily surpass its £1m target, with overfunding to continue to the region of £3m-plus.

Since April 2017, the brand has received £7m from a community of 4,000 investors across three crowd campaigns, with the latest round in 2021 valuing the B Corp at £80m.

Chris Forbes, who founded the business with Julie Chen in 2016, told The Grocer his main goal from the round was to build brand awareness, with hopes of bringing in an extra 6,000 shareholders.

“Shareholders become consumers and brand advocates, helping convert other shoppers to Cheeky Panda,” he said.

The money raised will also be used to support working capital and invest in a marketing blitz, with sampling, billboards and radio ads.

It comes as Cheeky Panda continues plans for an IPO – as revealed by The Grocer last year – a first for a crowdfunded business.

Forbes said the business was close to appointing an investment bank to run the process and would be looking to raise up to £35m in a private institutional round later this year, ahead of a public listing on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in 2023 or 2024.

Cheeky Panda has grown rapidly, with sales soaring from £100k in 2017 to £5.7m during the pandemic, when it stepped in to fill gaps on supermarket shelves.

Forbes added turnover was estimated to be £11m in 2021, with a target to hit about £20m this year and £1bn-plus by 2035.

“Cheeky Panda is growing exponentially, even without new supermarket listings,” he said. “There is so much more headroom for growth.

“The paper categories are dominated by a small number of companies.

“With the shortages supermarkets and customers felt on shelf during the pandemic, there is an opportunity to diversify the risk of having most of the supply coming from one business. Cheeky Panda can grab a much bigger percentage of the market.”