Sublime required help managing the relationship between the group of investors involved in the initial “friends and family” round of investment and representation of the business, as it sought further seed capital from a further round of investment.
Why did they choose Aquitas?
We were seeking to establish a relationship with a law firm suitable for helping our young business grow. We knew that Aquitas Law had an excellent understanding of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) which is attractive to investors which was compelling with a fund raising looming and furthermore that they worked closely with EAM London Accountants who could offer similar expertise and advice in this area.
The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) are UK government initiatives designed to help smaller trading companies raise finance by offering generous tax savings to investors who acquire shares under EIS.
What service did you receive from Aquitas?
Aquitas conducted a comprehensive review of our business structure and sat with us in order to understand what we were looking to achieve with the business. Having that detailed understanding of the business enabled them to help us implement some real strategic planning to ensure that we had everything in place to move forward as a business and to attract our second round of investment. This included ensuring that our share capital and classification of shares was suitable to meet both the immediate and long term financial goals of the business and that we had appropriate frameworks in place to protect the operation of the business.
Aquitas were responsible for drafting the investment agreements and shareholder agreement relating to our first round of investment. They also helped with issues directly relating to the running of the business, which included drafting our Director Service Contracts, employment contracts for our key employees and carefully drafted restrictive covenants.
Their comprehensive approach to the business helped ensure that we had the appropriate systems and processes in place which has helped ensure that we are well placed to move forward with the next stage of growth and investment.
Our initial tranche of investment came from friends and family and as such was done on an informal basis. As we looked to continue to build on our growth we needed to ensure that the structure of the company was suitably robust to continue our expansion in the market place and attract further investment.
What would they say about working with Aquitas
As well as EIS advice and tax knowledge, it’s Aquitas’ commercial experience of the real world which sets them apart. They always provide commercially orientated solutions and in terms of delivery they are able to get things done very quickly and have always exceeded our expectations.
As a boutique firm, Aquitas provide a really personal and hands on service, with the barristers they use remaining accessible throughout the lifecycle of the project. They are also able to contain, and provide transparency, as to legal costs. In short Aquitas delivered an exceptionally high level of service and expertise without a prohibitive price tag. This is particularly important in the start-up world when you’re on the cusp of achieving something big.
Would we work Aquitas again?
Aquitas continue to support us with the day to day operation of the company and recently helped navigate the departure of one of our former directors. They remain highly professional throughout and continue to be fun to work with.