Trail App

Trail is a work management app that simplifies hospitality operations by changing the way sites are run. The company was founded by Will & Joe, two hospitality veterans who, in 2014, saw hospitality falling behind in terms of operations. A typical day for a restaurant site manager was basically the same as it had been 15 years ago. The goal of the team was to create a better working day by providing best-in-class restaurant operations management.

And they succeeded.

Trail is now the premier hospitality management application in the UK, counting companies such as Costa, Wagamama, Bill’s, Gail’s, Tossed and Brewdog as their clients. Their application works just as well for small Independents, with 1-3 locations as it does for large enterprise clients like Bill’s or Costa.

As we speak, Trail has raised over £2M in capital from institutional investors and they literally can’t keep up with demand (that’s where Fundsquire came in!)

We’d gotten to the point where we were about to break even, but getting over that last hump – we still had a shortfall.

The problem.

Trail was a breakout success with their initial clients.

They raised money, but it seemed that the company was scaling faster than expected and demand was outstripping the initial forecast. A good problem to have, were it not for cash flow.

Joe, Trail’s CEO had this to say: “There’s a lot of excitement about fundraising. But when you’re in that process and your cash flow is running out, it’s actually quite difficult. If you’re a first-time founder, finding the people to go to and pitching for investment is hard. Knowing how to play the game is hard. And learning the kind of statutory environment around fundraising is difficult as well.”

Te initial strategy was to leverage as little investor money as possible and rely on a combination of friends & family and revenue. The team wanted to build a sustainable business and the initial trajectory was set for that to happen. The founders were faced with the option of giving up more equity for working capital, but preferred to bet on organic growth and the help of facilities like the R&D tax credit.

“We found a good accountant that we had a good relationship with and they were very supportive. We got a high return on the R&D tax credit. It saved the business on more than one occasion.”

Working together.

Enter Fundsquire.

We were introduced by one of Trail’s investors and had a great relationship with Joe from the start. Communication was smooth and we got to a Term Sheet quite quickly, as the company had well-organized accounts and a healthy growth trajectory.

Joe provided a lot of visibility into Trail’s finances, giving Fundsquire access to their Xero account and even helped us with setting up monitoring for the loan. Trust and transparency have been crucial to our collaboration from the beginning and Trail has been a dream client on that front.

I think Fundsquire came in at a perfect time, and it was just so novel.

I just wish it had been there three years earlier!”

What financing meant for Trail.

Trail was a healthy company on its way to break even, the only thing missing was a bit of extra fuel. There was no real reason for the founders to compromise their equity position, but for a tech startup, the main asset is just that – tech.

Fundsquire allowed the company to leverage their best asset, their investment in tech, to invest even more and reach the scale they needed without selling more precious equity.

As CEO, Joe wanted to do his job, and wanted to do it well:

“It is always about the three P’s, which are people, people, people. And as a founder, I only have two jobs. Hiring and cash. That’s it really.”

“The Fundsquire cash injection meant that we made decisions on critical hires more quickly than we normally would have been able to do. And I think sometimes the cautiousness of hiring versus cash flow can hold the business back.

Anytime there’s a release of funding and it’s a definite amount of funding like what we received from you, it helps us make the important decisions more quickly. And as we know, it’s not the big fish that eats the small fish. It’s the fast fish that eats the slow fish.”

“We hit our first big enterprise customer and literally doubled the size of the business in the months that we got this funding. Almost overnight.”

The final word.

“One of the key metrics for us was breaking even. But number two was increasing recurring revenue. 

I think without the funding, those metrics wouldn’t have been possible. If you looked at our growth curve over the last six months, the funding injection was a fundamental part of our growth, knowing that we could actually deliver what we’ve sold.”

When asked for the best reason he would recommend Fundsquire to other companies, Joe replied:

“What I love about Fundsquire is that you guys are of startups and for startups. It was great meeting you guys, working with you, and hanging out with you as well. You’re one of us. And that’s super important. I’ve already recommended you to a lot of companies”

Have a question?

No business’ path to success and growth is the same. If you are ready to apply or would like to learn more about our funding, get in touch today.

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