UK handbag and accessories brand Meli Melo has launched a crowdfunding campaign to invest in marketing and expand in the UK and overseas.
The business, which was launched in 2004, has already raised 20% of its £700,000 within the first 24 hours of going live on Crowdcube.
Its investors to date include venture capital firm Venrex VC, which has also invested in Charlotte Tilbury and Orlebar Brown, as well as Sian Westerman, who was an early investor in Anya Hindmarch.
The company is planning to appoint an experienced chairman to join after the crowdfunding. It plans to use the investment to fund digital marketing, outdoor advertising and new product development, including the launch of a men’s range in October. It will also accelerate the firm’s direct-to-consumer and wholesale ambitions.
Meli Melo has a store in Notting Hill in London, which opened in 2013, and three stores in Taiwan. It was founded by Melissa Del Bono who saw a gap in the market for understated luxury bags and created a line, designed in London and made in her native Italy.
The brand name is French for a “mish mash of things” and refers to Del Bono’s Italian and English heritage. She now runs the company with her husband Doug Ker.
The business increased turnover from £400,000 to £3.6m in five years and around 80% of its revenues are made overseas. Profit figures have not been disclosed.
Ker, Meli Melo’s chief executive, said he wants to give customers a chance to be involved in “the next exciting chapter, as we look to ramp up marketing and distribution overseas and move Meli Melo into a global lifestyle brand”.
Del Bono added: “Involving the crowd is so exciting: they are my customers and it would be great to have them also as our investor to come on a journey with us.”