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Apr 22, 2015 9:05 AM ET

Archived: Shoot: the UK’s premier gardening and garden management website with the objective of empowering all gardeners to create their dream gardens though compiling their own personal gardening library

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 22, 2015



Shoot is striving to be the UK’s premier gardening and garden management website with the objective of empowering all gardeners to create their dream gardens though compiling their own personal gardening library. Having won multiple awards and acquired over 82,000 members, Shoot is already profitable and operates within a market worth over £5 billion in the UK alone.

Nicola Gammon 1

Nicola Gammon 2

Nicola Gammon 4

The Idea

Everyone loves being in a beautiful garden. However, most of us just don’t have the time to learn everything you need to know to be a successful gardener. It is really easy to make mistakes – buying the wrong plants, putting them in the wrong place and not knowing how to care for them. That is what we help you with at Shoot. We tell you what you can plant, where you can put it, and how best to care for it so it will thrive in your garden. We even send you helpful email reminders each month. Our vision is to inspire and empower all gardeners to create the garden of their dreams.


Gardeners who don’t know which plants to buy or how to care for them. This is a big problem – 50% of gardeners surveyed have lost a plant within a year of purchase. 90% of plants that die were the wrong plant in the wrong place. The estimated annual cost is £168m in the UK alone.


Tell us which plants are in your garden and we’ll send you care reminders each month. Tell us about your garden and we’ll recommend plants to buy.


Shoot’s premium subscription model generates high margin, recurring revenue. We are already a profitable business and have re-invested 89% of our profits back into the business. We currently charge home gardeners £36 per year and Professionals £180 per year.  We also make commission on sales in our marketplace and charge licence fees for white label use of our plant database.


We know that Shoot is already the fastest growing gardening website in the UK, multi-award winning and is striving to be the market leader.

We have over 82,000 members (including many garden designers and landscapers), and over 5,000 premium paid members paying an average of £45 each.

We had 1.1m unique website visitors and 4.3m page views in 2014.

We have 4,346 inbound links including from the BBC and the Telegraph.

And we have a large social media following: 

  • Twitter 23,000 followers
  • Pinterest 37,000 followers
  • You Tube 74,000 views.

We also have what we know is the largest expert plant database in the UK with full plant details on over 18,000 plants. We have won many awards including the Garden Media Guild award for best gardening website 2012, and the Good Web Guide awards for both Best Gardening Website 2014 and also overall People’s Choice Award 2014.


We are already profitable with high margins. We are seeking investment to fast track our growth by improving our product offer and investing in marketing.

The Market

Gardening is a huge global market worth $200bn annually. To provide some context that is twice the size of the global market for wine. In the UK alone gardening is worth £5bn annually.

There are already established very high valuations for other ‘personal libraries’ in other markets: 

  • Good Reads book lists (Amazon bought for $150m April 2013)
  • Vivino wine lists (raised $12.4m July 2013)
  • Spotify music lists (Valued at $4bn Nov 2013). 

Shoot has already delivered proof of concept convincingly in our start-up phase. We are pre-funding and solely UK focussed at this early stage.

There are appox 190m gardeners in English speaking countries. There are approximately 42m gardeners are in the UK. We will focus on the sub-segment of 11m ‘keen gardeners’ in the UK initially.

We aim to have 1 million registered members by 2020 (which is 9% share of the UK keen gardener market). Of the 1 million registered members we aim to upgrade and retain 55,000 paying members by 2020. We will monetise free members by selling goods, services and advertising.

All gardeners can benefit from Shoot services but we will focus initially on the 11m UK based ‘keen’ gardeners. We aim to provide the best, expert information and technology to help them easily track, manage & share their gardens online. 

There is also considerable upside potential beyond this core target market. We currently already get demand in the UK from ‘novice gardeners’ who have invested significantly in a garden make-over or have purchased high £ value of plants. Our conversion rate of this segment to paid professional subscribers has already proven to be 12%.

Plus, there is global demand from English speaking markets outside the UK. We already get ‘please launch here’ requests and paying members from abroad. Within 5 years we aim to have a global version for all English speakers anywhere which represents a huge growth upside. 

The People

Nicola Gammon – Founder & CEO

Nicola has an MBA from McGill University and many years experience in the IT sector including MessageLabs (VP Channel EMEA) and The Cloud (Sales Director). She was selected along with 11 other female entrepreneurs from 1,000 applicants to participate in a FeMBA with Seth Godin (American author, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker). To date Nicola has funded and built Shoot on her own with a small contractor team.

Kathryn Necus – Plant Database Manager

Kathryn has a National Diploma in Horticulture, and a BA in Literature.

Angela Rahe-Blomfield – Design Consultant

Angela has many years experience in web and print media including Channel 4 OSN, ITV and Euro Sport.

The Financials

These notes should be read alongside the Financial Snapshot

SALES: Key sales drivers

Site visits

Conversion rates 

USE OF FUNDS: Outline how you plan to use the funds you raise on Crowdcube? 

67% on salaries to improve the product

26% on marketing 

EXPENSES AND PROFITABILITY: Please comment on your expense levels, gross and EBITDA margins

We are already profitable but will go into loss next two years

We will again be EBITDA positive in year 3 

EXISTING DEBT OR EQUITY INVESTMENTS: Please outline the background to any existing debt or equity finance on the company balance sheet

We have already re-invested £400,000 back into the business

We have a £40,000 bank loan 

CASH: Cash burn rate, Operational cashflow, when will you need to raise the next round?

We will remain cash flow positive however our overheads will increase significantly with the new team hires

We will not need the next round until after year 3.

The Exit Strategy

Assuming our 5 year targets and retention rates are achieved, we believe that the company could be attractive to a wide range of brand buyers and private equity buyers. An IPO is also a possibility. Based on the exit plan, we aim to offer investors a return of between 8 and 14x.

This estimate is in line with other per user valuations e.g. Spotify ($200 per user) and Goodreads ($55 per user).

This return is further supplemented by EIS tax relief offered to investors (availability of tax relief depends on individual circumstances, please see below).


Rewards with monetary value over £1000 can affect the amount of EIS you may be able to claim. Please obtain independent tax advice if there is any concern as Crowdcube does not provide legal or tax advice.

  • Invest £10 and get

    Thank you for your support, we’ll keep you up to date regularly with how we’re getting on and all the exciting things that are happening at Shoot.

  • Invest £100 and get

    Get 10% off a one year membership to Shoot. We also look forward to welcoming you to our annual investor event.

  • Invest £1,000 and get

    Free one year personal membership to Shoot and we look forward to welcoming you to our annual investor event.

  • Invest £10,000 and get

    Free lifetime personal membership to Shoot and we look forward to welcoming you to our annual investor event.

  • Invest £20,000 and get

    Free personal lifetime membership of Shoot, as well as a garden consultation with the Shoot team – we’ll visit your garden (within the UK) and work with you to design and implement a best in class garden plan…and we also look forward to welcoming you to our annual investor event.

Share Types

This company is offering both A and B shares. If you invest £10,000 or more you will receive A-shares which have full voting rights. If you invest less than £10,000 you will receive B-shares which have no voting rights or pre-emption.
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