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The original crowdfunders of Vibe, newly organised as Vibe Tickets Ltd, will have the option to claim shares in the new business, says Luke Massie
By Jon Chapple on 18 May 2018
Vibe Tickets founder Luke Massie is to give away shares in his new company to investors in TheVibe Ltd, which was forced into administration earlier this month.
Vibe raised more than £600,000 in late 2016 through crowdfunding site Crowdcube, and Massie says gifting equity in his new vehicle, Vibe Tickets Ltd, to backers of the crowd sale is “the right thing to do”.
“This is a gift from me, personally,” he says. “Those investors are who Vibe stands for. They put their faith in me over other start-ups raising cash. They helped make Vibe happen. I owe them for that.
“I’m just reciprocating the support they’ve given to me because they deserve better than the situation they were left in. They deserve to be looked after and to have their investment honoured.”
Under the new arrangement, the crowd investors have the opportunity to opt in to receive the newly offered shares, which will be offered proportionate to their original investment in TheVibe Ltd. The shares are being gifted from Massie’s personal equity.
The crowdfunders who opt in to accept the equity offer will sit alongside Scott Fletcher MBE, who has committed £500,000, and Vela Technologies, which has promised £200,000, with Massie saying he’s close to agreeing terms with a major new investor in the coming weeks.
He continues: “This is a hugely exciting time for Vibe – we’re free from the shackles that were stifling our progress and we’re working on some significant developments. I want the crowd to share in all that, because that’s what they bought into in the first place.
“we’re free from the shackles that were stifling our progress”
“Since the moment my second offer was accepted to buy back the business, it’s been my intention to do the right thing by the crowd. The sensitivity of the situation meant it took longer than I’d have liked to put things in place – seeking the best advice on how I could execute my plan to best benefit investors took time, and looking after the Vibe team had to be top of my agenda.
“The last seven days have been the most testing of my life so far. I’ve watched conversations, based on misinformation and total inaccuracies, play out in the media and observed while others peddle their own agendas at my expense. It’s taken every inch of me to remain tight-lipped because I’ve known that, had I gone against advice and spoken publicly about my experience, I’d have jeopardised my plans to turn this situation around for the crowd.
“My actions speak louder than their words. While others have used my age as a weapon to insult me and tarnish my name, ironically it’s their immaturity that’s stoked the fire in me to pull this off.
“I’ve had to go against the grain to make this happen – most people thought I was crazy to suggest it. But I’ve pushed hard, I’ve insisted, I’ve justified my thinking and, as I always have, I’ve done things my way.”
Massie declines to comment on the specifics of The Vibe’s demise, although IQ understands a restrictive agreement with an early investor left the company unable to look elsewhere for funding.
“I can’t go into any detail about the events that led to The Vibe Ltd facing administration, but I will say Vibe was backed into a corner and the administration was forced upon me,” he concludes. “It’s been a huge distraction which we’ve moved on from now. I refuse to dwell on it.
I’ve got work to do and the next stage of the journey starts now, with the continued support of the crowd.”
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