By Daniel Hunter

International courier ParcelHero has offered free shares to all its employees as part of its crowdfunding initiative.

The Brentford-based company’s parent, the Deliver Plus International group, has turned its back on the banks and is offering its shares to the public via Crowdfunding site Crowdcube. The offer has also given ParcelHero employees the chance to share in its success.

ParcelHero founder and MD, Roger Sumner-Rivers, said: "Our crowdfunding project has given us the opportunity to do something I have wanted to do for a long time, create an employee share incentive plan (SIP) enabling all our staff to become shareholders.

"We are offering them all free shares and also the opportunity to buy further shares, giving us a motivated, involved and passionate workforce who will truly share in our success."

As well as giving free shares to all staff the company will also match individual staff member’s investment in the business with an equal amount of free shares.

The company decided to raise funds via Crowdcube because Roger was fed-up continually trying to cut through bank red-tape to obtain loans to fund the businesses’ rapid growth.

He said: "Over the years we have been very successful in raising finance from our banks, but only after months of work on first creating then adjusting the plans to fit in with the bank’s financial conditions. Every time we have applied for finance it’s been a huge drain on my time, which, in turn, has affected my ability to do the most important thing: drive the business forward."

"The thought of having to go, cap in hand, to the banks once again, and face even more bureaucracy than ever, was frankly frustrating. Happily, however, the very technology that drives our business, the internet, also provided an alternative funding method, crowdfunding."

The only catch for ParcelHero is that — just like on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den — the company must achieve the full £300,000 or it gets nothing.

Have you used crowdfunding to fund your business' growth? Have you considered using a similar form of staff incentive? You can email your reactions to

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