Taylor St Baristas pulled its crowdfunding campaign after taking the view that it “wasn’t the right investment vehicle for us at this time”, CEO Nick Tolley has told MCA.

The speciality coffee company launched an equity fundraise seeking £750,000 on Crowdcube which reached less than 25% of its target during stealth mode.

Tolley told MCA while the support was encouraging, the group would seek other investment opportunities, as it concentrates on its concessions partnership with Sodexo and expands its wholesale business and ready to drink (RTD) range.

Despite previously raising a £1.8m coffee bond with Crowdcube, Tolley admitted the latest equity campaign could be a “spectacular failure” when discussing it with MCA last month.

Meanwhile, it was revealed last week Taylor St had sold its eight-strong coffee shop estate to Black Sheep Coffee for an undisclosed sum, as part of a pivot from operator to coffee company.

Tolley said: “We were really encouraged by the momentum behind the campaign, and we cracked more than 20%, which is the threshold which Crowdcube has for launching one of these onto its wider platform. The whole time we were on stealth mode, so it was targeted at friends, family, and customers.

“In the end we took the view that this wasn’t the right investment vehicle for us at this time. We wrote to everyone and thanked them and said we’d bear them in mind if something else comes up. We are exploring other investment options.”

The fundraise valued the business at £11m and was part of a transition from its original core business towards a vertically integrated coffee group.

The group still plans to move to an asset light model, with joint ventures and partnerships in offices, hotels, airlines, and leisure facilities.

Its partnership with Sodexo will see it open more than 100 branded Taylor St cafes, and a further 300 cafes under proprietary brand Chapter & Verse.

Taylor St will also be Santander’s UK coffee partner, and help turn its branch network into café-led co-working spaces.

Tolley told MCA: “It’s not that were no longer doing cafes, or we don’t see cafes as a key way to engage with customers or the public.

“But in terms of the profile and shape of the business, it’s more like a speciality version of Illy or Lavazza, than a Starbucks or Costa. We are very much moving into a full stack coffee business.”

Tolley said there was a pipeline of 10 sites with Sodexo, including London, Leeds and Calgary in Canada.