Three men sat at a table with a pink 'Project D' sign behind them

Source: Project D

Project D founders (L-R) Matt Bond, Jacob Watts, and Max Poynton

Derby-based doughnut specialist Project D has launched a £400,000 crowdfunding campaign.

The funds will be used to help the business’ rapid expansion, with a goal of hitting £12m in revenue within the next three years  – a substantial increase from its current annual turnover of £2.6m. 

Product innovation, retail expansion, digital marketing, e-commerce, and new hires, are among the investment priorities, the company noted.

The self-proclaimed ‘disruptive’ doughnut retailer and manufacturer was founded in 2018 by Matt Bond, Jacob Watts and Max Poynton. Since then, Project D has grown to employ more than 100 staff operating from a purpose-built 11,000 sq ft bakery in Spondon from which it manufactures around two million doughnuts each year. The site has the capacity to do 17m doughnuts a year, the firm added, thanks in part to its recent investment in a custom-made Canol industrial doughnut line, which can produce up to 40,000 doughnuts a day.

Project D is also preparing to open its first flagship store in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping mall, with plans to open more permanent retail outlets in the near future.

Investors have been urged to spend from as little as £50 to ‘join the inner ring’ and Project D’s journey towards ‘becoming the largest doughnut company in the world’.

Project D doughnuts in a bright pink box

Source: Project D

“We’ve already received a great deal of interest from prospective investors,” said marketing director Max Poynton. “We’re extremely confident that we will smash our £400k target. This is a unique opportunity to invest in a young business that has already established itself as one of the leading doughnut manufacturers in the UK. There’s no limit to what people can invest – and we’d love to see a mix of small, £50 investments alongside some big-ticket investments.”

“There is no better time than now to be involved in this market, as the popularity of doughnuts keeps growing year-on-year. We offer a bigger and better product, with more innovation than any of our competitors,” added Poynton.

Project D already raised £150k of lead investment via crowdfunding prior to the official launch on Crowdcube.

Elsehwere, the business continues its digital market push which has included the creation of viral videos on Tiktok, with its account receiving 19m views in a single two-month period.

@project.doughnut No one will finish this mega doughnut 🍩 #projectdoughnut #megadoughnuts #doughnutday ♬ Glory Box - Portishead

The substantial social media following has seen it attract partnerships with heavyweight brands including British Airways, Brewdog, Amazon and Rolls-Royce. It has also won multiple awards including being named the first-ever winner of the Online Bakery Business of the Year category at the 2022 Baking Industry Awards.