The Coconut Tree targets London market as it launches crowdfund

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

The Coconut Tree targets London market as it launches crowdfund

Related tags the coconut tree Casual dining Sri lanka Multi-site crowdfunding

Sri Lankan restaurant group The Coconut Tree is planning its first openings in London having launched an equity-based crowdfund that’s aiming to raise £1m.

The group, which currently operates nine sites across the UK and claims to be the ‘largest Sri Lankan restaurant group outside of Sri Lanka', is expected to launch two restaurants in the capital in the coming months.

The openings will mark the start of an accelerated expansion drive by the business, which will see it aim to grow its estate to an ambitious 50 sites and push its annual revenue from £6.7m to £70m by 2028 as it targets a valuation of £100m.

According to its crowdfund page, hosted by SeedLegals, the business has a pre-money valuation of £10m.

The Coconut Tree launched its first site in Cheltenham in 2016​ and subsequently opened restaurants in Bath, Bristol, Bournemouth, Reading, Birmingham, Cardiff, Oxford and Reading.

It is led by founders Mithra Fernando, Rashintha Rodrigo, Shamil Tiranjan Fernando, Dhanushka Fernando, and Praveen Cliford Demitrius Fernando Thangiah, who all hail from Sri Lanka.

“This is just the beginning,” says Mithra Fernando in a video announcing the crowdfund.

“We’ve got big plans and we want to invite our biggest fans to be a big part of it.”

As well as owning shares, those who invest in the business will be offered perks including discounts, free meals, merchandise and invitations to future restaurant openings.

For more information on the crowdfund, click here​. 

News of The Coconut Tree’s planned expansion comes less than a year after the group appeared to find itself in financial difficulty.

In May 2023, it was reportedly forced to delay wage payments to some of its employees​ after grappling with ‘unforeseen costs to the business’.

In the email to staff seen by the BBC​ at the time, the company said it had been ‘accruing losses’ and was working on new funding options.

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