Peterborough fast food company becomes first to crowdfund


Ajay, owner of Banjaraa has started a crowdfunding page to keep his business afloat (photo: Banjaraa)

Banjaraa owner Ajay Sabharwal, famous for his orange horsebox at local events has been forced to close his business during the lockdown.

Banjaraa is now in its second full year of business and was set to have the best year yet, and was fully booked throughout summer.

Events included Burghley fine food markets, St Botolph’s on the green, Baston car show, Bourne festival, Langtoft music festival, Rockingham festival, Oundle food festival, Cambridge festival and private bookings for weddings and corporate events.

Following the cancellation of these events, Ajay researched Crowdfunding and whether it could work for his business to get him through the lockdown and help toward keeping the company afloat.

In order to encourage people to help, Ajay is offering numerous rewards for people to use in the future, including offers on their Fat Boy Indian wraps and online lessons on how to make the perfect masala.

Ajay said: "2020 was set to be our biggest year yet. We were fully booked across multiple events throughout the summer and had begun to scout locations for our new permanent base, the Banjaraa deli.

"The rapid spread and subsequent lockdown due to this crisis have decimated our income stream, and it’s just been heartbreaking!

"We are not looking for charity, but assistance to get us through this uncertain and difficult period."

He added: "As soon as we are fully operational, we will share Banjaraa with you how we intend to pay forward the kindness we’ve received. This is going to be something extra from us and will involve food."

So far, Banjaraa has had a great start with over 10pc of his £6,000 target already achieved on day one from his local fans and friends.

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Although Ajay is the first person in Peterborough to get involved, many others across the UK have taken the decision to crowdfund.

Analysis of more than 1,000 active appeals on showed the most common word was covid, while dozens of others mentioned the NHS.

The most common word in their titles was covid with 161 entries, while 30 referenced corona or coronavirus, 139 referred to help, and 107 to support. Another that appeared 33 times was survive.

Businesses and charities have both turned to crowdfunder to help them through this challenging time, and people are donating to causes they wish to save. 

Rules of crowdfunder projects

An individual organisation must state how much they are hoping to raise. They must also set a time limit for raising the funds - the minimum is 28 days and the maximum is eight weeks. 

Backers can ‘pledge’ to the projects in a number of ways. They can either make a simple donation, invest in a new startup, or they can buy gifts in advance. This way a project can have money in advance to get off the ground, but once established, must honour the gifts in return. 

If the project does not make the target amount within the timeframe, it receives none of the money.

For more information about the rules of Crowdfunder, visit the website