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Investors back latest plans

Crowdcube raises £8m to develop trading exchange

Darren Westlake and Luke Lang

Darren Westlake and Luke Lang

Crowdcube, the equity crowdfunding platform, has raised a record £8 million which it will invest in developing a secondary market enabling investors in private companies to sell their shares.

More than 3,700 investors, alongside prominent venture capital firm Balderton Capital, have raised a record £8 million in growth capital for the platform.

It will use the money to support more crowd fund raising exercises and to develop a trading exchange for shareholders in any private company.

The sum raised is more than double the previous record for the largest equity crowdfunding exercise in the UK which was also on Crowdcube when investors backed the fintech company goHenry.

Long-term venture capital backers Balderton Capital invested £1 million in this latest round, in what is its third investment into goHenry, which has developed a money management tool for young people. 

Some industry commentators predicted that Brexit would all but destroy funding for fintech businesses.

Darren Westlake, chief executive, who co-founded Crowdcube with Luke Lang, said: “Crowdcube has played a key role in cementing Britain’s position as a global fintech leader, and this shows that investors’ appetite for backing ambitious British businesses seeking growth capital remains as strong as ever.” 

Crowdcube will use the finance to realise its growth plans, which are aimed at providing both investors and businesses with opportunities that make investment easy and rewarding.

This includes an ambitious move to develop and offer a secondary trading environment on the Crowdcube platform that will give shareholders of any UK private company the ability to sell their stake, if demand exists.

The exchange will create immediate liquidity for people with shares in any private British business, meaning that potential returns are not limited solely to major exit events such as trade sale or IPOs. 

Mr Westlake continues: “We’ve shown that ambitious later-stage British businesses can raise serious amounts of growth capital on Crowdcube.

“Our record-breaking £8 million raise, which is the 41st fundraise over £1 million in our history, is yet another watershed moment that will help us execute our plans to pioneer secondary liquidity for investors, whilst facilitating larger rounds to fund the growth of Britain’s ambitious businesses.

“As we embark on Crowdcube’s next stage of growth we’re excited for the future and pleased to have 3,700 new investors join us on the journey.”

This is the fourth time that Crowdcube has raised finance from its crowd, which now stands at nearly 300,000 individuals.

This time the company published a prospectus, which enabled it to raise more than the €5 million limit set by current EU rules.

The pitch hit its £5m target in just four hours and the round closed on just over £8m. The average investment made in this round was £1,824, with the largest £1m, which came from a private investor.

More than 8 in ten (82%) of investors came back for more after previously backing companies that have crowdfunded on Crowdcube. On average, they hold shares in seven companies, with an average portfolio value of £5,871.

Growth plans that will be supported by the finance raised include:

      Investment opportunities – targeting more venture and growth-stage businesses, many of which – such as BrewDog, goHenry and Sugru – are choosing to crowdfund.

      Fund businesses through the world’s largest investor community – with close to 300,000 members already on Crowdcube the company forecasts that member numbers will hit 500,000 by the end of 2017.

      Deliver investor returns – plans to pioneer secondary liquidity to give early investors in private UK companies the opportunity to sell their shares if demand exists.

 

 

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