The UK’s leading equity crowdfunding platform, Crowdcube, today unveiled plans to pioneer secondary liquidity and offer more investment opportunities in venture and growth-stage businesses as it moves to accelerate potential investor returns.
This follows recent news about the Company’s intention to raise over £5 million growth finance using a prospectus in its latest funding round, which will give the public the opportunity to invest alongside existing venture capital backer Balderton Capital.
The Company, which has invited investors to register for early access to its raise, has already received up to £50 million in expressions of interest, the first £10 million of which came through in just two hours.
The Company’s future plans include creating an environment for shareholders of any private UK company to sell their stake, if demand exists, so potential returns are not limited to just major exit events such as trade sale or IPO. Like any asset class, providing returns for investors is vital. Whilst some investors on Crowdcube have already received a return on their investments following the sale of Camden Town Brewery and E-Car Club, which sold to AB InBev and Europcar respectively, it is important that liquidity events for investors become more customary.
Darren Westlake, CEO and co-founder of Crowdcube, said: “Our vision for future growth is focused on offering our investors unrivalled investment opportunities, funding great businesses through the world’s largest investor community and ultimately, delivering investor returns. With more growth stage and venture capital backed businesses turning to our crowd to raise finance, there is a real opportunity to provide early investors with returns through a secondary market on Crowdcube. Currently many early-stage investors are locked into their investment for the long-haul, a secondary offering of this nature will provide greater flexibility for equity investors, whilst further democratising investing by providing another avenue for anyone to invest in great British businesses.”
To underpin its move towards offering investors’ more liquidity events, Crowdcube intend to launch a series of products and services enabling businesses to manage their equity investors more efficiently; as well as providing investors with greater transparency of how their investments are performing.
Broadening its reach into the UK’s £5.3 billion equity investment market, Crowdcube plans to work with more venture and growth-stage businesses, many of whom are choosing to crowdfund alongside venture backing. With a growing number of exciting British businesses, including goHenry, BrewDog, Sugru and JustPark, raising over £3 million on Crowdcube, as well as the challenger bank Mondo, which raised £1 million in 96 seconds, it is clear there is strong demand from investors to back high profile business that they previously did not have access to.
Darren Westlake added: “We are immensely proud of the fact that Crowdcube has helped over 350 business collectively raising more than £160 million through our 285,000-strong crowd. We have pioneered the creation of a new and vibrant market for entrepreneurs and investors and in just five years we’ve seen investment crowdfunding move into the mainstream world of finance. As we embark on our next stage of growth we’re staying true to our trailblazing roots as we continue to disrupt the sector in our mission to make investing easy and rewarding for anyone, anywhere.”
In an industry first, Crowdcube is using a prospectus to raise over £5 million growth finance to execute its vision and set a precedent for other ambitious businesses wanting to raise above the limit of just €5 million set by EU rules. Long-term venture capital backers Balderton Capital, which has also invested in a number of disruptive fintech companies such as Zopa, Nutmeg, Revolut and GoCardless, will invest £1 million in Crowdcube alongside the crowd, in what will be the venture firms third investment into the business. The funding round opens to investors who have registered for early access at midday on Monday 18 July, 24 hours before it is due to open to the public.