Crowdcube has today announced that Chief Operating Officer, Bill Simmons, and Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Cooper have been appointed Co CEOs as Founder and CEO, Darren Westlake, steps down after 13 years of leading the business.
CThe change in leadership takes effect from 12 January 2023.
Both Bill Simmons and Matt Cooper joined Crowdcube in 2014. In that time and under their direction Crowdcube has grown exponentially with a 1770% increase in registered investors and a 580% increase in the amount of capital invested on the platform. Together they have advised and executed some of the largest crowdfunding campaigns in history such as Monzo, Revolut, Brewdog and ZOE.
Darren will take some time to explore new projects. He remains a major shareholder in the business.
Commenting on the appointments Darren Westlake, Co-Founder of Crowdcube said:
“I’m delighted for Bill and Matt who have a deep understanding of our business, capital raising and the retail investor landscape. I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved but after 13 years, more than 1,800 successful raises, over 1 million investors and €1.5bn of capital raised, it feels like a good time for me to step back from the company.
“Together with the rest of the Board, a succession plan has been formulated over the past 12 months ensuring that Bill and Matt will have the tools and support they need to build on everything Crowdcube has achieved to date and fully explore all the possibilities that lie ahead.”
Darren and Co-founder, Luke Lang, founded Crowdcube in 2012 to democratise fund raising, so that entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life, have the capital they need to take their businesses to the next level. Over the last decade, Crowdcube has become the largest equity crowdfunding platform in the world and has raised over €1.5bn for over 1,300 businesses.
Bill Simmons said: “It was Darren’s inspirational vision that attracted me to the business in the first place. I could not be prouder of our work to build the largest and most advanced equity crowdfunding platform in the world. Capital raising and investing in private companies have never been so exciting - we’re incredibly proud to lead the business into the next chapter.”
Matt Cooper said: “We have an outstanding opportunity to grow the business and expand internationally with the team in place to deliver it. I am honoured that I will be leading the business forward alongside Bill, someone who I know cares as passionately about Crowdcube as I do.”
Simon Williams, Chairman of Crowdcube, said: ”Bill and Matt have been key to the evolution of the business over the past eight years. Darren has been an exceptional visionary and leader, and on behalf of everyone who works at Crowdcube, I want to thank him for his role in challenging the landscape of capital raising and retail investing globally.”
This change follows a record breaking year in 2022 for new investors in private companies (over 100,000), up 25% from 2021; and a record year for investor registrations (240,000), up 29% from 2021, showing that despite the current economic climate, retail investor appetite for investing in private businesses remains strong. The business was the first equity crowdfunding platform to be authorised under the new EU crowdfunding regulation and saw a 117% increase in the amount of capital invested between 2021 and 2022 in companies headquartered in the EU. Supporting this was a 68% increase in the number of new investor registrations from across the region. Crowdcube achieved BCorp status in 2022.